Max so wants to go for a walk

Tuesday 30th June 2015

Poor little boy is going stir crazy. At first we could hardly get him past the end of the drive, but now he wants to go out on walks. He’s still limping quite badly despite his strong painkillers, though, so a proper walk is out of the question. Yesterday I walked him very slowly around the small pond next to the house (the smaller of the two Creekmoor Ponds), and this morning I did the same thing, only this time taking the camera with me. It was a lovely sunny day, so lighting was difficult, but I was using it to practice what I have been learning about Exposure from an online course. Even so, this first shot, from the top of the pond, is a combination of 3 separate exposures.

Creekmoor Ponds

We used to take Max swimming in this pond and so he wanted to join the ducks and swan.

Ducks and the swan gather as we approach

I did let him in the shallow corner for a paddle, though. As you can see he’s looking at me imploringly, wanting me to throw something for him (which is out of the question now).

Please throw something Mum

And here he is on the opposite corner, in a nice little leafy spot.

Mum, Please!

He did ok on his walk today, which was good. Perhaps we can let him go up to Delph Woods with Chris and Jez tomorrow as they don’t tend to walk very far.

Later on, evening to be precise, the sun looked very pretty going down behind the clouds. You can’t get a great shot from our garden, and I didn’t have time to run round to try a shot across the Ponds, so I just took this one.

Sunset over the garden

That’s the dead branch on our oak tree you can see there. We are waiting for the planning permission to come through to have it and another removed and the crown taken down to try to help strengthen the tree.

A year ago today

The squirrels were busy knocking over the bird feeder at my Dad’s.

All the better to get at the food

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So we’re not walking on Upton Heath then

Saturday 23rd May 2015

It was a lovely sunny day today and I was on the afternoon walk, being the weekend. Since I’m a creature of habit, Saturday afternoons means Upton Heath. So I drove the dogs over there, we got out of the car, we got as far as the entrance … and that was it. Neither dog wanted to walk there. Max refused to come through the gate, even though I walked on calling him, and Jez hung about just inside the gate and then turned round and went to join Max. So I put them in the car and bought them home.

At this point I was feeling a bit guilty, and I didn’t want to miss a walk in the lovely sunshine, so I took them round Creekmoor Ponds. Both dogs were eager to do this walk. When we got to the big pond one of the swans was there, so we had to be a bit careful. I had Jez on the lead to make sure she didn’t try and go for the swan, so the only bit of water she could get in was under a tree. Our viewpoint did make for a nice photo of the swan though.

Swan

I realise I forgot to mention that yesterday afternoon Max went to the groomer. He was getting a bit shaggy again, but he’s looking a very smart boy now.

Smart boy after his trip to the groomer

That was taken at the little sandy ‘beach’ a bit further round from where the swan was, so it meant Jez could get in the water for a proper cool down. I’m not sure what caught her attention here.

Jez cool down

I have one final photo today, taken in the garden after we got home. It’s a portrait of Jez.

Portrait of Jez

I’m rather pleased with it.

A year ago today

Dad was still in hospital. This was the view from the window in his ward, overlooking Poole Harbour.

Poole Harbour from Ward B4

A day of two Country Parks

Tuesday 28th April 2015

First of all, Max and I went for our morning walk at Upton Country Park.

It was a lovely sunny morning, and with all of the recent sunshine we’ve had it has meant that the oaks are all in flower now.

Oak Flowers

This is very bad news for Max who is allergic to oak trees, amongst other things.

We had a pleasant walk around during the course of which I came across these pretty little Forget-me-Nots.

Forget me Not

We also met Dawn and Lisa with Henry, Adne, and Sibyl (yes, I’ve discovered that they spell her name with an ‘S’, which was how my grandmother spelt her name). The first time we saw them was on the boardwalk by the shoreline. Then we met them again by the Woodland Walk, when Henry spotted me and came rushing over.

We meet Henry

So that was our morning. We rushed home and had an early lunch and them Chris, Max, Jez and I drove over to pick my Dad up to take him out. I had promised him that I would take him to the British Wildlife Photographer of the Year photographic exhibition at Moor Valley Country Park, and it finishes next Monday, so today was the best day for us to go.

We really enjoyed the exhibition (Dad and I looked around while Chris walked the dogs), and afterwards wandered down to the lake to wait for Chris to return.

The Lake

The weather wasn’t quite so nice by this time and there was a very chilly wind. we sat by the lake for a little while and talked to a man walking a very nice Hungarian Vizsla. Well, we may have thought the dogs was nice, but the resident male swan had other ideas.

Angry swan

We also saw out first swallows of the season zooming around.

And lastly one more shot of the lake.

The Lake

Just after I took this Chris and the dogs returned and we went into the cafe for a cup of tea, before taking Dad home and then heading home ourselves.

A year ago today

We met the cows on Upton Heath.

Max and the cow aren't too sure about each other

Back to Upton Heath

Friday 10th April 2015

I did my shopping before I took Max for a walk again today, so we were slightly later than usual going over to Upton Heath. That meant, though, that I met the lady with the Weimeraners whom we meet from time to time. Today she had a pup with her, although he is 8 months old now. His name is Rowan, and like his mother Heather, with whom he’s pictured in this photo (Rowan is on the left, Heather on the right) he seems to have a penchant for large pieces of branch.

Heather shares her 'stick' with her son Rowan (8 months)

That was actually Heather’s ‘stick’ but Rowan had to get in on the act.

Heather and Rowan

Poor Heather looks very long suffering!

After walking around the lower heath Max and I came home via Creekmoor Ponds…

Creekmoor Ponds

…where I noticed that the swans are now nesting.

The swans are nesting again

There attempts seem to be a bit hit and miss (their first nest often fails), so lets hope they are more successful this year.

A year ago today

My cousin Linda came to stay. Here are Linda and Chris about to tuck into an Indian meal.

Linda and Chris about to tuck into our Indian dinner

It wasn’t a proper walk today

Monday 30th March 2015

I had to take the car to be serviced today, which meant that Max’s walks with me consisted of walking home from the garage in the morning, after I had dropped the car off, and then walking back to the garage in the afternoon to collect the car. I do have a couple of photos though, taken in the morning, as we have to walk past Hatch Pond.

Hatch Pond

And as you may notice, that somewhat aggressive young male swan is still hanging around, so Max couldn’t get to swim. The swan looked attractive in the morning sunlight though.

Cob

As well as the service the car had it’s annual road worthiness check, which I’m pleased to say it passed. Back to normal tomorrow.

A year ago today

Max and I went out to Morden Bog (in Wareham Forest) where I took this photo of him amonst the daffodls that grow where the ruins of the old keepers cottage is.

Max in amongst the daffodils

I treat Max to a walk by the River Stour

Wednesday 25th March 2015

It was quite a nice morning again this morning, so I decided to take Max back to the River Stour at Cowgrove. Given the lack of heavy rain recently I’m hoping the worst of the mud has dried out a bit.

Although we had sunshine there was still quite a lot of cloud around, which made for a nice photo of the cottage at Cowgrove.

Cottage

I thought it was about time I took another photo of the lovely oak tree in the field.

Oak Tree

And, of course, another one of my favourite old oak-of-many-faces.

Oak of many faces

I found a new bit of this tree which fascinated me today. It was all knobbly and whirly.

Whirly

Max, meanwhile, was just happy to be back in the river.

Max in the River Stour

After doing our normal circuit, playing in the big bay twice and letting Max have a short swim we headed back to the car. But not before we’d crossed over Eye Bridge to have another little play on the far side.

Eye Bridge

And that swan in the centre of the photo swam towards me and under the bridge, allowing me to get a few ncice shot of it.

Swan on the Stour

I was pleased with today’s photos. I was trying to use the Focus button on the back of the camera, rather than depressing the shutter button half way to focus (I think it’s this that is resulting in a lot of my photos being not quite in focus). Generally I was very pleased with the results.

A year ago today

I found some lovely blossom at Upton Country Park.

Blossom at Upton Country Park

Shrove Tuesday in Wimborne

Tuesday 17th February 2015

I hadn’t planned to go to Wimborne today, but yesterday afternoon I realised the driver’s side indicators weren’t working on the loan car, so had to take it into the garage to be fixed. They had told me it would be about 20mins, so I took Max, planning to go on to Badbury Rings afterwards. When I got there, though, they estimated 40 minutes, so rather than wait around I decided to walk Max down into Wimborne along the River Allen which runs next to the garage.

Max by the River Allen

It is a pretty little river and for part of the secion we walked had houses along one side and a footpath along the other.

Moored

The river is important for wildlife, although all we saw were coots, ducks and swans.

Drinking

We got into Wimborne and wandered around the town, eventually coming to the Minster.

View of the Minster

An abbey was originally founded on the site of the Minster in 705ad, and King Elthelred I was buried there. The original abbey was destroyed in 1013. The church was rebuilt by the Normans between 1120 and 1180 and has been added to since.

This is a view of the west tower.

The west tower

And I rather liked the year-round sundial.

Year round Sundial

As we walked around the church (I didn’t go in as I had Max with me) I was bemused by the loudspeakers broadcasting something about registration. When I rounded the corner I realised why. They were getting ready for the annual pancake race around the church. There was quite a crowd gathering.

Crowds gather for the pancake race

Representatives of the Wimborne militia were there.

Wimborne Militia Men

Wimborne is only one of two towns which still has a standing militia. These are dressed in the period of the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. I stopped to have a chat with the two gentlemen.

Wimborne Militia Men

The one on the left is the deputy Town Crier (apparently the Town Crier is on holiday in France).

After a while they were joined by the Mayor.

The mayor joins the party

Sadly I couldn’t stay to see the actual pancake race as I had to get home for a physio appointment, so I walked Max back along the river to the garage. Poor Max, all that water and it was generally too fast and too deep for him to get in. We did find the odd shallow spot for him though.

Max in the River Allen

There’s still no news on my car by the way, so it looks as though its going to be a while yet before we get it back.

A year ago today

Recent winds had caused the top of a pine tree to snap off on Upton Heath.

A top of a pine has snapped off