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.

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