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

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

Just me and Max this morning

Tuesday 23rd August 2016

Jez did not want to come for a walk this morning, so I took Max to Upton Country Park. This morning we walked all the way around the park: I thought it would do us both good to have a bit more of a walk.

Here is Max enjoying the stream.

Max in the stream

He is going to be a very happy boy soon as the Sweet Chestnuts are coming along well.

This year's sweet chestnuts are coming along nicely

As we passed the lake I spotted a heron doing a spot of fishing. The lens on this camera would not allow me to get a close up though.

Heron on the lake

We walked on round and Max had another play in another bit of stream, and then we took the shoreline path. This was looking across the reed beds to Poole.

View across the reed beds

Where the shoreline path through the Country Park meets the cycle path to Poole there is a stone seat under a tree. Today it was providing much needed shade.

A shady seat

If you want to sit and rest there a while it provides a lovely view across Upton Lake to Poole.

View from the seat

We continued on round and cut up across the front lawn before walking back through the Woodland Walk to the stream for one last dip before we went back to the car.

A year ago today

We went down to Lake Pier at Hamworthy. It was a windy morning and a kite boarder was taking full advantage.

Kite surfing

A sunny morning at Upton Country Park

Thursday 14th July 2016

I had my last pilates class today before we break for the summer, so Max and I went to Upton Country Park (Jez decided not to come). It was a lovely sunny morning and the view from the shoreline was beautiful.

Blue and green should never be seen

There’s also now a gap in the trees down towards the garden, and I’ve been waiting for months to get a decent photo there. You get a nice view across to Poole.

Looking to Poole

In the meadow I loved this beautiful blue flower, although I can’t work out what it is.

Blue, blue, electric blue

And then, of course, where is Max in the stream: here looking whistful…

Max looks a bit whistful

… and here swishing the water with his tail.

Swish that tail Max

A nice walk spoiled by some stupid woman who got upset because I wanted to take a photo of her dog!

There are no photos from a year ago today.

That’s better

Thursday 28th January 2016

After all the rain yesterday morning Max and I had bright sunshine for our walk at Upton Country Park ahead of my pilates class.

Looking over to Pergin's Island

The lake was looking good.

Looking across the lake

Even the big puddle in the field looked nice.

Big puddle

And, as ever, Max was happy playing in the stream. Here he’s giving me those spaniel eyes while he waits for me to throw his cone.

Max in the stream

How much better everything seems when the sun is shining.

A year ago today

We were also at the Country Park, but it was a very different story.

Max in the stream

Still sunny

Thursday 14th January 2016

I had a busy day today. But, as usual, the first job was to take Max for a walk. We went to Upton Country Park and it was nice to see it looking less drab and grey.

Upton Lake

There were a lot more clouds about than yesterday, though.

Reflected sky at the Country Park

As we walked around the path at the back of the park (Hamworthy side) I was surprised to see the buzzard. We haven’t seen one there for ages. It was on the ground when I spotted it, but when I raised my camera it took off.

The buzzard takes flight

I know that’s not a great shot, but I only had a standard landscape lens on the camera. As we walked round it started to cloud over, and the wind started to pick up. You can see the extra clouds in this shot of the cows.

Cows

By the time I left the Woodland Walk and headed for the stream and then the car there was quite a cold wind. It didn’t stop me stopping off en route to take a few photos of Missy though.

Meet Missy (10 weeks)

Isn’t she cute? She was only 10 weeks old and I’m not entirely sure she should have been out meeting so many dogs. It was only her second walk, and she wasn’t entirely convinced that my camera was a good thing.

Missy wasn't too sure about my camera

I let her sniff the camera, so I hope she wasn’t too traumatised by it.

A year ago today

Max and I were out and about in the sunshine on Canford Heath.

Heading towards Knighton Heath (2)

If it’s Thursday it must be…

Thursday 7th January 2016

Yes, it’s Pilates time again, so that means a walk at Upton Country Park for Max and I. The weather wasn’t quite so nice as yesterday.

Signpost

And you could tell we’d had a lot of rain recently by the state of the stream.

Fast flowing stream

But the sun did eventually come out.

View over Upton Lake

Which enabled me to take a nice photo of Max on the boardwalk.

Max on the boardwalk

And fortunately, after our walk, Fiona eased us back into pilates gently after our month’s Christmas break, so I hope I won’t be too stiff. Mind you, scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees in the afternoon won’t help.

A year ago today

It was another fairly bleak walk at Upton Country Park.

The sun tries to break through the clouds