A cold end to the year

Sunday 25th December – Saturday 31st December 2016

Christmas Day was a wet, miserable day, so Chris and I didn’t do our ‘traditional family’ walk with the dogs until Boxing Day (the 26th) when we took the dogs out to Kingston Lacy after lunch. It was pretty cold, so I made sure Jez had her nice warm jumper on. Here’s Chris with the dogs

A Boxing Day Walk

The sun going down behind the trees.

A chilly afternoon

And, yes, it’s treat time again.

Time for a treat

The next morning was cold and frosty, and while Jez stayed snuggled in bed, Max and I went over Upton Heath.

Entrance to a frozen heath

We almost met the cows, but they passed us by.

A procession of cows

I like this photo of one of the Exmoor Ponies with the mist lying low across the heath.

Exmoor Pony

The grass around the boardwalk was frosted…

Frozen Grass

… and the water icy (not that that bothered Max).

Max in the icy water

So a pleasant but cold walk.

The next day was cold and frosty again and this time Max and I went to Upton Country Park.

I liked these leaves, covered in frost but with the sun just touching them.

Frosted leaves in the sun

The picnic tables were pretty frosty too.

Frosty picnic tables

The sun was low along the stream.

By the stream

But Holes Bay was looking lovely in the sun.

View across Upton Lake to Poole

And so on to Friday 30th December, and Max and I went over to Canford Heath where the sun was low through the trees.

Light and shade on Canford Heath

It was quite misty too.

A foggy morning

Which made for a few nice shots.

Max waits for me Overlooking Canford Heath estate

But by the time we got up onto the main heath the sun was out, although the wind was bitter.

Me and Max in the sunshine Heading towards the stream

There was lots of ice on the water though.

The ice doesn't bother Max

And finally to the last day of the walk and and a chilly, grey walk on Upton Heath with both Jez and Max.

A grey end to the year

So here’s Max signing out with his last game of cone in 2016.

Last game of cone in 2016

And Jez waiting patiently for 2017 to arrive.

Jez waits

Happy New Year to you all.

A year ago

Max and I saw 2015 out down on the beach at Lake Pier, Hamworthy.

Max

A cold start to December

Thursday 1st December 2016

Frosts have been thin on the ground here so far this winter, but this morning we woke to freezing fog. To celebrate I took my best camera with me when I took Max for a walk at Upton Country Park (no way was Jez moving from her warm, snugly bed).

Entering the park from Poole Road on a frost morning

In the car park I was surprised to see that there were still one or two cornflowers in bloom. This one was looking lovely with the frost on it.

Frosted cornflower

In places it was quite frosty in the park too, as Max demonstrates in this photo.

We had had a bit of a frost overnight

But a lot of the time it was all about mood.

Walking towards the picnic area

This was taken in the Woodland Walk.

Sunlight through the trees (1)

And I like this one in black and white.

Sunlight through the trees (3)

This was the little boardwalk over the lake. I’ve softened the clarity and rather like the effect.

Boardwalk across the lake

The lake, itself, was a bit icy this morning.

Frozen lake

But that did not deter Max.

Max in the icy lake

As you can see the sun had, by now, broken through the fog, which made for a very nice photo along the path to Hamworthy.

Path to Hamworthy

And here’s Max further along the same path.

Path to Hamworthy

The view along the shoreline was fairly evocative too.

Procession of Geese on Upton Lake

Around here a haw frost had frosted the reeds.

Frosted reeds

And the wooden side rails.

Frsoted fence

Although the sun was starting to thaw it.

Frosted reed

By the time we walked back through the gardens, though, the sun had disappeared again.

Walled garden

The start of our drive home was in fog, but as we got to Creekmoor (only a couple of minutes away) we drove back into bright sunshine. And that pretty much set the pattern for the rest of the day, with the fog coming and going.

A year ago today

Max and I were out and about on Canford Heath.

Trees in black and white

A bit of a gloomy day

Thursday 24th November 2016

It was a bit gloomy for our walk at Upton Country Park this morning. As there are men in the house Jez came too and so I parked in the main car park and we walked around the open field area.

This photo is looking back across the stream towards the woods.

At the crossroads

This one was taken looking across from the dog training area – there was actually a small patch of blue in an otherwise cloudy sky.

Looking across to Grove Wood

And lastly, another one looking towards the Woodland Walk and the Dark Age Dwelling.

Dark Age Dwelling in the Woodland Walk

As I said, a bit of a gloomy day so not really one for photographs.

A year ago today

Trees on Canford Heath. Black and white trees

Upton Country Park again

Friday 18th November 2016

Today is Chris’ birthday, so he had his presents and cards first thing. After that I took Max back to Upton Country Park. Jez was busy sunning herself at home, but it gave me the opportunity to walk Max through the woods and then around the back of the park.

If the woods looked good yesterday, then the Dark Age Dwelling in the trees looked even better today.

The Dark Age Dwelling nestled in the trees

Since last week they have put a front on it.

There's a front and door on the Dark Age Dwelling now

And I rather liked the door catch.

Door latch

Here’s another part of the Woodland Walk. This photo was bombed by a Labrador, but I thought the photo looked far better with him in it than the photo I took without him.

A labrador bombs my Woodland Walk photo

We walked on around to the stream and Max stood in it, ever hopeful that I’d throw something for him.

Max in the stream

But his legs aren’t good at the moment so there were no cones today. Here he is again by the stream which has been swollen by the very high tide.

The stream is very swollen from a high tide

And finally for today: Max on the boardwalk.

Max on the boardwalk

The walk had been a little bit chilly but at least we’d had sunshine.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath and met this beautiful, 13 week old whippet called Juno.

Juno - 13 weeks old (what fabulous ears!)

Jez makes her presence felt

Thursday 17th November 2016

I seem to have been running around in circles this week, due to the fact that our new kitchen is being fitted over the next 2-3 weeks. Quite a bit of my spare time, therefore, has been spent clearing the contents out of the existing kitchen. In a way it has helped that we have been resting Max up quite a bit.

So here we are at Thursday and at 4.15am I had a rude awakening. Yes, it was Jezebel, wide awake and whining at the side of my bed.

Jez wakes me at 4.15am

Turns out she wanted food, then she wanted to go out, and then eventually she settled down to sleep: which was more than I did as I lay awake for the next couple of hours and only managed to go to sleep a short time before I had to wake up again!

For our walk today we went to Upton Country Park. In the Woodland Walk the beech trees are a beautiful golden colour.

In the Woodland Walk

And this is looking towards the Dark Age Dwelling.

In the Woodland Walk

We walked over to the stream, although I didn’t throw anything for Max as his legs still aren’t great. Then we walked around to the dog run where we came upon a year old English Pointer, Woody, so we went in to say hello.

Jez and Max meet Woody

Jez was really pleased to have a bit of a play with him.

Jez is happy to play with Woody

After the dogs had played for a while we headed on back to the car, but not before I’d taken some more photos in the Woodland Walk. Here the sun is coming through the leaves.

Sunlight through the trees

And a nice shot looking up through the branches.

Autumn leaves

The walk hadn’t taken too long but it had been very pleasant.

A year ago today

Max and I were on a wet Canford Heath.

Big puddle time

At the Country Park again

Thursday 3rd November 2016

Max and I went back to Upton Country Park for our walk this morning while Jez lay in bed. Today I decided to walk the opposite way around, which meant that we got an early reminder that Christmas will soon be upon us.

Christmas is coming

But although the staff think that Christmas is almost here, the gardens know that we’re actually in the middle of Autumn, as can be seen from this cluster of fungi at the base of a tree.

Fungi

We walked on down to the shoreline and looked across Upton Lake towards Poole.

The view across Upton Lake

And then we made our way to the boardwalk.

On the boardwalk

They are changing this part of the park and putting in new paths through the fields. Apparently they are planning to close part of the shoreline path which will be a shame as it’s a nice path to walk. All of this suggests to me that the re-design was done by someone who doesn’t use the park on a regular basis.

We walked onto the stream…

Autumn leaves surround the stream

… where Max waited to play.

By the stream

And, of course, he had to get in the water.

In the stream

We carried on round and took the path through Grove Wood.

The path to Hamworthy

And then cut through to the Woodland Walk where I got another nice photo of the Dark Age Dwelling.

In the Woodland Walk

And from there we headed back to the car and home.

A year ago today

It was a bit of an overcast day when we went to Broadstone Rec. As you can see, the leaves were coming off the trees earlier last year than this.

When she got there the tree was bare

It’s November!

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Well at least I’m writing in the same month now – I must be starting to catch up. Mind you, I’m likely to get further behind shortly as it has been agreed that the new kitchen will start to be installed (well, the old one ripped out first of course) in 3 weeks time. So I have a lot of work to do in the meantime, like cleaning out the garage to take the new kitchen for a few days when it’s delivered, and clearing out the kitchen.

But back to our walks. It was a lovely sunny morning so Jez, Max and I went to Upton Country Park. This was the view along the path to Hamworthy as we approached the Woodland Walk.

The path to Hamworthy

In the Woodland Walk the Dark Age Dwelling, which is a piece of experimental archaeology, is progressing well and looked lovely in the autumn leaves.

Dark age dwelling

Dark age dwelling

Jez led us around the newest section of the park where I found these fungi.

Cluster of fungi

And then we walked on to the stream.

Max in the stream

We took a circular route back to the Woodland Walk where we met an aquaintance, Steve from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, with his puppy, Molly. We chatted as we walked through the Woodland Walk while the dogs explored. Back at the Dark Age Dwelling the workmen had appeared.

Working on the Dark Age Dwelling

You may notice that the timber the guy on the right is inspecting is badly burned. This came from the old, copy ¬†of a Roman house that had been built nearer Upton House and was burned down by arsonists last year. Talking to them, they explained that they are trying to reclaim the timber to use as much as possible. Meanwhile Jez was pleased to find a gap in the fencing so that she could go in and explore. I’d managed to get her out again by the time I took that photo.

We walked on and were almost back at the main path when I saw a really big clump of Mycenae fungi.

Clustered Mycenae

I always think they look so pretty. By this time it had clouded over, so we had clearly had the best of the day for our walk.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I went for a walk at the top end of Upton Heath.

View over Upton Heath and Poole (plus Max)