And a cold start to 2017

Sunday 1st January – Saturday 7th January 2017

The cold spell has been continuing into the new year, although we had some rather welcome sunshine on Monday 2nd January. To celebrate Max and I went for a walk on Upton Heath as usual on a Monday.

New Year - Same old pond

Near the pond we met the 3 Weimeraners, including Hazel who had one of her usual ‘small’ sticks. Here she is having a good old chew at it.

Hazel's found herself a stick

We walked on round the lower heath and when we got to the Roman Road Max got in the stream as usual. The light on his was lovely.

Max in the stream

And lastly for today, here is a shot of the Roman Road where the stream crosses it.

The Roman Road in winter

On Tuesday it was a cold and frosty start, so I chose to take Max out to Kingston Lacy. When we got there Max was a bit worried by the warning sign at the entrance.

The sign has got Max a bit worried

But he needn’t have worried as the paths weren’t slippery at all. The grounds were looking lovely in the frost and sunlight though.

A clear, frost morning

This photo was taken along the Cedar Avenue.

Sun throught the cedars

As was this one of a frosted bench.

Frosted seat

These frosty leaves also caught my eye.

Frosty leaves

It was only towards the end of our walk that we began to see many other people. This couple passed us as we walked through the gardens, though.

Waling through the gardens

We walked on round to the Japanese garden, which looked nice in the frost and sun.

The Japanese Garden

And I rather liked the light and shade around this little ornament.

Stone ornament

After that we continued on through the woodland walk and finally back to the car.

Wednesday I went to see my Dad as usual and on Thursday we once again had a heavy frost so I decided to take Max down to Lychett Bay. The tide was out and the shoreline was rather icy.

An icy Lychett Bay at low tide

Max was not happy as he couldn’t get anywhere near the water.

Max is not happy that the tide is out

We walked on round to the small beach at Turlin Moor, where the boats looked lovely in the still water.

Reflections on a cold morning

Round here the seaweed on the beach was frozen.

Frozen seaweed

As was the fishing gear left in the boats.

Fishing nets and float Frosted float

There was also frost over this discarded bag left on the beach.


Max finally managed to get down to the water round here, but he also got very muddy paws in the process.

Mr Muddy Paws!

After that we headed back to the car but before we left we went to see the new viewing platform that has been built overlooking the bay.

The new viewing platform

And this is the view it gives.

Lychett Bay from the viewing platform

And one last photo from our walk: a frozen seed head.

Frosty seedhead

You may be wondering where Jez was while Max and I were doing all this walking. Well, she was busy snoozing in the sun at home.

Jez snoozing in the sun

And who can blame her?

A year ago

From the same week a year ago I’ve chosen this photo, taken out at Badbury Rings, which is also part of the National Trust Kinston Lacy estate.

Circle of light


A cold end to the year

Sunday 25th December – Saturday 31st December 2016

Christmas Day was a wet, miserable day, so Chris and I didn’t do our ‘traditional family’ walk with the dogs until Boxing Day (the 26th) when we took the dogs out to Kingston Lacy after lunch. It was pretty cold, so I made sure Jez had her nice warm jumper on. Here’s Chris with the dogs

A Boxing Day Walk

The sun going down behind the trees.

A chilly afternoon

And, yes, it’s treat time again.

Time for a treat

The next morning was cold and frosty, and while Jez stayed snuggled in bed, Max and I went over Upton Heath.

Entrance to a frozen heath

We almost met the cows, but they passed us by.

A procession of cows

I like this photo of one of the Exmoor Ponies with the mist lying low across the heath.

Exmoor Pony

The grass around the boardwalk was frosted…

Frozen Grass

… and the water icy (not that that bothered Max).

Max in the icy water

So a pleasant but cold walk.

The next day was cold and frosty again and this time Max and I went to Upton Country Park.

I liked these leaves, covered in frost but with the sun just touching them.

Frosted leaves in the sun

The picnic tables were pretty frosty too.

Frosty picnic tables

The sun was low along the stream.

By the stream

But Holes Bay was looking lovely in the sun.

View across Upton Lake to Poole

And so on to Friday 30th December, and Max and I went over to Canford Heath where the sun was low through the trees.

Light and shade on Canford Heath

It was quite misty too.

A foggy morning

Which made for a few nice shots.

Max waits for me Overlooking Canford Heath estate

But by the time we got up onto the main heath the sun was out, although the wind was bitter.

Me and Max in the sunshine Heading towards the stream

There was lots of ice on the water though.

The ice doesn't bother Max

And finally to the last day of the walk and and a chilly, grey walk on Upton Heath with both Jez and Max.

A grey end to the year

So here’s Max signing out with his last game of cone in 2016.

Last game of cone in 2016

And Jez waiting patiently for 2017 to arrive.

Jez waits

Happy New Year to you all.

A year ago

Max and I saw 2015 out down on the beach at Lake Pier, Hamworthy.


Our weekend walks on Upton Heath

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October 2016

Yes. The week-end means we go walking on Upton Heath nowadays. On Saturday I get Chris to drop me off as we never know what route Jez will take and where we will end up. Today she decided on the lower heath.

Upton Heath

Max still has his stitches in so we have to avoid water and fortunately today Jez refused to walk in the direction of the pond. And once we got onto the lower heath she decided to take the path through the middle.

Walking across the lower heath

Max might not have got to the pond but he did find a puddle, which caused a bit of a doggy traffic jam.

Traffic jam in the puddle

After that we made our way to the Roman Road and then off the Heath opposite Woodpecker Road where Chris came and picked us up.

On Sunday we tacked the other end of the heath and I took the dogs up to Corge Mullen. Here, under the pine trees, I found a crown of Sulphur Tuft fungi.

Crown of Sulphur Tufts

I thought they were rather lovely.

Sulphur Tufts

Elsewhere the blackberry leaves are beautiful colour in places.

Blackberry leaves

And even the seed heads of dying perennials look rather nice.

Seed heads

We walked around the reservoir (I don’t think I’ve said but it’s fenced off with high banks and hedges so you can’t actually see it) and then went back to the car where Jez lay on the grass and waited to see what dogs came along. While she did that I occupied myself by playing with the fisheye effect on the camera. Which made Max look rather grumpy.

Max - fisheye effect

And here’s another one of him.

Max - fisheye effect

I don’t know what possessed me to take a photo up his nose!

A year ago today

We were also walking on Upton Heath. Here’s Max by the stream along the Roman Road.

Along the Roman Road

The leaves are starting to turn

Tuesday 18th October 2016

I wasn’t sure we’d get a walk in this morning as I had to take Max for another check-up. I’m pleased to say he’s fine and will go back next Monday to have his stitches out.

I was home in time, though, to take both dogs to Broadstone Rec. Once again I kept the walk quite short for Max. I was expecting the leaves to have started turning more, but most are still green. There are hints of autumn in the air though, as you can see from this photo of the angel.

The angel in autumn

I found this leaf near the children’s playground.


As you can see, the trees there have a more autumnal feel to them.

Autumn at Broadstone Rec

And that’s it for today. As I said, just a short walk.

A year ago today

It was a nice sunny afternoon for a walk up the Roman Road to Pine Springs.

A sunny afternoon at Pinesprings


Monday 26th to Thursday 29th September 2016

I’m really sorry about the absence of posts. Hopefully this one will start to explain at least one of the reasons why I have been a little distracted of late. Plus I don’t seem to be taking that many photos, partly due to the overcast weather and very flat light on a lot of days recently. In fact, a lot of the time I’ve been going out without a camera, so only have iPhone photos if I spot something of interest.

Monday was a good example. Max and I went over Upton Heath for our walk. It was a bit of a dull day and I didn’t take the camera. I didn’t really see anything of interest to photograph either, so all I have is a shot of Max standing in the pond.

Max waits in the pond

And then onto that hole. I can’t remember if I mentioned that last week I decided that the ‘stain’ on our hall carpet was actually a growing damp patch. I pulled back the carpet to find the floorboards were soaked though, indicating we had a water leak under the floor. On Tuesday our plumber came. He started taking up the floor in the hall, but it soon became apparent that the leak was actually under the kitchen floor, so that had to come up too.

The mess in our kitchen

As you may be able to see, the floor is soaked though. There is no obvious leak so a pipe must just be weeping. But it’s been doing it for a long time so before anything else can happen we have to wait for the floor to dry out. This was the situation on the Thursday.

Holes in our floor

Although normally we have a board down across it so that we can walk in and out of the kitchen.

Our temporary flooring

As I write this we are still waiting for it to completely dry out.

So moving onto our Thursday walk we went to Broadstone Rec. I was hoping the leaves might show signs of turning, but on the whole they are still green. I did find this maple leaf on the ground though.

Maple leaf

And this little cluster of oak leaves.

Oak leaves

And I was rather touched by this small personal remembrance left at the War Memorial.

In memoriam - left at the war memorial

I’m not sure if you can read the note, but its in remembrance of the person’s uncle who was killed on 27th September 1916 at aged 25.

A year ago today

On 29th September Max and I were out walking on Canford Heath.

Heading across the heath

On a cold and frosty morn

Monday 29th December 2014

It was our first real frost of the winter, and a bit of a hoar frost too. But the sun was out and while Jez stayed snuggled in bed I took Max over to Upton Heath. Here he is by Creekmoor Ponds.

Max on a cold and frosty morning

In weather like this the Beechbank Road entrance to the heath always looks very nice.

The entrance to the Heath

And although it was frosty by the entrance, there was not frost under the pines. There were cows, though.

In amongst the pines

Max was very good around them today, being more interested in his cone. This one took a keen interest in him though.

Portrait of a cow

It ambled over and, while his back was turned, bent it’s head down to sniff him. Max got the fright of his life!

Poor Max: it wasn’t his day. When we got to the pond it was frozen and he couldn’t get in there. Not only that but I threw a cone right on the edge of the ice for him and he jumped forward, all four paws went from underneath him, and he went straight over onto his side. Fortunately it didn’t seem to hurt him.

Max stands in front of the frozen pond

Walking back around to the main path we met a lady, Clare, and her son, together with their older Springer and an 11 week old Springer pup called Luna. Here’s Lunda saying ‘Hello’ to Max.

Luna greets Max

She was so sweet, and not in the least bit scared of the cows which were, by now, spread out along the old railway line.

Max and I left Luna and continued on round. In the silver birch copse I found some pretty frozen leaves.

Frozen leaves

The sun at this time of the year is low, and it made for a nice scene as we approached the boardwalk. I’ve given the photo a sort of dreamy quality by lowering the clarity on it, and am very pleased with the result.


Max almost managed to get in the water by the boardwalk – he broke the ice a bit, but not enough for him to be able to play so we walked on. We came home via Creekmoor Ponds and he didn’t even get to play in the water there as someone was feeding the swans where he wanted to go in and they didn’t take too kindly to his presence (the swans that is, not the people feeding them). Poor Max!

A year ago today

Max, Jez and I went for an afternoon walk on Canford Heath.


It’s back to Upton Country Park today

Wednesday 4th December 2013

It was just Max and I again today, so we had a gentle stroll around Upton Country Park. In the Woodland Walk the leaves are still hanging onto the trees, creating a wonderful golden effect.

The leaves are still hanging on

And where they are juxtaposed against the evergreens the effect can be quite striking.

Trees in the Woodland Walk

It was a very still day, so the pond was like a giant looking glass reflecting the sky and the trees.


Along the path around the back of the park the beech leaves are a wonderful burnished gold (not really done justice by this photo).

Bronzed beach leaves

And further round the heads of the reeds have gone all fluffy.


But the best shot is of Max in a bed of bright yellow field maple leaves.


From the looks of that carpet of leaves it won’t be long now before we are just left with bare branches on the trees.