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!

Getting out and about

Sunday 2nd July to Saturday 8th July 2017

When Jez and Max were younger and able to walk longer distances we used to take them for nice long walks. Over time our walks have got shorter, and in the past year even the shortest of walks were getting too long. With Teddy, therefore, we are starting to get out on some of the slightly longer walks that we haven’t done in a while.

Our fist ‘new’ walk this week was out at Badbury Rings, the Iron Age hillfort just outside Wimborne. It was a warm, muggy day with a lot of cloud cover. This first photo is looking out across the Point to Point course.

View across the Point to Point course

Looking across the wheat field.

Wheat fields

After Saturday’s off-lead walk we are starting to let Teddy off lead a lot more. Here he is heading up the path to the north of Badbury Rings.

Teddy is allowed off-lead sometimes now

We walked around the outside of the old oak wood (there’s no access to the public) and then he had to go back on the lead to come along the track through King Down farm. As we walked by, though, a young buzzard flew out of the barn.

Young buzzard

We continued our walk back towards Badbury Rings and then turned through High Wood, before heading back to the Rings. This is a good place for butterflies, and today there were a lot of Marbled Whites out.

Marbled White Butterfly

After that we walked around the outer embankment back to the car. I tried to take some photos of the wild orchids, but I think my Powershot is playing up and none of the photos were any good.

Back at home Teddy settled on the sofa in my sitting room where he tried out his Trump comb-over.

Teddy tries out the Trump comb-over look

On Thursday it was another new walk for Teddy: to the River Stour at Cowgrove. It’s not very long but it was a hot morning and there’s lots of water there – obviously!

Teddy was off the lead all the time. We did our usual loop, walking and playing with the other dogs there, and then I bought him back to the shallow bay in the river and waded out into the river with him. Unfortunately Teddy decided to wander down the river to investigate a swan.

Teddy investigates the swan

Fortunately the swan eventually flew off. When Teddy came back to me I threw one of Max’s old conesfor him that I found in my bag.

Teddy retrieves a cone

Here he is kneeling down to try and chew it in the water.

Time to chew the cone

When he tried to grab it, he pushed it under with his nose though.

Nose in the water

And eventually it was time for a drink.

Time for a drink

And then time to investigate something he’d spotted under the water.

Now what's he seen in the water?

Finally, from the river, here’s a short clip of video I took of him.

On Friday we went to Upton Country Park first thing, and once again Teddy was off the lead. He found lots of dogs to play with, and had a really good game of chase with a young spaniel at the stream. I didn’t get any photos though.

So onto Saturday afternoon and we went over Upton Heath as usual. En route we met a few cows in the Pinesprings sanctuary. Teddy had to say hello.

Teddy meets and greets the cows

We walked up the Roman Road and then turned onto the heath, which is looking very green.

The heath is still very green

We had had some cloud cover earlier, but we came down the hill in full sun and Teddy got hot. So he decided he had to lie down in the muddy gully to cool off.

Teddy had to cool down in the muddy gully

Just look at the state of him when he came out.

Wet muddy dog

Further on down the hill he disgraced himself my running off and scavenging something (I don’t know what). So I put him on the lead, which was a good job as a few yards further on we came across a young adder in the middle of the path. I just managed to grab a quick shot of it as it slithered off into the undergrowth.

An adder slithers off

I took Teddy onto the pond where I threw kibble into the water to get him in deep enough to wash the mud off.

Washing the mud off Teddy

And one last photo of him – making ripples in the pond.

Ripples in the pond

I hope you are enjoying the new adventures of Teddy.

Another short walk today

Sunday 28th August 2016

Now they have re-opened the car park at the very top of Upton Heath in Corfe Mullen I thought we would go back there for our walk this afternoon. It’s never a long walk.

Today as we walked around a buzzard was flying around overhead making a lot of noise about something, but I couldn’t get a decent photo of him. I was able to take a photo looking west from the top of the heath where a lot of trees and undergrowth have been cleared this summer though.

View towards Lychett Matravers

I have to say this isn’t the most interesting of walks so it’s difficult to find things to photograph. The only thing of interest I spotted today was a bee on some wild buddleia.

Bee on Buddleia

Oh, and I took a photo of Jez’s very elegant way of sitting on the path.

How elegant Jezebel!

And that was pretty much it for today.

A year ago today

Max and I had a nice walk on Upton Heath.

Looking across the heath

I thought we were walking on Upton Heath

Saturday 13th August 2016

At least, we started off on Upton Heath. And as usual on a Saturday afternoon Jez made her way up the Roman Road.

Jez and Max along the Roman Road

That was as far as we got, however. She didn’t want to walk that way after all. Instead she took us back to the bridge you can see in the photo and up onto the Castleman Trailway, which runs along the course of the old railway line from the bridge, up through Broadstone.

We only walked along to the first junction, and then turned down the footpath that leads back in the direction of Creekmoor Ponds. The plan had been for us to walk and then for Chris to come and pick us up. But in the end I decided that the walk home could be our walk. So we walked onto Creekmoor Ponds.

The sun is shining on he ponds

There Jez had a good wade around in the water while Max chased his cone.

Max wants his cone thrown

And then we headed home. En route, though, I came across a nice Speckled Wood Butterfly.

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Apparently their numbers have gone up considerably in recent years, which may explain why I see quite a lot of them around the ponds.

A year ago today

Max enjoys a pigs ear on his return from the groomer.

Max, back from the groomer and clutching his pig's ear

Sunday afternoon in Wareham Forest

Sunday 7th August 2016

The trouble with warm weather in this area is that you can never get anywhere near the water as everywhere is packed with holidaymakers and locals alike. So today I thought we’d go to Wareham Forest. I was hoping to get the dogs down to the heath area where there are lots of small pools, but Jez had other ideas.

We started out as normal heading along the path that looks towards the Purbeck Hills.

A seat with a view towards the Purbeck Hills

Normally its Jez who is lagging behind, but today it was Max – well, at this point anyway.

Jez and Max head down the slope

There isn’t any water in this part of the forest – apart from the one muddy puddle that Max managed to find.

Trust Max to find a nice muddy puddle

Jez wouldn’t head down the hill towards the water, but instead chose to walk in a large circle back to the car.

Out for a walk in Wareham Forest

One thing I noticed about the forest though: there were more butterflies and dragonflies here than I’ve seen elsewhere this year. We saw lots of these Small Heath butterflies.

Small Heath butterfly

And this Common Darter obligingly landed on some bell heather at the side of the track.

Common Darter on Bell Heather

And, lastly, here are Jez and Max heading back towards the car.

Jez and Max head back to the car

It had been a nice little walk, if not quite the walk I had planned.

A year ago today

We were playing in the River Stour near Eye Bridge with my cousin Linda.

Linda with Jez and Max

Lychett Bay

Friday 5th August 2016

This morning Jez did not have a hydro-therapy appointment, so we went to Lychett Bay for our walk. I knew, based on yesterday, that it would be high tide.

Lychett Bay

Most of our time was spent walking around Turlin Moor Rec, although we did get down to the little beach by the bird hide so that Jez could cool down in the water. As you can see, she had got quite hot.

Jez needs a rest

This is the area where in the past I have found lots of Cinnebar Moth caterpillars, and today was no exception. They are getting quite big now, though.

The cinebar moth caterpillars are growing

Rather than walk on down to where the boats are we cut back across to the children’s playground. It was lovely to see some beautiful wildflowers growing along the side of the road there.

Pretty flowers

The rec itself was looking quite nice in the sun with some pretty dark clouds behind it.

Looking across Turlin Moor Rec.

We were sitting near the flowers when I took that and all of a sudden we heard a man flying a model plane further over in the field. That was it: Jez was off to investigate. She took off at what she now calls a run.

We stopped and had a chat with the man when he had landed his plane and then made our way onto the rugby pitches, where I took this photo of Max.

Max waiting for his ball

And then it was back home and some lunch for us.

A year ago today

We took my cousin, Linda, over Canford Heath for a walk.

Linda regrets coming for a walk when she sees the hill

A dull day at the Country Park then sunshine

Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd August 2016

It was a bit of a dull morning on Tuesday with a spinkling of rain, so Jez decided to stay at home. Max and I went to Upton Country Park and fortunately the showers stopped as soon as we got there. It was a bit of a dull day though, as this view across to Poole shows.

High tide in Upton Lake

Not that Max cared. He’s happy if he can get in one of the streams to play.

Max in the stream

Wednesday, on the other hand, was much nicer. We went to Dad’s in the morning and had a short walk over Nea Meadows. In the afternoon I took the camera into the back garden where the bees are now gathering on my oregano.

bee on oregano There are still very few insects around, though, which may explain why my marrows aren’t setting.

A year ago today

On 2nd August Jez was meeting and greeting in the River Stour.

Jez goes to meet the family out in their canoe