Sunshine means playtime

Friday 17th November 2017

Friday morning meant Teddy and I walked over to Upton Heath, and this morning it was lovely and sunny. And it looked very autumnal in the silver birch grove.

Autumn in the Silver Birch grove Silver Birch trees

Just after I’d taken that first photo we met our friend Tig, the staffie, with his Mum, Amanda. Here’s Tig posing for me.

Tig

And Tig, after a treat, in his ‘bear’ pose.

'Give me a treat' - Tig does his bear pose

He and Teddy had a great time playing.

Teddy and Tig at play

We walked on and then met Ollie, who is around a year old. Again, he and Teddy had a great time playing, despite the size difference. They were particularly interested in an old stick.

Teddy and Ollie were having such a good time with that stick

First one would get it and run off with it and the other would chase, and then the other one would get it and run off. Here they are playing tug with it.

Teddy and Ollie play tug

And lastly for today, a wonder autumnal scene along the Roman Road.

Autumn on the Roman Road

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Blame Lightroom

Sunday 22nd October to Saturday 28th October 2017

First of all I have to apologise to everyone again for the long gap between posting. This has been caused by Adobe’s Lightroom Upgrade. Basically, the new version refuses to run on my not-very-old laptop, so I’ve had to move everything over to Chris’ old PC (which is slightly older than my laptop!) and, of course, that has been fraught with difficulty. Finally I am just about up to date with my photos, though, so I can return to this blog – if I can remember what was happening 3 weeks ago.

The first set of photos I have is from our afternoon walk on Canford Heath on Wednesday 25th October. I do the afternoon walk on a Wednesday as I go to see my Dad in the morning. We parked at Steeple Close, in order to avoid the school traffic, and close by my eye was caught by this Sweet Chestnut which was losing its leaves and backlit by the sun.

Sweet Chestnut in Autumn

It was a nice sunny afternoon and I took this photo of Teddy on top of the heath.

Teddy on Canford Heath

It was one of those days when he had to entertain himself as we didn’t really meet any other dogs for him to play with. He managed to tire himself out enough to have to take a short rest in a depression in the sand.

Resting

Which set him up nicely to take off at speed because he had heard a horse further down the hill which I couldn’t see. So I had to apologise profusely to the rider.

Friday was another sunny morning and we walked over to Upton Heath. This photo is taken as we crossed the Roman Road onto the heath.

Shadow and Light on the Roman Road

And here’s Teddy, looking very pleased with himself in the pond.

Teddy in the pond

On Saturday we were back on Upton Heath again, but doing our slightly longer walk. As we started out through Longmeadow Lane woods I saw these little sulphur tuft fungi.

Sulpher Tuft Fungi

As you can see from the photo below, it was a pretty overcast day and I was expecting rain, so I only had my iPhone with me, which is getting to be pretty old now. Anyway, this was the view from the top of the hill, looking across the heath.

Not much sunshine over the heath this afternoon

And that’s it for this week, I’m afraid.

Of Dogs and Fungi

Sunday 1st October to Saturday 7th October 2017-10-15

Having said this post is from the 1st October I don’t actually have any photos from that day, so the first photos are from Monday 2nd when we went over to Upton Heath for our walk as usual. I took the EOS 6D with the 100mm Macro lens attached, and I’m glad I did as I got some really nice photos. Unfortunately, if you suffer from arachnophobia the first one isn’t quite so nice as its an Orb Spider.

Orb spider

That photos was taken along the old railway line. We walked onto the pond and Teddy was really pleased to find some doggie friends there. It all started with a meet and greet.

Meet and greet at the pond

We met Max, the Golden Retriever.

Max the Golden Retriever

And Buzz, the Viszla who was staying with Max temporarily.

Buzz the Vizsla

Teddy and Buzz had a good time playing.

Teddy and Buzz

And then there was Tig, one of our staffy friends.

Tig

After a good game we went our separate ways and I walked Teddy round through the old pits.

Teddy in the old pits

On the lower heath the Fly Agaric are still in evidence.

Flly agaric

Although these had been kicked over.

Broken

As usual Teddy went into the little pool by the small boardwalk for a drink.

Teddy by the boardwalk

And then posed for me.

Teddy

After that we made our way home.

On Tuesday we started the day, as every day, with breakfast, and Teddy was a happy dog when he found out I’d finished the yogurt and he could have the pot. He soon got stuck in.

Nose in the trough

For our walk we went to Canford Heath and as it was a lovely sunny day I, once again, took the EOS 6D with the 100mm lens on it. Although it is a macro lens it is also excellent for portraits, which is why it’s great for taking photos of dogs, like this one of Teddy.

Teddy

Fungi are also in evidence on Canford Heath, like this one, although I’m not too sure what it is.

Fungi

As we walked through the woods I found this huge Cauliflower Fungus.

Cauliflower fungus

And these Razor Strop, or Birch Bracket Fungi.

Razor Strop Fungi

I also spotted this pretty little feather, suspended on some blades of grass.

Feather

There were more fungi when we left the woods. Firstly this Russula

Russula

And then this Panther Cap

Panther Cap

And lastly from Tuesday, a photo of Teddy surveying the heath as we walked back to the car.

Teddy surveys the heath

Jumping ahead to Friday we were again on Upton Heath. Firstly we went to the pond.

Teddy in the pond

And then, after Teddy had had a drink and a paddle, we headed towards the old pits. En route we met the cows.

We met the cows

You can see that at some point that one has had a nasty injury on its side.

On the lower heath we met several dogs. Firstly there was Oscar, a Border Terrier.

Oscar

And then we met a lady with 4 small dogs, including this 12 week old Chihuahua puppy.

12 week old Chihuahua pup

At this point I put Teddy on the lead. As the lady said, he might have thought it was was a rat! He was really good with it, though, and very gentle, so I don’t think I need have worried. And this, was the pup’s father.

The pup's dad

While we were talking our friend Janet came along with her lurcher, Jake.

Our friend Jake

After a long chat we walked on round and, as usual, Teddy went in the pond by the small boardwalk where he was once again searching for something under the water.

Teddy is searching under the water again

When we got to the Roman Road I was pleased to see that there was another small fungus growing on the tree stump by the stream.

Fungi

While we were there I took the opportunity to take a photo looking along the Roman Road while the leaves on the trees are still green. They won’t be there much longer.

The trees haven't turned along the Roman Road yet

The Virginia Creeper along the path in Creekmoor has turned though, and has produced beautiful Autumn colours.

Autumn Colours

I don’t have any photos from our walk on Saturday, but first thing in the morning the plumber arrived to fix our leaking stopcock. And do you remember that lovely new kitchen we had installed 10 months ago? Well, today part of it had to come apart again!

My new kitchen is in pieces! Bits of kitchen fill my small sitting room

I’m pleased to say that it’s all fixed and back together again.

A walk on Upton Heath

Saturday 26th August 2017

Saturday was a lovely, hot, sunny day (unusual for an August Bank Holiday weekend) and in the afternoon Teddy and I went for our walk over Upton Heath.

We started off by walking up the Roman Road, in the shade.

Looking through the old railway bridge

Next to the entrance we often take onto the heath I found this buddleia growing wild. I loved the colour, and realised there was a hover fly on it too.

Hover fly on buddleia

By the time we had got half-way down the hill across the heath Teddy was hot, especially as he had been playing with a dog while we were on the Roman Road, so guess who had to cool down in the very muddy gully.

Never mind the mud - Teddy needs to cool down

And guess who was somewhat less than clean when he got out.

Two-tone dog has a shake

After he had cooled down I took Teddy away from the path and into the valley that runs between the main path and the Roman Road. I hadn’t walked him there before. This was the view looking back up the hill.

Looking across Upton Heath

He enjoyed the change of scenery, especially as this area boasts lots of rabbits (which fortunately were all tucked up in their beds).

And so onto the pond, where I was able to wash Teddy off. As you can see from the photo, he seems to have found something interesting in there again.

Teddy's found something interesting in the pond again

My plan didn’t work that well though, as you can see from the final photo, taken on the lower heath of Teddy playing with a stick (something I’ve not seen him do before).

Teddy's found himself a stick

Shower time when we got home!

Where’s the summer gone?

Sunday 30th August to Saturday 5th August 2017

Where indeed! Once again the weather has not been great this week.

Sunday wasn’t too bad, although as you can see from this shot over Upton Heath, there was an awful lot of cloud around.

Upton Heath in July

But it didn’t stop Teddy from posing for me at the top of the hill.

Teddy on top of the hill

We were back over the heath again on Monday morning, when there was more cloud, although today it was lighter and interspersed with sunshine. Teddy was posing again: this time in the old pits.

Teddy poses in the old pits

Tuesday we went to Badbury Rings and got rained on from time to time. It was another grey day with flat light, so I didn’t get any photos. I did call in at the vet surgery and weigh Teddy on the way home and was pleased to see that he hasn’t put on any weight in the past month. It must be all the exercise!

Wednesday was wet – very wet at times. I went to my Dad’s in the morning and then took Teddy to Broadstone Rec in the afternoon. Here he is next to the war memorial.

At the war memorial

The first part of our walk was mainly under the trees which were dropping large blobs of water on us. Teddy soon turned into a spotty dog.

Rain from the trees on Teddy's coat

Once we got to the playing fields and Teddy had enjoyed himself chasing the seagulls it started to rain a lot harder. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the wind was driving the rain across the football pitches. Teddy didn’t care – he was too busy playing. And I wasn’t too bothered as I had gone out in full waterproofs. But Teddy was in a pretty sorry state by the end of our walk.

Wet dog at the end of his walk

Thursday we went over to Canford Heath where Teddy met lots of dogs to play with. I was too busy chatting to take photos though.

And so onto Friday when the sun came back out for a while and we walked over Upton Heath.

Looking across the lower heath

And then there was Saturday. It was quite a nice morning and early afternoon. I left home about 3pm and drove Teddy to Upton Heath in full sun. I could see lots of black clouds around though. I parked the car and as we got out I thought, “What’s that noise?”. It was incessant thunder! So having walked a few yards to the entrance to Upton Heath we turned round and got back in the car and came home again. And it was a good job we did, since as soon as we got home a massive thunderstorm hit. Within 15 minutes everywhere was flooded. Then it stopped as quickly as it had started so Teddy and I ventured out again.

Back to Upton Heath, and we walked up the Roman Road and then out onto the heath. As you can see, there was still rain around.

The view over Upton Heath

We only had a few more spits and spots though. Here’s Teddy having a bit of a look around as we came down the hill.

Teddy likes to explore

And here is a view coming down the hill.

As we head down the hill

At the pond Teddy had to stop and have a drink.

Time for a drink

And then we walked around the lower heath. But you can tell how much rain we’ve had over the past few days: the Roman Road is flooded again.

The Roman Road is flooded again

Let’s hope the rest of August improves.

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.

Discarded

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

Max and I go to Upton Heath

Monday 7th November 2016

This being Monday I went over to Upton Heath as usual for our walk this morning. I only had Max with me though as Jez stayed at home asleep in the sun. She does like to catch her rays when she can in the winter.

You can see it was a nice day. Here’s Max and I at the pond.

Me and Max at the pond

And here’s one of Max on his own.

Max in the pond

It was one of those days when Max was going from one pool of water to the next. Here he is in the little pool by the boardwalk.

Max in the pool by the boardwalk

We walked around the lower heath and then came to the Roman Road. The sun looked lovely through the trees in Longmeadow Lane woods.

Longmeadow Lane Woods

Longmeadow Lane Woods

This one was taken where the stream crosses the Roman Road.

The stream across the Roman Road

And lastly for today, Max in the leaves in Longmeadow Lane woods.

Max in the fallen leaves

It had been a lovely walk and did not feel quite a chilly as I was expecting.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I were also walking on Upton Heath, although it was not quite such a nice day.

The heath in the late afternoon