Tuesday 23rd February 2016

I have two sets of photos for you today. The first set was taken at Upton Country Park in the morning. As usual, after a quick dip in the stream, Max and I went through the Woodland Walk, where someone has made a very nice shelter.

Someone's built a nice shelter in the Woodland Walk

We went on to the lake where Max decided to chew his stick rather than let me throw it for him.

Time to chew his stick

And lastly another in the ‘Where’s Max? series (although to be honest he’s fairly easy to spot in this one).

Where's Max?

We finished our walk and went home, and then a short time later I put both dogs in the car as they had to go to the vet for their Cartrophen injection (they are in the middle of a 4 week course at the moment). I knew from driving home from Wimborne yesterday that there were new-born lambs near Julian’s Bridge, so I put the camera and my new monopod in the car and stopped en route to the vet. I always think they look so cute in their little raincoats.

Wait for me!

Black sheep of the family.

Sticking to Mum

Running along

. Run along!

Time for a wash.

Time for a wash

All gathered together.

Quite a gathering

And then it was on to the vet.He checked Jez’s heart while we were there and can still hear a slight murmour so I’ve booked her in for an ultrasound next week to see what’s going on.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I got rained on on Upton Heath. And then the sun came out.

Jez is happier now the hail has stopped and there is a hint of sunshine

Mixed weather at Badbury Rings

Tuesday 5th January 2016

As there was some promise of sunshine this morning I took Max out to Badbury Rings for our walk. The weather wasn’t bad when we got there and we soon made the acquaintance of Golden Retriever, Monty.

We met Monty

As usual we headed up the hill to the north of the rings that leads to the old oak wood.

Blue skies and a muddy path

As you can see we had blue skies. There was some cloud around though, as this shot, looking west towards Hemsworth, shows.

Looking towards Hemsworth

We continued on up the muddy track where we met a walker coming the other way.

We met a walker

After that we skirted round the side of the old oak wood. You can’t walk through it as the trees that fall are left to rot, although I noticed today that the National Trust are clearing it out a bit. Anyway, the path round the wood was somewhat wet and muddy, to say the least.

It was impossible to avoid the mud

We walked on round and then turned south towards the Rings again, walking through King Down Farm and on up the hill. At the top of the hill we turned east into High Wood, which was also very wet in places. I also don’t understand why the National Trust have cleared all of the bracken and brambles in the centre of the wood, as in the summer it is usually home to loads of butterflies. Anyway, as we walked round I took this photo of fungi growing on an old tree stump.


And here’s another one, a bit further on, of fungi and moss.

Fungi and moss

At about this time we had a very short shower of rain, which enabled me to take this photo of raindrops on a honeysuckle shoot.

Raindrops on a honeysuckle shoot

We came out of the woods after struggling through the mud, and then turned back towards Badbury Rings. Along the edge of the woods there were lots of hazel catkins.

Hazel Catkins

When we got back to the Rings I was wondering which route to take, and then realised that the skies were black to the south but the sun was starting to shine through, so that decided me. It enabled me to take a whole series of photos of the sun breaking through the clouds. When you see a scene like this you can understand how ancient peoples thought that there god(s) were talking to them from on high.

Circle of light

And here is a panorama of the same scene.

Hole in the sky

How lucky was I?

As we came home via Wimborne I stopped off by the River Stour, which is currently in flood.

The Stour is in flood

And finally for today, in the early afternoon the postman knocked on our door to say a blackbird had flown into our front window and had knocked itself out. It quickly recovered but refused to move.

A blackbird recovers from an encounter with a window

I popped a washing basket over it to protect it from the neighbours’ cats, and then left it to recover. After about half an hour I removed the basket but kept an eye on it, and I’m pleased to say it eventually flew away.

A year ago today

Max and I met the Exmoor ponies on Upton Heath.


Down by the river

Wednesday 8th April 2015

The river in question was the River Stour at Eyebridge, near Wimborne. It was fairly sunny, although a little bit hazy, and Max always enjoys it at the river. Today we found that we could get down to a new bit of the river, shortly after our normal playing place, as all of the grass and rushes have been cut back. There is a nice little gravel bed there for Max to play in. While we were there I took this new view, looking along the river.

A new view along the River Stour

Spring was in the air, and there was lots of pussy willow around.

Willow Blossom

There was also lots of hawthorn blossom.

Hawthorn Blosson

In one of the shadier areas there is loads of lichen growing on the trees and bushes by the path, and this particular piece caught my eye.


Lastly, back at the ford at Eyebridge I took this photo of the trees reflected in the river. I know I’ve taken a similar photo before, but I thought this one worked well in black and white.

Reflections at Eyebridge

A year ago today

Max and I went to Canford Heath where I took this view looking across Poole.

View over Canford Heath to Poole

Are you sure that’s Max?

Wednesday 4th March 2015

Today Max had his appointment at the groomer, but before he went I took him out to Badbury Rings for a walk. It was a lovely sunny day with a bitterly cold wind, so Badbury Rings, being high and exposed, might not have been the best choice. But I had my reasons. You see, en route there are a couple of fields with young lambs in.

With Mum

They are just so cute.

Lazing in the sun

Even when they’re sticking their tongue out.


And, as is the trend this year, the very young ones have their little plastic raincoats on.

Showing of my plastic mac

Out at the Rings it was a day for the birds. We saw a Kestrel.


A Buzzard.


And, joy to my ears, the skylarks are up in the sky singing their hearts out. This one had landed (sorry it’s not a very good shot).


As for Max, well, this was what he looked like when we went for our walk.

Shaggy boy

A bit of a shaggy dog story I think you’ll agree.

And this was our ‘new’ smart boy afterwards.

Max looking very smart

He smells wonderful, and his coat is lovely and soft – it feels like plush velvet.

A year ago today

Looks like it was Shrove Tuesday.

The pancake is in the pan!

Shrove Tuesday in Wimborne

Tuesday 17th February 2015

I hadn’t planned to go to Wimborne today, but yesterday afternoon I realised the driver’s side indicators weren’t working on the loan car, so had to take it into the garage to be fixed. They had told me it would be about 20mins, so I took Max, planning to go on to Badbury Rings afterwards. When I got there, though, they estimated 40 minutes, so rather than wait around I decided to walk Max down into Wimborne along the River Allen which runs next to the garage.

Max by the River Allen

It is a pretty little river and for part of the secion we walked had houses along one side and a footpath along the other.


The river is important for wildlife, although all we saw were coots, ducks and swans.


We got into Wimborne and wandered around the town, eventually coming to the Minster.

View of the Minster

An abbey was originally founded on the site of the Minster in 705ad, and King Elthelred I was buried there. The original abbey was destroyed in 1013. The church was rebuilt by the Normans between 1120 and 1180 and has been added to since.

This is a view of the west tower.

The west tower

And I rather liked the year-round sundial.

Year round Sundial

As we walked around the church (I didn’t go in as I had Max with me) I was bemused by the loudspeakers broadcasting something about registration. When I rounded the corner I realised why. They were getting ready for the annual pancake race around the church. There was quite a crowd gathering.

Crowds gather for the pancake race

Representatives of the Wimborne militia were there.

Wimborne Militia Men

Wimborne is only one of two towns which still has a standing militia. These are dressed in the period of the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. I stopped to have a chat with the two gentlemen.

Wimborne Militia Men

The one on the left is the deputy Town Crier (apparently the Town Crier is on holiday in France).

After a while they were joined by the Mayor.

The mayor joins the party

Sadly I couldn’t stay to see the actual pancake race as I had to get home for a physio appointment, so I walked Max back along the river to the garage. Poor Max, all that water and it was generally too fast and too deep for him to get in. We did find the odd shallow spot for him though.

Max in the River Allen

There’s still no news on my car by the way, so it looks as though its going to be a while yet before we get it back.

A year ago today

Recent winds had caused the top of a pine tree to snap off on Upton Heath.

A top of a pine has snapped off

BytheWay and on to the Stour

Wednesday 10th April 2013

Last week I spotted an announcement that there was to be an official opening to a new leisure area in Wimborne Minster (well, it’s actually in Colehill), which is open parkland with a small, man-made lake adjoining a small common. So today I took Max out to investigate it. It is called BytheWay Field.

BytheWay Field, Colehill

Max was very happy, and started off by trying to water every newly planted tree, of which there are many. He soon gave that up, thank goodness, but was still very happy to be somewhere new. Here he is on the boardwalk in Leigh Common.

Max on the boardwalk at Leigh Common

Although it is pretty swampy I suspect it will be a good place to go in the summer to photograph dragonflies and damselflies, as there is a small pond in there and lots of small streams, as well as the boggy areas. It has well made paths all the way round though, so there was no need for me to get muddy.

This is the view across BytheWay Field and the new lake towards Colehill (on the hills at the back of the photo). The Field itself is pretty much what it says it is – a large field with a pathways and a few streams running through it.

BytheWay Field - view across to Colehill

And here is the view from the other end of the lake.

Max by the lake at BytheWay, Colehill

With only Max I walk round a lot faster, so after 30 minutes we’d finished our walk. A lady I spoke to told me about a footpath down to the River Stour, though, so we went to investigate. We found our way, although it seems a bit strange that the footpath goes straight through a planted field at one point. The banks of the Stour get very muddy, so with all the rain last summer and through the winter we haven’t been down there for nearly a year. Max, of course, loves it, but the river was running so fast that I had to keep him out of the water, so we didn’t walk very far along the bank. Here’s a view up the river towards the small weir at Canford Magna.

River Stour at Canford School

And to finish, a couple of views across to Canford School (notice the big tree that has been cut down in this first photo).

View across the Stour to Canford School

View across the Stour to Canford School

Somewhere to add to our growing list of places to go when the weather improves and the ground dries out.