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.

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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

In which I get very excited

Sunday 3rd September to Saturday 9th September 2017

But before I get to the reason for my excitement I will start with a walk on Canford Heath on Wednesday 6th September (note the gap in photos due to more poor weather – although sadly that doesn’t mean a gap in Teddy’s walks!). The weather was still threatening on Wednesday, but I took the camera and for a change decided to park in Asda and walk Teddy up the Redbrick Path. This was the first time Teddy had experienced the Redbrick Path (I haven’t been for a couple of years) and he loved it. He especially loved chasing the squirrels that he found there!

Once we turned onto the heath we met our Labradoodle friend Milo.

Our friend Milo

Isn’t he a cutie? I love his little white beard. I say he’s a Labradoodle, but I normally refer to him as a Labradoodleoodle, as one parent was a Labardoodle and the other a Poodle. Sadly he was on the lead at the end of his walk today, so he and Teddy didn’t get to play.

We walked on round the heath and I was really surprised to come across a caterpillar.

Late caterpillar

It must be very late for them, although I found another a couple of days later in the garden.

And finally for today, one of my favourite trees that I haven’t photographed in a while.

One of my favourite trees

I’m pleased to say we actually managed our walk without getting wet!

And so onto the reason I was so excited. On Thursday morning I had to go over to my Dad’s again as he had had a fall. Fortunately he wasn’t too badly hurt and after getting him checked over by my cousin’s husband, who is an A&E nurse, I was able to come home and take Teddy to Wareham Forest in the afternoon.

We had just met a lady and her dogs when I walked on a spotted a young Smooth Snake in the path.

Young Smooth Snake

It may not seem like much but it is the UK’s rarest snake and I was so excited to find it. I managed to keep Teddy out of the way while I took a couple of photos.

Young Smooth Snake

Young Smooth Snake

After which it slithered off into the undergrowth.

And so onto Saturday. Showers were forecast for our walk on Saturday afternoon. We went over to Upton Heath as usual and walked up the Roman Road. As we came down the hill there were a few spits and spots but nothing to worry about. When we got to the pits, though, the heavens opened. I headed for a tree in the old pits and tried to shelter there, but it was pretty hopeless.

This bit of video gives you a clue as to what it was like. Those ‘streams’ weren’t there a couple of minutes beforehand. Oh, and the shouting is the lads who were riding their bikes around the pits at the time the rain started – you can see one going to join his friends under another tree.

I’m getting tired of all this wet weather.

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!

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!

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.

A bit of a damp week

Sunday 23rd July to Saturday 29th July 2017

I didn’t think I had much to share with you this week, as we’ve had quite a damp, showery week. But it turns out I have more than I thought, including 3 bits of video.

So I’ll start last Sunday, when I took Teddy down to Lake Pier at Hamworthy. It used to be a favourite destination of Max’s, but since they’ve started charging for the car park I haven’t been back. Anyway, it wasn’t a particularly nice afternoon: fairly breezy with squalls of rain. I don’t think Teddy has been to the beach before as he didn’t seem to know what to make of the waves.

He did find the seaweed quite tasty though (you would think he was never fed).

Teddy finds seaweed quite tasty

And he had a great time chasing the wagtails along the beach and then the seagulls into the water. Monday we actually had some sun for our walk over to Upton Heath, and Teddy made a new friend at the pond: a young German Pointer. Here they are having a great time.

Tuesday was another nice day and I decided to take Teddy out to Wareham Forest. We hadn’t been there long when we met two 13 week old French Bulldog pups.

Teddy meets two 13 week old French Bulldog pups

They wanted to play with Teddy until he started chasing them and then they got scared, so I put him on the lead and walked him on.

As I said, it was a very nice day, as you can see from this photo of Teddy approaching the Dragonfly Pool (on the left).

Walking towards the Dragonfly Pool

And here is said Dragonfly Pool, looking rather lovely in the sunshine.

Reflections in the Dragonfly Pool

I took Teddy for a slightly longer walk today and chose I route I used to take with Jez and Max but which I don’t think they’ve been up to walking for the past 3-4 years. It bought us back along the side of Decoy Heath.

Looking across Decoy Heath

Although it looks like grass it is mainly bog, covered in grassy hummocks in places and reeds. Walking along Teddy spotted a crow out on the heath and took off after it. He was doing fine until he fell into one of the boggy pools, at which time he came to an abrupt halt. Just look at the state of him afterwards.

Guess who fell in the bog

All that mud can make a little dog quite frisky though.

I tried to wash him off in the Gruffalo Pool but he wouldn’t go in, choosing to run after a horse and rider that I thought was far enough away before I let him off the lead again. Fortunately no harm was done but I’ll have to hold onto him for longer when we meet horses in future.

So I arrived home with a very muddy dog, and had to bath him, which he did not appreciate. I had a nice clean, dog afterwards though.

Teddy after his bath

After that the weather got worse and it was either overcast or raining and I didn’t take any photos until we went to Delph Woods in the rain on Saturday afternoon. We had had strong winds overnight and I came across a fallen silver birch tree alongside the stream.

Tree down

With all the rain Teddy looked very bedraggled and sorry for himself.

Teddy's not happy about all this rain

Even the lake looked pretty dismal.

Rain on the lake

So we were happy to get back to the car and the dry.

At the end of a wet walk

I’m hoping for slightly better weather in the coming week. Perhaps I’ll be able to get some of my washing done.