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.


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.


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

Teddy by the boardwalk

And then posed for me.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


A morning walk by the river

Tuesday 17th May 2016

It was quite a nice day today, and Jez wanted to come for a walk, so I decided that we would go to the River Stour at Eyebridge. My thinking was that if we only went to where the dogs play in the river and then back again it would be about the right length walk for Jez.

Walking along the path we found the horses were lined up having their breakfast (or more likely a mid-morning snack).

Eating in line

I was rather surprised to see a pair of Mandarin Ducks on the river. Here is the male looking very resplendent.

Mandarin Duck

Jez was happy to be back by the river as she hadn’t been there for some time. And once we got to the playing place she was soon in the water cooling down.

Jez cools down

Meanwhile I was busy throwing cones for Max. Here he is picking one out of the water.

Collecting his cones

And bringing his two cones back.

Bringing back the cones

After we had played for a while we headed back to the car. I took some photos of the comfrey that is now in flower near the playing place. There is purple comfrey…


… and white comfrey.


Back at the ford a lady had just pulled up in a car and was about to get her dogs out. She had 4 Golden Retreivers: Grandad, Mum, Son and Daughter. Here they all are waiting to start their walk.

Grandad, Mum, Son & Daughter waiting to go for their walk

Aren’t they lovely?

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I went to Pamphill in the afternoon to see the bluebells.

"The Bluebell"

Mixed weather at Badbury Rings

Tuesday 5th January 2016

As there was some promise of sunshine this morning I took Max out to Badbury Rings for our walk. The weather wasn’t bad when we got there and we soon made the acquaintance of Golden Retriever, Monty.

We met Monty

As usual we headed up the hill to the north of the rings that leads to the old oak wood.

Blue skies and a muddy path

As you can see we had blue skies. There was some cloud around though, as this shot, looking west towards Hemsworth, shows.

Looking towards Hemsworth

We continued on up the muddy track where we met a walker coming the other way.

We met a walker

After that we skirted round the side of the old oak wood. You can’t walk through it as the trees that fall are left to rot, although I noticed today that the National Trust are clearing it out a bit. Anyway, the path round the wood was somewhat wet and muddy, to say the least.

It was impossible to avoid the mud

We walked on round and then turned south towards the Rings again, walking through King Down Farm and on up the hill. At the top of the hill we turned east into High Wood, which was also very wet in places. I also don’t understand why the National Trust have cleared all of the bracken and brambles in the centre of the wood, as in the summer it is usually home to loads of butterflies. Anyway, as we walked round I took this photo of fungi growing on an old tree stump.


And here’s another one, a bit further on, of fungi and moss.

Fungi and moss

At about this time we had a very short shower of rain, which enabled me to take this photo of raindrops on a honeysuckle shoot.

Raindrops on a honeysuckle shoot

We came out of the woods after struggling through the mud, and then turned back towards Badbury Rings. Along the edge of the woods there were lots of hazel catkins.

Hazel Catkins

When we got back to the Rings I was wondering which route to take, and then realised that the skies were black to the south but the sun was starting to shine through, so that decided me. It enabled me to take a whole series of photos of the sun breaking through the clouds. When you see a scene like this you can understand how ancient peoples thought that there god(s) were talking to them from on high.

Circle of light

And here is a panorama of the same scene.

Hole in the sky

How lucky was I?

As we came home via Wimborne I stopped off by the River Stour, which is currently in flood.

The Stour is in flood

And finally for today, in the early afternoon the postman knocked on our door to say a blackbird had flown into our front window and had knocked itself out. It quickly recovered but refused to move.

A blackbird recovers from an encounter with a window

I popped a washing basket over it to protect it from the neighbours’ cats, and then left it to recover. After about half an hour I removed the basket but kept an eye on it, and I’m pleased to say it eventually flew away.

A year ago today

Max and I met the Exmoor ponies on Upton Heath.


When Max met Max

Monday 9th November 2015

Monday morning saw Max and I walking over to Upton Heath as usual. This morning Jez decided to stay in bed rather than join us. You may recall the reflected trees photo from Saturday. Well this is the pond that they were reflected in.

There's a new pond on the heath

That line of trees to the right in the photo is where the old railway line was.

When we got to the pond today it was already occupied – by Max.


That’s Max the Golden Retriever. My Max soon joined him. Here are the two Max’s.

Max and Max in the pond

After playing for a while, and chatting with Max’s owner, we left the pond and walked through the old pits, where I was surprised to see this Fly Agaric.

There are still Fly Agaric about

I thought it was getting a little late for them. It must be the mild weather.

Further on round on the lower heath you could tell we had had a lot of rain as one of Max’s favourite puddles had re-appeared.

Big puddle time

After that, of course, he had to play in the pool beside the boardwalk.

Max by the boardwalk

Along the Roman Road, in Longmeadow Lane woods, most of the leaves are now off the trees.

Longmeadow Lane Woods

And I’ll leave you today with a shot across Creekmoor Ponds, taken as we walked home.

Creekmoor Ponds

Those trees still seem to have most of their leaves on them.

A year ago today

We had a Sunday afternoon walk on Canford Heath.

Canford Heath at sunset

Warm and sunny at Morden Bog

Tuesday 15th April 2014

It has been another nice day today. Jez decided to stay lazing in the sun at home, so I took the opportunity to give Max a decent walk. The poor boy must be getting very frustrated with all of the short, slow walks. We went out to Morden Bog and Wareham Forest. This was the view across Morden Bog and Decoy Pond this morning.

View over Morden Bog

There are still some puddles around in places, as Max found…

Max at Morden Bog

… but it has dried out a lot since we were here last. Which might be a bit of a problem for this toad that we came across on the bridal path onto the Bog.

Toad on the path

Fortunately Max, my fearless frog hunter, didn’t see him.

When we got down to the deep pool Max likes to play in he was soon swimming out to retrieve his cone.

Max returns with his cone

But poor Gemma, the lovely Golden Retriever we met, won’t swim and so was getting very frustrated when her sticks were just out of her reach.

So near and yet so far

We walked on as far as Decoy Cottage with Gemma and her owners and then we went our separate ways. Max and I walked up the hill past the apiary and headed out into Wareham Forest. I took the longer route today, which kept Max happy as there was lots of water along the way.

Look Mum. More water!

After that path we tried a slightly different route to get to Henry’s pond: it was a bit longer but the path was rather nice…

A new path for us

… and there was even more water for Max to play in.


Just to the west of Henry’s Pond we came across this very strange tree. At first I was a bit annoyed I couldn’t get a decent shot without the power lines in, but then I decided they added something to the photo.

Hanging by a thread

I really don’t know how that tree ended up like that. I’m assuming it was someone’s idea of a joke. To me that branch looks a bit like a big feather duster hanging down.

So we went to Henry’s Pond (no photos today) and then headed back towards the car. Today, though, I let Max head off to Sherford Lake for a swim.

Sherford Lake

That made him a very happy boy.

Max at Sherford Lake

Eventually we got back to the car after two and a half hours and just over a four and half mile walk. It had been a beautiful morning for it though.

A year ago today

We went to Upton Country Park, where we met this young family.

Duck family

We meet old and new friends on Canford Heath

Wednesday 18th September 2013

The day started out grey and a little bit damp, so I was surprised when Jez came for a walk this morning, particularly as Rachael had said she might be a bit sore after her physio yesterday. We had some light drizzle when we started our walk, and consequently I found a new use for a poop bag – as an emergency rain cover for my camera. They also come in useful for collecting blackberries in, collecting cones in, kneeling on to take photos when the ground is wet, and as a small bag for kitchen waste when I’m cooking. Anyway, this is a photo from fairly early on in our walk, while it was still drizzling.

Jez and Max on Canford Heath

It was still overcast when I spotted this ornamental grass that has self-seeded near Steeple Close. I was rather taken with the jazzy pattern of the seed head.

Ornamental Grass on Canford Heath

A minute later though and the sun was out – and we met up with some of our friends.

A general meet up on Canford Heath

That’s Barney, the Working Cocker Spaniel, in the front; Toby behind him, Max and then Mojo, the Golden Retriever. You can tell there has been a sudden change in the weather by the juxtaposition of the clothing and the blue skies. For some reason Jez, who is normally a very social little dog, took herself off and sat waiting for Max and I by the gate.

Jez waits by the gare

A bit further on and we met one of the rangers for the Urban Heath Partnership whom we chat to from time to time. She has a new dog, a rescue, called Maggie.

Meet Maggie

Maggie is a lovely dog, although it seems she has been mis-treated in the past. She has found a good home now thakfully. She also made friends with me very quickly once she worked out I had treats in my pocket though. The jury is still out as to what breeds might be in the mix there.

Finally, one last photo for today: the view over Poole from the Heath.

View towards Poole

As you can see, it was clouding over again.

In which we meet Bella and Molly

Friday 2nd August 2013

We were supposed to get heavy showers today, and I had expected to walk the dogs in the rain. But in the end it was just warm and cloudy in the morning, with lots more sun in the afternoon. The lack of rain was welcome: yesterday I had tidied all of my back flower beds up, and wanted to tidy up the front today.

For our walk we went to Canford Heath. Jez deigned to join us, but that meant that it was a bit of a slow affair with lots of stops. This shot looking towards Poole gives you an idea of the weather.

A bit of a grey start to the day

As I said, after the initial part of our walk Jez had to keep stopping for a sit down / lie down. When she spotted her friends Tanny and Charlie, the Irish Setters, she was a lot livelier though. That was pretty much the end of her burst of energy, and just after we left them she had to have a lie down again.

Jez has a rest

While Jez lies down, Max always manages to find a bit of stick which he then wants you to throw for him.

Max hopes I'm going to throw a stick for him

We managed to eventually move from this spot when Jez spotted more friends coming down the Longfleet Drive. This was Molly and Bella, two lovely Golden Retrievers.

Meeting Friends

I stopped chatting to their Mum for ages, so not only did Jez get to have a rest but so did Molly and Bella.

Molly and Bella

One last photo for you today. As we head back to the car Jez often likes to sit on the side of a hill overlooking the main path. She always looks such a poser. Today I managed to get a decent photo of her.

Jez on Canford Heath

Happily the afternoon stayed dry so I was able to get my gardening done. It looks a lot tidier out the front now.