What a difference a day makes

Wednesday 8th November & Friday 10th November 2017

On Wednesday I went to see my Dad as usual in the morning. That meant that Teddy and I went for our walk over Canford Heath in the afternoon. It was a lovely sunny day as you can see from this photo looking along South Walk.

South Walk

And here’s Teddy, posing nicely for me.

Teddy on South Walk

When we do these Wednesday afternoon walks I park at Steeple Close to avoid the school traffic. Then we head up to South Walk and cut down the middle of the heath. We can either pick up the Old Coach Road for this or walk down the track that runs alongside the main fenced area of the heath, as we did today. This is where this photo was taken. You can just see Teddy having a sniff at the grass in the distance.

Where's Teddy?

After that we cut back across the heath to the stream and then continue on across Longfleet Drive towards the other wide track that runs up from the Redbrick Path. En route we pass one of my favourite trees, so here is another photo of it for you.

Trees

And then we head down towards the Redbrick path and back to Steeple Close, but not before I’d taken a photo of the sun setting behind another group of ringed and dying trees.

Trees at sundown

A crisp but sunny walk.

Thursday and Friday were very different days as the weather was miserable, so I didn’t take my camera. But on the Friday morning, walking along the Roman Road, I spotted the smallest Sulphur Tuft fungi I have ever seen, so I had to take a photo with the phone. And here they are

The smallest Sulphur Tufts I have ever seen

You can tell how tiny they are by comparing them to the the size of the leaves next to them.

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Blame Lightroom

Sunday 22nd October to Saturday 28th October 2017

First of all I have to apologise to everyone again for the long gap between posting. This has been caused by Adobe’s Lightroom Upgrade. Basically, the new version refuses to run on my not-very-old laptop, so I’ve had to move everything over to Chris’ old PC (which is slightly older than my laptop!) and, of course, that has been fraught with difficulty. Finally I am just about up to date with my photos, though, so I can return to this blog – if I can remember what was happening 3 weeks ago.

The first set of photos I have is from our afternoon walk on Canford Heath on Wednesday 25th October. I do the afternoon walk on a Wednesday as I go to see my Dad in the morning. We parked at Steeple Close, in order to avoid the school traffic, and close by my eye was caught by this Sweet Chestnut which was losing its leaves and backlit by the sun.

Sweet Chestnut in Autumn

It was a nice sunny afternoon and I took this photo of Teddy on top of the heath.

Teddy on Canford Heath

It was one of those days when he had to entertain himself as we didn’t really meet any other dogs for him to play with. He managed to tire himself out enough to have to take a short rest in a depression in the sand.

Resting

Which set him up nicely to take off at speed because he had heard a horse further down the hill which I couldn’t see. So I had to apologise profusely to the rider.

Friday was another sunny morning and we walked over to Upton Heath. This photo is taken as we crossed the Roman Road onto the heath.

Shadow and Light on the Roman Road

And here’s Teddy, looking very pleased with himself in the pond.

Teddy in the pond

On Saturday we were back on Upton Heath again, but doing our slightly longer walk. As we started out through Longmeadow Lane woods I saw these little sulphur tuft fungi.

Sulpher Tuft Fungi

As you can see from the photo below, it was a pretty overcast day and I was expecting rain, so I only had my iPhone with me, which is getting to be pretty old now. Anyway, this was the view from the top of the hill, looking across the heath.

Not much sunshine over the heath this afternoon

And that’s it for this week, I’m afraid.

Of Dogs and Fungi

Sunday 1st October to Saturday 7th October 2017-10-15

Having said this post is from the 1st October I don’t actually have any photos from that day, so the first photos are from Monday 2nd when we went over to Upton Heath for our walk as usual. I took the EOS 6D with the 100mm Macro lens attached, and I’m glad I did as I got some really nice photos. Unfortunately, if you suffer from arachnophobia the first one isn’t quite so nice as its an Orb Spider.

Orb spider

That photos was taken along the old railway line. We walked onto the pond and Teddy was really pleased to find some doggie friends there. It all started with a meet and greet.

Meet and greet at the pond

We met Max, the Golden Retriever.

Max the Golden Retriever

And Buzz, the Viszla who was staying with Max temporarily.

Buzz the Vizsla

Teddy and Buzz had a good time playing.

Teddy and Buzz

And then there was Tig, one of our staffy friends.

Tig

After a good game we went our separate ways and I walked Teddy round through the old pits.

Teddy in the old pits

On the lower heath the Fly Agaric are still in evidence.

Flly agaric

Although these had been kicked over.

Broken

As usual Teddy went into the little pool by the small boardwalk for a drink.

Teddy by the boardwalk

And then posed for me.

Teddy

After that we made our way home.

On Tuesday we started the day, as every day, with breakfast, and Teddy was a happy dog when he found out I’d finished the yogurt and he could have the pot. He soon got stuck in.

Nose in the trough

For our walk we went to Canford Heath and as it was a lovely sunny day I, once again, took the EOS 6D with the 100mm lens on it. Although it is a macro lens it is also excellent for portraits, which is why it’s great for taking photos of dogs, like this one of Teddy.

Teddy

Fungi are also in evidence on Canford Heath, like this one, although I’m not too sure what it is.

Fungi

As we walked through the woods I found this huge Cauliflower Fungus.

Cauliflower fungus

And these Razor Strop, or Birch Bracket Fungi.

Razor Strop Fungi

I also spotted this pretty little feather, suspended on some blades of grass.

Feather

There were more fungi when we left the woods. Firstly this Russula

Russula

And then this Panther Cap

Panther Cap

And lastly from Tuesday, a photo of Teddy surveying the heath as we walked back to the car.

Teddy surveys the heath

Jumping ahead to Friday we were again on Upton Heath. Firstly we went to the pond.

Teddy in the pond

And then, after Teddy had had a drink and a paddle, we headed towards the old pits. En route we met the cows.

We met the cows

You can see that at some point that one has had a nasty injury on its side.

On the lower heath we met several dogs. Firstly there was Oscar, a Border Terrier.

Oscar

And then we met a lady with 4 small dogs, including this 12 week old Chihuahua puppy.

12 week old Chihuahua pup

At this point I put Teddy on the lead. As the lady said, he might have thought it was was a rat! He was really good with it, though, and very gentle, so I don’t think I need have worried. And this, was the pup’s father.

The pup's dad

While we were talking our friend Janet came along with her lurcher, Jake.

Our friend Jake

After a long chat we walked on round and, as usual, Teddy went in the pond by the small boardwalk where he was once again searching for something under the water.

Teddy is searching under the water again

When we got to the Roman Road I was pleased to see that there was another small fungus growing on the tree stump by the stream.

Fungi

While we were there I took the opportunity to take a photo looking along the Roman Road while the leaves on the trees are still green. They won’t be there much longer.

The trees haven't turned along the Roman Road yet

The Virginia Creeper along the path in Creekmoor has turned though, and has produced beautiful Autumn colours.

Autumn Colours

I don’t have any photos from our walk on Saturday, but first thing in the morning the plumber arrived to fix our leaking stopcock. And do you remember that lovely new kitchen we had installed 10 months ago? Well, today part of it had to come apart again!

My new kitchen is in pieces! Bits of kitchen fill my small sitting room

I’m pleased to say that it’s all fixed and back together again.

Rain then some sunshine

Sunday 10th September to Saturday 16th September 2017

Yes, we went over to Upton Heath for our walk on Sunday and we got wet again! Although it wasn’t as bad as yesterday my walking boots decided enough was enough and let water, so I came home with wet feet. Teddy wasn’t particularly happy about the state of affairs either.

Wet again! Teddy's not very happy

Monday was a good day – we didn’t get wet! And on Tuesday we actually had sunshine for our walk on Canford Heath. Here is Teddy, backlit by the sun.

Backlit on Canford Heath

And letting me know that all this photo-taking malarkey can get a bit boring.

Well this is boring!

When we do get sunshine a lot of Red Admiral butterflies are taking advantage, and we saw this lovely one as we headed down towards Knighton Heath.

Red Admiral Butterfly

I also spotted quite a large fungi and was trying to get a photo of it, but Teddy thought he’d take a leaf our of Max’s book and photobomb the shot.

Teddy takes a leaf out of Max's book and learns to photobomb

We continued on round and Teddy met a young Cocker Spaniel for the second time and they had a really good play. After which, of course, Teddy had to find the nearest puddle in which to cool down.

Teddy poses for Tongue out Tuesday

I particularly like this photo of him.

Time to cool down in a puddle

Needless to say he got out covered in mud!

Tuesday would have been Jezebel’s 10th birthday, so the day was tinged with sadness. But she loved cake, so in her honour I made a chocolate marble cake in the afternoon which Chris and I have been enjoying. This photo of Jez was taken on her birthday last year.

Jez on her 9th Birthday

On Wednesday I went to Dad’s in the morning as usual. I am pleased to say he has suffered no ill effects as a result of his fall last week, other than a very sore thumb where he cut it. In the afternoon I took Teddy over to Canford Heath, although I didn’t take any photos as once again it looked as though it could tip down with rain at any minute. After our walk we dropped round to Pat’s to take her her birthday presents: she will be 97 on Thursday.

On Thursday Teddy and I headed out to Badbury Rings for our walk. We didn’t get that far, though, as Teddy decided to whine and bark in the back of the car. Instead I called into Kingston Lacy which was closer.

Unfortunately the main part of the Woodland Walk is closed.

No Woodland Walk for us today

We did manage to do one small loop in the woods though, and then headed back past the house to the gardens. This view of the house was taken as we were walking back from the Woodland Walk.

Kingston Lacy House

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but in the woods in one part of the gardens they are using pigs to clear the undergrowth. They’ve always been too far away for me to get a photo before, but today they were by the fence. Here is the big one (I think it might be a Gloucester Old Spot, but I can’t actually see any spots so I might be wrong).

Clearing the undergrowth in the gardens the natural way

And here is one of the Kunekunes.

This Kunekune is hoping to be fed a few apples

He came over to the fence as there is a shoot there. You can buy apples and feed the pigs. Sadly I didn’t have 50p on me for the apples, so he had to go hungry.

Over in the Kitchen Garden the dahlias are looking lovely.

Dahlia

There was supposed to be an orchid flowering there somewhere but I couldn’t find it. I did find the little autumnal scene in one of the outhouses though.

Autumn's harvest in the Kitchen Garden

And one final shot of the house as we walked back to the car.

Kingston Lacy House

On Friday we walked over Upton Heath again and although I took the camera we spent time walking round with a dog walker so I didn’t take any photos. I did take the camera when we went on Saturday though, despite the forecast of rain. There was a very misty and moody view over Poole Harbour, looking towards Arne.

A misty view across the heath

And yes, we got wet, but not very. Just a couple of fairly light showers. So I’ll leave you with a panorma of the heath and hope that the forecast is right and we will not have a few days without rain.

Panorma across Upton Heath

At last, a bit more sunshine

Sunday 13th August to Saturday 19th August 2017

Normally I take Teddy over Upton Heath on a Saturday, but as we went to the Dorset Dogs Festival instead I took him over on Sunday afternoon this week. We were greeted on our arrival by this beautiful Red Admiral on the path.

Red Admiral

We turned left into Longmeadow Lane woods where the beech trees were looking lovely in the sunlight.

Beech Trees

Then we made our way up the Roman Road before turning onto the heath and heading towards the viewpoint. En route I spotted this pretty little Grisette. I rather liked the setting with the moss surrounding it.

Grisette

We walked down the hill and eventually came to the pond where Teddy set about eating the soil – something he seems to like to do quite a bit here. Jez used to lick the soil here too, so I’m guessing it’s full of minerals. Perhaps I should try it!

Teddy likes to eat the soil by the pond

From there we walked around the lower heath where I spotted another Grisette.

Grisette

Finally we walked back along the Roman Road before heading home. Monday morning, of course, we were back there again. And once again Teddy was sticking his muzzle in the soil, as you can see.

Teddy's been digging with his nose again

Tuesday was a lovely sunny morning so we headed out to Morden Bog, which is looking beautiful where the heather is in full bloom.

Heather in full bloom at Morden Bog Looking back up the hill

In this photo you can see Decoy Pond.

Decoy Pond behind the heather

And here’s a photo of Teddy in the heather.

Teddy in the heather

We walked on and as we headed towards Henry’s Pond we met our friends Tink and Twig. We walked on round with them. At one point they disappeared into some shrub. I heard a rustle, and then a young roe deer popped out onto the path between me and Teddy. I don’t know which one of us was more surprised. It ran off into the trees on the opposite side of the path and after thinking about it for a moment Teddy thought he’d follow. But he was a good boy and came back when I called, after which Tink and Twig re-appeared and took off after the deer in totally the wrong direction, so Teddy had to follow them. The next time we saw Teddy he was a really long way away, still chasing the non-existent deer. So we walked in his general direction with me calling him, and after a short time he came running back to me. I was so proud of him!

After all that running, though, the dogs were hot and had to cool down in a bit puddle.

Teddy, Tink and Twig cool down in a muddy puddle

And finally for Tuesday, one last view of Decoy Pond and the heather taken from the top of the hill as we headed back to the car.

Looking across to Decoy Pond

On Wednesday morning I went to see my Dad, and in the afternoon I took Teddy over to Canford Heath.

Teddy admires the view

Unfortunately I struggle to find good photos on Canford Heath these days, but I quite liked this one of the trees along the path that runs next to the Crematorium.

Trees and clouds

And here’s a slightly different view, taken as we walked up the hill from Steeple Close.

Trees, clouds and heather

And so onto Friday and another walk on Upton Heath.  Along the old railway line the honeysuckle is now in bloom.

Wild Honeysuckle

But there are no other photos from Friday. We did meet Charlie, the dog walker, though, with 6 dogs so Teddy had a good play.

And, of course, Saturday afternoon it was back to Upton Heath. As usual on a Saturday we walked up the Roman Road, across to the viewpoint, and then down the hill. Today, as we passed to two pine trees on the hill, the sky behind them was fabulous.

Cloudscape

We continued on to the pond where Teddy spotted a pigeon on the far bank.

Teddy has spotted a pigeon

And then I threw him a stick and he started to play.

I don’t know what he thought he was doing. Although he picked that stone up at the end he immediately dropped it and then went back to digging in the deeper water. He was doing this for nearly 15 minutes while I sat watching him and laughing.

And then we walked on around the lower heath, along the Roman Road and came back to the car. And although he spotted the ponies along the way and showed an interest he came away when I called him. I’m sure it won’t always be like that though!

A new experience for Max

Sunday 11th – Saturday 17th December 2016

But first we were back at Corfe Mullen and Upton Heath on Sunday 11th. First we visited the scuzzy pond.

Max in the scuzzy pond

Here’s Jez backlit by the sun.

Jez, backlit by the afternoon sun

Then we went out on the heath.

Max waits for me and Jez

Where the dogs were contemplating heading in different directions.

They say opposites attract

Moving on to Friday 16th December, and I took Max for his first ever session in the water walker in an attempt to strengthen the muscles supporting his poorly hips.

Max gets to try out the water walker,  but I don't think he's too sure about it

As you can see, he wasn’t entirely sure about the experience.

And finally, on Saturday 17th, which was dull and damp, we went over to Upton Heath. I didn’t take the camera but then spotted this fungi. At first I thought it was a Hare’s Foot Inkcap, but it was way too big and it’s the wrong time of year. I think it’s a Snowy Inkcap – a first for me.

I think this is a Snowy Inkcap - it was way too big for a Hare's Foot Inkcap

Isn’t it pretty?

A year ago this week

We went to see Corfe Castle lit up in the run-up to Christmas.

Shadows from the past

Our week-end walks on Upton Heath

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th November 2016

Saturday afternoon Chris drove me and the dogs over to Upton Heath for our walk as usual. It was a bit of a grey day so I didn’t take the camera and only had my phone with me. We walked to the pond and then headed up the hill towards the viewpoint. En route I was really pleased to find some really nice orange peel fungus.

Orange Peel Fungus

We walked on up the hill where I liked the light in the sky behind the power lines.

Power lines on Upton Heath

We continued on up towards the viewpoint and just before we reached it I took this photo looking back across the heath.

Looking back across the heath

After that we continued on to Beacon Road and I phoned Chris to come and pick us up.

On Sunday I took Jez and Max up to Corfe Mullen and we walked across the top of the heath. The sun was out today and the views were stunning.

Looking across Poole Harbour to Arne

Here’s Max on the heath.

Max on the heath

And here are Max and Jez.

Max and Jez in the late afternoon sunshine

We were out quite a while and the sun was starting to go down as we got back to the reservoir.

The sun starts to set

We walked back to the car and Max and Jez lay down on the grass while I pumped up my front tire which had a slow puncture (now mended). When he got up Max could hardly walk. I’m guessing it’s another arthritis flare up in his elbow, so it looks as though we’ll have to rest him for a while.

A year ago today

On 13th last year we were up the top of Upton Heath (what a coincidence) where I took this photo looking out across Poole Harbour.

Shafts of sunlight over Poole Harbour