A busy week

Sunday 18th December – Saturday 24th December 2016

I had a busy week this week: getting ready for Christmas, choosing new flooring, picking up new spectacles, taking the dogs for a hydro session, walking the dogs (of course!), going out to Kingston Lacy to photograph their Christmas lights, and finally cooking Christmas dinner for Dad.

But first on Sunday 18th we were out on the top of Upton Heath as usual.

View over Upton Heath

I actually got Jez to look into the camera, rather than turn and walk away.


And although it’s technically rubbish, I got a great shot of Jez and Max together.

Jez and Max - cuaght in the flash

Moving on to Monday 19th and it was a bit of a grey day on Upton Heath.

View across the lower heath

I did get a nice photo of Max under the pine trees though.


In fact, most of the week was grey and damp. But sun was forecast on Thursday so I chose this day to go out to Kinston Lacy to see their Christmas lights – and even then it managed to rain on me! I loved the wooden reindeer they had all around the park – here in a small group.

Reindeer Family

The path was bordered with lights and trees were lit up.

The Christmas Light trail

The house and the Philae Obelisk looked lovely.

Philae Obelisk & Kingston Lacy House

Philae Obelisk & Kingston Lacy House Kingston Lacy house

This is from the back of the house looking towards the Victorian Fernery.

Christmas lights in the trees

And looking back the other way.

Chirstmas lights at Kingston Lacy

The side of the house was lit up too.

Kingston Lacy house

This was in the Victorian fernery.

In the Victorian Fernery

And finally, the old Laundry (where Father Christmas was visiting) and the house.

The Laundry and Kinston Lacy House at Christmas

There are more photos over on my Flickr stream if you care to look.

On Friday 23rd Dad came for Christmas lunch. Pat was supposed to come too, but she was too poorly, which was a shame. Here’s Dad before lunch.


Time for crackers.

Happy Christmas from the Grinch

And for lunch.

Christmas cracker time

We had a capon (cockerel) at Dad’s request, with all the usual trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding.

And so onto Christmas Eve, when we went over to Upton Heath for our walk.

The sun sets over the heath

So it’s a belated Merry Christmas from Max…

Max in the pond

…and from Jez.



A year ago

On 20th December Dad and Pat came for their Christmas lunch. Here Max decides that Dad’s ears need a good clean. Max wants a kiss


Corfe Castle at Night

Friday 11th December 2015

Although I had taken Max out for a walk this morning, I went with Chris and the dogs later in the afternoon as well. The reason was that I had suggested we visit Corfe Castle, which I had seen was staying open late on Friday and Saturday nights leading up to Christmas and that it was being lit up for the occasion.

Just a little about Corfe Castle. It was originally a Saxon motte and bailey castle, and is the place where King Edward the Martyr was staying when he was murdered. The current, stone castle was built in the early 12th century for Henry I (son of William the Conqueror).

It was finally destroyed following an Act of Parliament during the English Civil War in the 17th Century, during which time it had withstood 2 sieges.

So, back to our walk. To give the dogs some exercise we walked up the hill at the back of the castle as the afternoon drew to a close. This was the view looking down on the castle and the village (also called Corfe Castle).

Corfe Castle and village at dusk

As we headed round the path from the hill to the castle entrance I took this photo of the keep.

The keep illuminated

The dogs were really excited to be somewhere new at night and so there was a lot of exploring to be done, which wasn’t easy in the dark. And by the time we entered the castle it was getting pretty dark, as you can see.


This photo was taken from the keep looking down across the village.

Corfe Castle village

We walked around the Keep, where a very nice National Trust volunteer who we were talking to threw a stick for Max.

I took this shot, which I’ve called Shadows from the Past (much to Chris’ annoyance as he says they’re not from the past!). as we walked back down to the entrance.

Shadows from the past

And this, another of my favourite shots, was taken a little bit further down.

Corfe Castle illuminated

This is the entrance to the castle with the village in the background.

The castle entrance from the village

And lastly, the entrance with the castle lit up in the background.

Entering the castle

It was only about 5.30pm by the time we left, but it was very dark. And we’d been out for about 2 hours: poor Jez could hardly put one foot in front of the other as we walked back to the carpark. But it had been a very enjoyable night and I was pleased with the photos.

A year ago yesterday

Max and I were down at Lake Pier, Hamworthy.

Poole Harbour

Blue Moon, You saw me standing alone

Friday 31st July 2015

So this evening I took the camera and tripod up to the top of Upton Heath, by the Viewpoint, just as it the sun was setting behind the hill.

The sun sets behind Upton Heath

I passed two cyclists as I walked onto the heath, and later on watched two people walk down the hill, but otherwise I was alone up there: apart from the little rabbits hopping about and the Nightjars churring in the background.

The photos didn’t quite turn out as I’d planned as I’m not used to night photography. But I have one or two images to share.

There were lots of whispy clouds around the moon tonight making it quite atmospheric.

Blue Moon in a haze

This was taken with the telephoto lens, looking across the Roman Road towards Poole.

Blue Moon over Poole and Upton Heath (3)

And this was the view across the heath, again looking out over Poole.

Blue Moon over Poole and Upton Heath

I was out there for about 45 minutes and it was nearly 10pm when I got home. As I came into the drive one of the young fox cubs was in the garden. It didn’t run away but sat by the hedge and watched me go inside. A nice end to the evening.

A year ago today

Max and I went to Upton Country Park where I took this photo of a Moorhen and her chick.

Poor little baldie chick

A night-time walk on Upton Heath

Friday 28th June 2013

Today was another overcast but warm day. In the morning I took both Jez and Max to Canford Heath for their walk. It took us ages because as usual nowadays Jez was lagging behind.

Jez brining up the rear as usual nowadays

She’s always better after she’s found a pond to cool off in though.

Jez & Max in the pond

And Max will be pleased to know that there’s a new supply of cones on their way.

Fir cones are forming

In the evening I joined Dorset Wildlife Trust for a Nightjar walk on Upton Heath. We started out just after 9pm from Beacon Road in Broadstone. It was too early for the nightjars (I think we heard the first one churring at around 9.50pm) but we had a wander, which gave me the opportunity to try out my new camera in low light. I’m really pleased with the results. Below are some of my photos, which were all hand-held. In the earlier ones I simply took a photo as normal but at a higher ISO, and for the later ones I pushed the ISO even further but used the Night-time hand-held mode, which takes 4 photos in quick succession and then analyses them for camera shake before producing one photo. Pretty niffty!


Upton Heath at Night


Upton Heath at Night


Upton Heath at Night


Upton Heath at Night


Upton Heath at Night

Looking out over Poole at 10.09pm

Upton Heath at Night

Oh, and yes, we did see some nightjars: two right overhead. I don’t think we had as good a views as I had whilst doing the glowworm counts last year though.


Sandbanks, originally uploaded by Julia Livesey.

In the evening Linda wanted to go and see the fireworks at Sandbanks. These take place every Thursday night during July and August.. I took the camera and the tripod, and tried our some night photography. This shot was taken on the beach looking towards Bournemouth as we waited for the fireworks to start.
19 August 2010

Thursday Night Firework Display, Poole

Linda enjoyed the fireworks – they are quite spectacular given that they are on every week. This is the first time I’ve tried taking them with a tripod on a time exposure. The resulting photos were certainly better than those I’ve taken hand-held on a boat in the past!
20 August 2010