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!

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Another sunny Autumn day at Upton Country Park

Friday 15th November 2013

As you must all know by now, sunshine means no Jezebel for our morning walk. So it was just Max and I at a sunny Upton Country Park, although the temperature is starting to drop quite a bit now. I really needed my woolly hat, but I seem to have mis-placed the one I usually use when I’m out walking.

So as we set off on our normal route, this was the view along the footpath leading to Hamworthy (the Woodland Walk is off to the right).

The footpath to Hamworthy

Later on Max posed nicely for me on the boardwalk.

Max on the boardwalk

Where we also found this Red Admiral butterfly out and about in the autumn sunshine.

A Red Admiral out and about in the autumn sun

But for this walk I was mainly looking up and photographing the trees.

This beech tree is still very green.

Beech Tree

But these oaks have turned and lost many of their leaves.

The oak trees are turning

Meanwhile, in the little triangle where the bird hide used to be, these field maples are the most glorious yellow.

Field Maples

At the end of our walk I headed into the gardens to have a look at the the acers that grow near the walled garden. I wasn’t disappointed.

Acer in its autumn colours

And finally, a bit of fun. A shot of one of those acers, but given a paint daubs filter in Photoshop.

Acer, adj in CS5 with paint daubs

After our walk I went shopping in Wimborne, where I’m pleased to say I bought a nice, new, snuggle woolly hat. So now I’m happy.

A very blustery day

Thursday 10th October 2013

The sun was shining onto the bed this morning, and Jez decided that she’d rather stay there and soak up the Autumn rays than come for a walk with Max and I, so it was just the two of us that headed out to Badbury Rings. The kind people at Dorset Dogs had warned us that the sheep are grazing on the Rings now, rather than the cattle, so I was prepared and on the lookout for them. Fortunately when we arrived they were all huddled in the lea of the bushes near the main road. They were the sensible ones. When Max and I got out of the car and headed north for our walk, we were nearly blown away.

My first photo today is a slightly different shot – it’s of the gate as you leave the Rings on the bridleway heading north.

Gate

I took loads of photos today, so I’ll try and limit them a bit, but if you want to see all of them just head on over to my Flickr account (click on the Flickr stream to the right of your screen) and take a look.

So, heading up the hill, the Old Man’s Beard (Clematis vitalba) was looking lovely.

Old Man's Beard (Clematis vitalba)

In an old oak trunck near The Oaks wood I found this lovely Beefsteak fungi (Fistulina hepatica).

Beefsteak Fungus (Fistulina hepatica)

Back in the open countryside, we found a large number of crab apples on the ground alongside The Oaks, so clearly it’s not only oak trees that grow in the wood.

Max in the windfall crab apples

As we turned the corner to head back towards Kings Down Farm we saw the farmer out planting a new crop – there is a tractor at the top of that field, honest! I was waiting to get another shot as he came back closer to us, but a woman (his wife?) drove up and parked in the gateway – very inconsiderate.

Planting

An arty shot now – of the barn at Kings Down Farm.

Barn, Kings Down Farm

Moving on, this is the field next to the farm where the younger cattle tend to graze.

Sunlight and Shadows on Kings Down Farm

And Max wandering into a field which has a new growth of a winter crop.

Winter crop (and Max)

This is the same field, and I managed to take a photo of the tramlines in the crop just at the right time to catch them leading straight to this little puffy cloud.

Tramlines to a lone cloud

And so onto High Woods, where I was searching for fungi. There weren’t that many, but this mottle sycamore leaf caught my eye.

Mottled Leaf

As did the sunlight on these sycamore leaves.

Sun and shade

I did find some fungi though. Firstly a common puff ball (Lycoperdon periatum).

Common Puff Ball (Lycoperdon perlatum)

What I think is a Jersey Cow Boletus (Suillus bovinus).

Jersey Cow Boletus (Suillus bovinus)

These Lumpy Bracket fungi (Trametes gibosa)

Possibly Lumpy Bracket fungi (Trametes gibbosa)

And these bracket fungi of the Ganoderma family.

Bracket fungus of the Ganoderma family

As well as fungi, we also saw a couple of butterflies on our walk today. There was a Comma…

Comma Butterfly

and a Red Admiral.

Red Admiral

I’ll leave you with a final shot of the sheep, by now out from under the hedge and grazing around the Rings.

Sheep grazing on Badbury Rings

I hope you enjoyed our walk today.

It’s a two-tone dog again!

Tuesday 20th August 2013

Jez didn’t want to come for a walk this morning, so it was just Max and I who headed over to Canford Heath. We walked up the redbrick path again and I thought you might like to see what that photo amongst the pines on Sunday should have looked like.

Max in the pines on Canford Heath

Come to think of it, I think I prefer the distorted one!

The heather on Canford Heath is in full bloom, just as it is on Upton Heath.

The heather in bloom on Canford Heath

Generally, though, the Heath is parched with no water in the stream or in any of Max’s favourite gullies. It doesn’t stop Max getting in this state though.

Dirty Dog!

That mud is courtesy of the pond near Steeple Close. Fortunately there is one pond left which has clean water in it, so I can was Max off towards the end of the walk.

Time to get clean

Buzzing around that pond were several of these.

Common Darter

It’s either a Common Darter or a Ruddy Darter, I’m not sure which.

In places on the Heaths there is self-set buddleia, which attracts the butterflies, in this case a Red Admiral.

Red Admiral

While I was photographing the butterfly an old friend of ours came along who we’d bumped into earlier in our walk. Meet Toby – an real old boy but a lovely dog. In this photo he’s barking at me as he wants me to give him a treat.

Our friend Toby

In the afternoon I had to go to the optician in Broadstone, so I walked up there. This is the view along the Broadway in Broadstone.

Broadstone

After I left the bank I was surprised to spot a Blue Plaque on the side of the Bollywood Restaurant, that I’d never noticed before.

Blue Plaque on side of Bollywood Restaurant

The walk to and from Broadstone is quite nice – most of it is along the Castleman Trailway.

Castleman Trailway

Continuing on my theme from yesterday of Autumn approaching, I spotted these horse chestnuts. Sadly the tree is diseased and slowly dying.

Horse Chestnuts

Back in Creekmoor and these rose hips made a colourful end to my walk.

Hips