Summer Solstice and a Strawberry Moon

Monday 20th June 2016

So today was the summer solstice. It didn’t feel like it. It was more like the winter solstice when Max and I walked over Upton Heath.

Wet dog in the pond

As you can see it was wet an miserable. At least today I was dressed for it, kitted out from head to toe in full waterproofs. Its so wet the fungi are starting to make an appearance.

Fungi time again

This little chap was loving it though.

The snails are out and about

Once we’d finished our walk it did at least stop raining, although it was cloudy for most of the rest of the day. It was still cloudy as it started to get dark so I thought my prospects of getting a photo of the much talked about Strawberry Moon were slim. And just to clear up any confusion here, just as a blue moon isn’t blue, a strawberry moon isn’t pink.

Apparently the names for our moons mainly come from the North American native tribes, and in the case of the strawberry moon the name comes from the Algonquin tribe which lived in the New England area. The Strawberry Moon is the name of the full moon in June and indicates that it’s about time to start picking the strawberries. So, now we know what the Strawberry moon is, this year it coincided with the Summer Solstice for the first time since, I believe, 1967. Apparently the two coincide about once every 70 years. And this year I was lucky – the clouds parted as I was going to bed and I was able to take some photos from our bedroom window.

The Strawberry Moon over Creekmoor

How lucky was that?

A year ago today

Max, Jez and I were out walking on Upton Heath.

Max on one of the boardwalks (with Jez in the background)

Well that was a mistake!

Friday 17th June 2016

At the moment Friday’s are Jez’s hydrotherapy day, which means that I get up early and do my grocery shopping before taking her to the vet in Bournemouth. It’s well worth it though as she is definitely improving. This morning she had a long session and was very tired afterwards.

It was raining when we left the vet, but then it eased off. In the afternoon Chris was watching the football so I volunteered to take Max out. What a mistake! We walked over to Upton Heath and half way round the rain started.

Today we had a WetWalk

After a while it eased off, so I thought ‘Well that wasn’t too bad’. As we reached the Roman Road it started to rain heavily though, and the rain was joined by thunder and lightening. So to shelter from the storm there I was, stood under the sweet chestnut trees next to the stream! We must have been there for about 20 minutes. I was throwing Max’s cone so he was happy, and I was relatively dry.

Eventually I decided it had eased enough for us to walk home. Wrong! Half way home the heavens opened and we had a torrential downpour. Within a minute I was soaked to the skin. By the time we go home the footpaths had turned into steams and I was paddling inside my walking boots.

Summer? What Summer?

Even Max looked like a drowned rat.

Max was a bit wet

Remind me not to do Chris’ walk for him again.

A year ago today

Max and I went to the River Stour at Eye Bridge.

Eye Bridge (with Max at the far end)

A Friday Wet Walk

Friday 15th April 2016

It was wet today. Wet and miserable. Which meant I was well wrapped up in waterproofs when I took Max for our Friday walk on Upton Heath. I didn’t take my camera either, but ended up taking a couple of photos on the iPhone.

One thing about the rain: young shoots and flowers always look nice. This is wild honeysuckle.

Rain on honeysuckle

Of course, Max didn’t care about the rain, so we still had to go to the pond to play.

Max doesn't mind the rain

You can see it was raining quite hard by the surface of the water.

We didn’t linger on the heath too long though: I did our regular circuit and then came on home.

A year ago today

No post again from exactly a year ago, but on 14th April we met our English Pointer friends Henry, Sybil and Addy on Upton Heath.

Waiting patiently

A very wet walk

Wednesday 27th January 2016

As yet another storm passes over us (the remnants of the big storm that dumped all the snow on the east cost of the USA over the week-end), I got drenched taking Max for a walk this morning.

We had had a lot of rain overnight, and this morning it was still raining hard and blowing a gale. My plan was to kit up in full waterproofs and walk Max over to Upton Heath. That was until Jez decided she wanted to come. We were so surprised but were convinced she wouldn’t really want a walk in this, but after wandering around the drive she stood at the back of the car waiting to be let in. So I drove her and Max over to the heath. When we got there Jez soon thought twice about wanting to walk. I got her as far as the pine trees on the far side of the Roman Road, and then she was having no more of it and headed back to the car. To be honest, I didn’t blame her. I didn’t want to walk in those conditions either!

So after I dropped her back home I reverted to the original plan and walked Max back over to the heath. He didn’t care about the wind and the rain.

The rain didn't stop Max playing in the pond

In fact, he positively revelled in all of the puddles.

Max enjoyed the ever-expanding puddles

He was a bit of a soggy doggy though.

Drowned rat

And talking of being soggy, the Exmoor Ponies didn’t look as though they were enjoying it too much.

The Exmoor Ponies were very wet too

When we got to the Roman Road we found that it was flooded (fortunately you can walk along the raised bit to the left in the photo), although it wasn’t the worst we’ve ever seen it.

Flooding along the Roman Road

And after that we came on home via Creekmoor ponds, where I dunked Max in the ponds to wash him off. They were so deep though I didn’t need to throw a cone for him – even the shallow bit came up to the top of his shoulders. And can you believe that in all that weather we met up with several people to chat to on our walk – all other dog walkers of course! Meanwhile, back home, Jez had the right idea.

Jez shows us how to spend a wet, windy morning

Oh, and one other thing: I think I need a new waterproof coat. I was a bit damp in places when I got home.

A year ago today

We met this Foxy lady on a walk on Canford Heath.

She's certainly a Foxy lady

Jez came with us this morning, too

Wednesday 4th November 2015

It was raining this morning with heavy rain forecast so not only did I not expect Jez to want to come but I didn’t particularly want to take her. It’s not that I don’t like her coming, but when it rain she either heads straight back to the car as fast as she can or hides under a tree. As I’ve said many times before, Jez does not do heavy rain.

So to ensure some cover today, and in case I had to bring her back home, we went to Upton Country Park. At least it is close by. We started off ok and left the carpark and headed for the Woodland Walk. Then it started to rain. We sheltered under some trees with a man we know and his two dogs and I managed to persuade Jez to stay with us. As the rain eased we were joined by another lady we know and her two dogs and we all continued through the woods together. Just as we got to the end, though, the heavens opened. While us humans sheltered under trees and holly, Jez managed to make her way to the middle of a denser growth of rhododendrons.

I thought that was it, but the rain eased up once again and I managed to get Jez to walk on. After that we were able to continue our walk in the dry. It was pretty dismal, though. Here are Jez and Max in the stream.

Two dogs in the stream today

And this was the view out towards Upton Lake and Poole from the shoreline. As you can see, the sun was trying to come out!

Somewhere to sit and reflect

Nevertheless, it was still pretty bleak and stormy.

View towards Poole

But, as I said, we made it back to the car in the dry. I was amazed we had actually managed to get our walk in.

A year ago today

Max and I went for a walk on Upton Heath.

Max in the little pond by the boardwalk

Its a wet walk

Thursday 29th October 2015

Max and I went to Upton Country Park this morning. We’d had quite a bit of rain overnight, and although I wrapped up well our walk wasn’t too bad. Plus autumn is now in full swing at the Country Park. Unfortunately I’d only taken the iPhone today. Nevertheless I got some good photos. Like this one in the Woodland Walk.

In the Woodland Walk

And yes, that’s Max hunting for Sweet Chestnuts that you can see in the background.

The path to Hamworthy looked a little bit dismal…

Heading towards Hamworthy

… but a bit further on there was more autumnal colour. This lady was trying to take a photo of it, but Max obviously decided she needed some company.

Max thinks the lady taking the photo needs some company

When we got to the stream we had a bit of a surprise.

The stream is very swollen today

As you can see it was really high. That’s not from all the water coming down the stream though. It was a really high tide and so the water was all backed up. We had another nice autumnal view as we walked on from the stream.

Towards the boardwalk

When I got to the boardwalk, though, I got a bit of a surprise. The sea was almost up to the path – which was fine by Max.

Max is happy - the sea is almost up to the path

I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so high. It was flooded either side of the boardwalk too.

The tide is in and there's sea either side of the boardwalk

I took this one from the boardwalk.

Super high tide

And further along by the old burnt down bird hide Max found a new puddle, which I think was caused by the very high water table.

Max has found a new puddle

And for a change we walked on round the front of the park.

Along the cycle track

After that we crossed the lawns, walked through the main car park and headed back to the stream in the new area where I was able to wash Max off before heading back to the car. We had had quite a long walk today, but I didn’t have any pilates so we were able to take our time.

A year ago today

It was a very different day for Max and I to take a walk on Canford Heath.

Canford Heath Panorama

A bit of a damp walk

Monday 31st August 2015

We had more rain this morning, so I only took my iPhone when Max and I went for our normal Monday morning walk on Upton Heath. Not that Max cared about the rain (other than it meant that there was more water to play cone in).

Bringing back his cone

The rain also had the advantage of leaving the cap of this little Grisette glistening.


And that’s about it for today, I’m afraid.

A year ago today

We were out walking in Wareham Forest.

Wareham Forest