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

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Ospreys!

Thursday 24th August 2017

On Thursday morning I took Teddy to Upton Country Park for his walk, but I did not take a camera as I planned to go out to RSPB Arne in the afternoon.

The reason for me going to Arne is that I am trying to see one of the Ospreys there. For those of you who don’t know an Osprey is a large, fish-eating bird of prey. In the UK they are on the Amber list of endangered birds, with only around 200-250 breeding pairs, mainly in Scotland. We normally only get Ospreys passing through on migration, but this year there is an attempt to persuade 5 young Ospreys that Poole Harbour is their home. The 5 have been bought from nests in Scotland and have been provided with a home at Arne. The idea is that they will imprint on the area and will return here to breed after their first migration.

It was a pretty overcast afternoon. Rather that head to the top of Combe Heath as I did last time I followed the Raptor Trail to the hide just off Middlebere Lake.

View from the hide on the Raptor Trail

I was chatting to a man down there who’d been there a while and hadn’t seen anything. But then another group of people came along and spotted a young osprey in a dead tree some distance away. It was shortly joined by another. I’m sorry this is not a good photo. It’s a very heavy crop, even with the 300mm lens on the camera, the light was poor and I didn’t have a tripod. But I did want to prove I’d seen them.

Ospreys! (Yes, I know - they were a little bit far away, but I saw Ospreys!)

And this is an even heavier crop of the same photo.

You can almost see that they were Ospreys

I was so happy, especially as the man I was talking thought let me look through his scope at them. After hanging around there for some time, feeling pleased that I’d bought some new binoculars that meant I got a half decent view of the birds, I headed back along the trail and out onto Combe Heath. Across Middlebere Lake a herd of Sika deer were grazing.

Sika Deer in the landscape

Here is a view over Middlebere Lake.

View over Middlebere Lake

As you can see it was pretty overcast. I got another view of the Osprey’s from here, who had left their tree and moved a short distance. Again, another kind man let me look through his scope. And one last photo for today – a panorama of Middlebere Lake.

Panorma over Middlebere Lake

The ospreys were off to the far left of this photo.

I came home feeling very happy, and had to do a little Osprey Happy Dance.

Two Dog Shows in a Week

Sunday 6th August to Saturday 12th August 2017

Sunday was the day of the Margaret Green Animal Rescue Companion Dog Show at their lovely centre at Church Knowle in the Purbeck Hills. I wanted to go as Margaret Green was the rescue we got Teddy from. It was a sunny, although breezy day. and after we sitting in a traffic jam to get to Wareham for 25 minutes (yes it’s the time of year when I curse holidaymakers) we finally arrived at Church Knowle just before noon. Being in the Purbeck Hills the setting is stunning.

Looking across the showground Show Ring #1Margaret Green Animal Rescue The wind was a bit chilly at first – as you can see, Chris felt the need to put his hood up.

Chris and Teddy

Teddy, who can be nervous of people, particularly if they are carrying big wooden walking sticks, seemed quite happy to meet and greet.

Saying Hello to Teddy

He missed out on the treats that were being handed out though.

Anyone for a treat?

I entered him in one of the classes, Margaret Green Rescue best male, but he only came 6th out of not very many.

Me and Teddy in the show ring Me and Teddy in the show ringMe and Teddy It was nice to see a staffy win it, though.

The winner of the Best Margaret Green Rescue (Male)

And while I was in the ring Chris busied himself taking photos of a couple of other dogs, like this French Bulldog…

French Bulldog

…and this lovely little staffy girl that I wanted to take home with me.

I loved this little staffy girl

After that we bought some lunch and sat an ate it in amongst the crowds.

Lunchtime

We even had our photo taken by a photographer from the local paper. It’s a lovely photo but although I’ve tried to buy it the link doesn’t work, which is a shame.

And to finish for Sunday a couple of photos of Teddy taken by Chris. First snoozing…

Snoozing

… and then looking slightly more alert.

Teddy

I didn’t take any more photos until Thursday as the weather wasn’t good. But on Thursday the sun was back and I took Teddy over to the far side of Canford Heath. This was the view looking back over Poole as we climbed the hill.

Looking across Canford Heath to Poole

Here’s Teddy on the path across the heath.

Teddy looks across the heather

And looking cute and teddy bear-like.

Teddy

In the afternoon to go out to RSPB Arne and have a wander over Combe Heath; something that is possible now we have a second car again. I was ever hopeful of spotting an Osprey, but sadly it was not to be. Mind you, it might help if I had some decent binoculars. Ah well. It was really hot and I had problems stopping my neck from catching the sun. This was the view from the top of the heath.

Panorama over Combe Heath

The heath is currently grazed by English longhorn cattle.

English Longhorns

And for one little chap it was still lunchtime.

Lunchtime for this little one

Further round the path a group of artists were making the most of the stunning views.

Painting the landscape

But they were the only really half-decent photos from my trip. There is no doubt about it – I seem to have lost my photography motivation. I just can’t seem to get inspired to take that many photos, which suggests I’m no longer seeing the possibilities.

This conclusion was reinforced on Saturday when I walked Teddy over to our second dog show of the week: the Dorset Dogs Festival at Upton Country Park. It was almost as though I had to force myself to take photos of some of the dogs. There were a few cute ones though. Like this friendly chap.

Friendly dog

And this lovely wire-haired Vizsla pup.

Wire-haired Vizsla pup

Who, after playing with Teddy, needed a scratch.

Time for a scratach

At the other end of the age scale was this 15 year old, frost faced staffy.

Frosty chops staffy (15 years)

Towards the end of our time there we bumped into a friend of Teddy’s, Tanner, whom he sometimes meets when Chris takes him for an evening run at the Country Park. Tanner is also a Saluki cross, but he and Teddy look quite different.

Teddy and his friend, Tanner

Tanner was there with his friend Moose.

Tanner and Moose

And here is Teddy and Moose.

Teddy and Moose

All 3 dogs got on really well together and after chatting for a while we took them over to the enclosed training area so they could have a good run. After which they were all worn out. And so was I as by then we had been out 3 hours, so I phoned Chris to come and pick up up.

I’ll leave you with one last photo for today: of Teddy at the Dorset Dogs Festival.

Teddy

Sun on Upton Heath

Sunday 4th December 2016

Yes, I know I’ve only put one date and I said I’d be posting weekly, but that is because this is the only day I have to post anything for this week.

So, being a Sunday we went up to Corfe Mullen and out onto Upton Heath. It was a lovely sunny afternoon.

The winter sun shines over Upton heath

Max was a happy boy.

Max in the afternoon sunshine

And was very interested when he thought he heard the word ‘Treat’

Did someone mention a treat?

And that’s it for this week.

A year ago

Max in the sunshine and shadows in Longmeadow Lane woods.

Max in the long shadows

Oh what a beautiful morning

Tuesday 30th August 2016

It was a lovely morning this morning, and as the tides were about right I took the dogs down to Lychett Bay for their walk. I wondered whether to park in the car park by the rugby ground for a change, but decided against it, which, as it turned out, was a good thing. So we parked near the viewpoint as usual and cut across the edge of the rugby pitches to Turlin Moor Rec. This was taken just as we were leaving the rugby pitch…

Heading through to Lychett Bay

…and this was taken just after we’d walked through the gap in the trees.

Turlin Moor Rec

Lychett Bay, itself, looked pretty stunning.

Lychett Bay on a still morning

We walked along by the reed beds to the little culvert where Max likes to get in the water (the banks are too steep for Jez now), but just before he headed in there I took this photo of him to show how bad his back legs are at times now.

Poor Max - his back legs aren't good at all

Poor Jez was getting a bit hot by this stage and we had to walk all the way down to the bird hide before we could get to the little beach where she can get into the water.

At the water's edge

Here’s Jez making ripples in the still waters in the Bay.

Jez makes ripples

And here she is heading back to me.

Jez heads to shore

Of course, Max just wanted me to throw a cone for him.

Max waits to play

And just to make you envious, here is my view from the little patch of sand I’ve called a beach (it’s only about 3 foot wide!).

Panorama across Lychett Bay

After that we walked on around Turlin Moor Rec and then went back to the rugby patches, where Max had a good roll.

Time for a roll

And then the dogs disgraced themselves. I was walking back to where we had parked by Jez must have heard noises and headed for the car park by the rugby club (where I’d thought about parking). Max, of course, followed. I soon found out why – there was a travellers’ temporary camp there, as usual strewn with rubbish and who knows what. Do you think I could get the dogs back. Eventually I got Jez on the lead, but Max was a nightmare. Once I’d got them back they got a good talking to and I kept them on the lead most of the way back to the car.

A year ago today

I messed up again with my last post and posted a photo from a year ago today up at the top of Upton Heath. Anyway, here’s Max in the same pond on the same day.

Max wants to play cone in a new pond

Linda & I go on a Poole Harbour boat trip

Friday 22nd July 2016

Friday morning was pretty much like every Friday morning: grocery shopping followed by Jez’s hydroptherapy. The only difference was that this week Linda came with me. In the afternoon, however, while Chris took the dogs out, Linda and I went down to Poole Quay in order to take a boat trip around Poole Harbour. This sailing ship was moored up against the quay when we got there.

Queen Galadriel

As you can see, it was a beautiful, hot day. At first we thought we were going to be unlucky as we had just missed one boat, but then we found that one of the Brownsea Island boats goes out to the island and then on round the harbour. This was ideal as it also gave us the option of getting off at Brownsea Island and having a short walk around.

Linda bought our tickets and the boat trip was soon underway. I took this photo of Poole Quay boat haven as we passed.

Poole Quay Boat Haven

And here’s one of the Brownsea Island ferries returning to the quay.

Brownsea Island Ferry

We were sat on the top deck of the boat in the sun and the breeze, so it was a lovely trip.

Linda

As it was such a lovely day there were lots of boats out in the harbour, both sail…

Sail boat

…and power.

Power boat

At Brownsea Island, where Baden Powell held the very first Scout camp, we made our way to the viewpoints. Here you can see the chain ferry that goes between Sandbanks and the Studland Peninsula.

Sandbanks to Studland Chain Ferry

And here is a panorama of the Studland Peninsula.

Studland Peninsula and Poole Harbour

We didn’t have time to walk too far but in the end walked around for over and hour before we made our way back to the National Trust shop and bought an ice¬†cream before catching the last boat (at 5pm). As we left we passed the old castle entrance. The castle, which is now a private hotel, was built by Henry VIII as a defensive fort in the 1540s.

Castle Entrance

The trip around the harbour was lovely and there was an interesting commentary. This was Newton Bay.

Newton Bay

The problem was the light and direction of the sun wasn’t great for photography, so I scrapped most of the photos I took. Here we are coming back towards Poole Docks and the Quay.

Poole docks and quay

And here is Poole Quay.

Poole Quay

I also have a very nice photo of Linda.

Linda

We eventually got home around 6.30pm. Linda had thought I’d overdone it when I bought a 4 hour car park ticket, but we needed all 4 hours of it. It was a bit late to start cooking when we got in, so Chris went and picked up Fish & Chips, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Before that, though, there was time for Linda and I to raise a glass of fizz.

Me and Linda

A year ago today

We were at Wareham Forest, and there were some big black clouds.

Jez heads towards the viewpoint

Max and I go to Upton Heath

Monday 23rd May 2016

After a dismal week-end when I didn’t take any photos, Max and I walked over to Upton Heath this morning. For a change we headed up the Roman Road, only to be met by a fallen tree.

Tree Down

Fortunately we were able to duck underneath it, and we continued on up until we turned out onto the heath.

Upton Heath panorama

We walked up to the viewpoint and then across the top of the hill and around the back of it where Max headed for the small, boggy pool he likes. Here he is standing in the gorse waiting for me.

Max in the gorse

Fortunately he didn’t get too dirty today. We continued on down the hill and towards the bottom we me Dawn with Henry and Addy. I haven’t seen her for ages and so we spent ages chatting. As we talked I could hear a Stonechat making a lot of noise close by, and after we left her I managed to spot it and get a photo.

Stonechat

After that we walked onto the pond where I threw cones for Max, and then headed home. By the time we got back we’d been out about 2 hours!

A year ago today

We walked around Creekmoor ponds and I took this photo of Jez.

Portrait of Jez