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.

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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!

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.

Boggy pools are the best

Sunday 9th July to Saturday 15th July 2017

Teddy and I have been out and about again this week, in between much snoozing on the sofa (that’s Teddy not me, I should point out).

On Sunday I took him back out to Wareham Forest. It was a bit of a mistake as it was far hotter than I thought. So I kept to the shade wherever possible.

A hot day in Wareham Forest

However, it’s impossible to keep in to the shade along the bottom path adjacent to the heath and Teddy had to find somewhere to cool down. Unfortunately a lot of the pools along here that Max loved so much are drying up to boggy puddles. That didn’t stop Teddy though. Here he tests the waters.

Teddy tests the water

And, yes, it was ok, so he could get in and lie down.

Yep - this muddy pool is suitable to cool down in

Which left him looking like this.

Now look at him!

Fortunately I was able to get him in the much cleaner gruffalo pool further on to rinse him off.

Time to wash off in the Gruffalo Pool

There are more photos from Sunday – taken after his morning walk with Chris when he was cleaner and drier. Here he is on the sofa…

On the sofa

… chewing my fingers …

Chewing my fingers

… and generally relaxing.

Settled down

And one last one from Sunday, of his nose.

Teddy nose

Monday saw him snoozing on the sofa again.

Sleepy dog

On Wednesday I had the afternoon walk as I had been to my Dad’s in the morning. I decided to take Teddy over Canford Heath.

Wallking on Canford Heath

As you can see, it was another warm day.

Wallking on Canford Heath

Which meant that Teddy had to find somewhere to cool off again.

Time to cool down

This time he came out quite clean though.

Teddy

This is the time of year when we get a lot of Stonechats on the heaths, and on Wednesday I managed to get a photo of one.

Stonechat

We headed back to the car along one of the wide sandy tracks that Teddy loves to race around on so much. Today he found a small hole in the sand that another dog had started to dig, and so he had to enlarge it. He got very excited in the process, as you can see.

What a happy dog he is!

And so onto Thursday, and I decided to take Teddy out to Morden Bog and then walk on around a different part of Wareham Forest. Although it was overcast it was still quite warm.

Walking in Wareham Forest

However, Teddy kept wanting to run off over the wide open spaces, and I was a bit worried about the cows and deer that were around, so he spent some of his time on the lead.

Part way round though we bumped into someone I know with her two dogs, Tink and Twink, along with a friend of hers and her Labrador Ty. So I let Teddy off the lead and we walked on with them. Teddy had a great time playing with Twink and Ty (Tink is a little bit more reticent). So they ran around and got hot and then had to find the boggiest pool to cool off in.

We found friends to play with

Yes, that’s my dog at the back. Look at the state of him!

Someone needs a wash

Fortunately we were heading for Henry’s Pond where we were able to wash the dogs off. They had a great time chasing each other round and round, in an out of the water. And as we headed back to the car we passed the large rabbit warrens on the heath where Tink and Twink like to explore. Today Teddy took great delight in joining them.

It had been a good walk: we had been out for about 2 hours 15 minutes and were both worn out at the end of it.

Sunday afternoon in Wareham Forest

Sunday 7th August 2016

The trouble with warm weather in this area is that you can never get anywhere near the water as everywhere is packed with holidaymakers and locals alike. So today I thought we’d go to Wareham Forest. I was hoping to get the dogs down to the heath area where there are lots of small pools, but Jez had other ideas.

We started out as normal heading along the path that looks towards the Purbeck Hills.

A seat with a view towards the Purbeck Hills

Normally its Jez who is lagging behind, but today it was Max – well, at this point anyway.

Jez and Max head down the slope

There isn’t any water in this part of the forest – apart from the one muddy puddle that Max managed to find.

Trust Max to find a nice muddy puddle

Jez wouldn’t head down the hill towards the water, but instead chose to walk in a large circle back to the car.

Out for a walk in Wareham Forest

One thing I noticed about the forest though: there were more butterflies and dragonflies here than I’ve seen elsewhere this year. We saw lots of these Small Heath butterflies.

Small Heath butterfly

And this Common Darter obligingly landed on some bell heather at the side of the track.

Common Darter on Bell Heather

And, lastly, here are Jez and Max heading back towards the car.

Jez and Max head back to the car

It had been a nice little walk, if not quite the walk I had planned.

A year ago today

We were playing in the River Stour near Eye Bridge with my cousin Linda.

Linda with Jez and Max

Max and I go to Morden Bog

Thursday 31st March 2016

It was a lovely sunny morning, so I thought it would make a nice change to go with Max out to Morden Bog, which is in Wareham Forest.

On Morden Bog

After the rain we have had this winter Morden Bog was living up to it’s name, and I was glad I’d worn my Wellington boots.

Big puddles

Max was happy though: there were lots of pools of water for him to stand in.

Lots of water!

Here’s a panorama looking out over Morden Bog.

View across Morden Bog

And then we get to the real reason I came here today. At this time of years daffodils bloom in what was once the garden of the old, ruined cottage here, and Max looks very handsome standing in amongst the daffs.

Max in the daffodils

You can’t see them in the¬†photo below, but at the adjacent apiary (which is still maintained) the bees were very busy.

The bees were busy at the apiary

We continued on a fairly long, circular path. What surprised me is that it is school holidays, and a beautiful morning, and I didn’t meet a soul until we’d been walking for an hour and 5 minutes! We pretty much had the place to ourself the whole walk.

We walked back to the car via Sherford Lake as usual.

Sherford Lake

This enable me to wash the smell of bog off Max before we had to get back in the car. We’d been out just under 2 hours and had had a lovely walk.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath where we met Ariadne, Dawn’s English Pointer puppy, for the very first time.

Ariadne

Weekend Walks

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th March 2016

I didn’t take many photos this week-end, so I’ve lumped our Saturday and Sunday walks together in one post.

On Saturday we went to Upton Heath as usual, where I took a couple of photos of Jez: firstly by the pond…

Jez

… and secondly in the old pits (or as Google Maps calls it, the Upton Canyons – goodness only knows where they got that name from!).

Jez

On Sunday we went out to Wareham Forest.

Track in Wareham Forest

We were lucky enough to have some sunshine, and I took this photo of Max posing in the trees.

Max

Once again I tried to get Jez down to the Dragonfly and Gruffalo pools via the short route, but she was having none of it. In this photo she’s coming running towards me having stopped on the hill and refused to move for a while.

Jez runs towards me

After I took that she cut up the steep hill towards the viewpoint on a path that is too narrow and steep for me, so I lost her for a while. We met up eventually though, although by that time she’d worm herself out so we had a very slow walk back to the car.

 

A year ago today

On 12th March Max and I went down to Lake Pier at Hamworthy.

Happy to be at the beach again