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

Upton Country Park again

Friday 18th November 2016

Today is Chris’ birthday, so he had his presents and cards first thing. After that I took Max back to Upton Country Park. Jez was busy sunning herself at home, but it gave me the opportunity to walk Max through the woods and then around the back of the park.

If the woods looked good yesterday, then the Dark Age Dwelling in the trees looked even better today.

The Dark Age Dwelling nestled in the trees

Since last week they have put a front on it.

There's a front and door on the Dark Age Dwelling now

And I rather liked the door catch.

Door latch

Here’s another part of the Woodland Walk. This photo was bombed by a Labrador, but I thought the photo looked far better with him in it than the photo I took without him.

A labrador bombs my Woodland Walk photo

We walked on around to the stream and Max stood in it, ever hopeful that I’d throw something for him.

Max in the stream

But his legs aren’t good at the moment so there were no cones today. Here he is again by the stream which has been swollen by the very high tide.

The stream is very swollen from a high tide

And finally for today: Max on the boardwalk.

Max on the boardwalk

The walk had been a little bit chilly but at least we’d had sunshine.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath and met this beautiful, 13 week old whippet called Juno.

Juno - 13 weeks old (what fabulous ears!)

The Woodland Walk at Kingston Lacy

Friday 11 November 2016

It was a sunny morning and so I decided to take the dogs out to Kingston Lacy today.

Kingston Lacy house at Autumn

It’s been a few weeks since we were in the Woodland Walk so I thought I’d see what it looked like in the autumn sunshine today. This is a slightly different view of the house, which I took just as we entered the Woodland Walk.

A slightly different view of Kingston Lacy

This is the lovely, carved arch that marks the start of the play area.

Entrance to the Woodland Walk

In the woods the sunlight was coming through the trees.

Sunlight through the trees

And I found some very pretty little fungi.


We walked on along the path.

Autumn in the Woodland Walk

And occasionally met other visitors.

Wallking through the Woodland Walk in Autumn

When we got to a nice area of fallen leaves in the sun I took a photo of Max.


And tried to take one of Max and Jez together, but Jez wasn’t interested.

Jez doesn't want her photo taken

We continued on and I checked out the Acer Glade, but virtually all of the trees have lost their leaves now. So we back-tracked a short distance and then took the path back up to the house. It had been a lovely morning’s walk.

A year ago today

Max had a vet appointment in Wareham and afterwards I took him to Studland Beach for his walk.

Knoll Beach

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.


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

It’s November!

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Well at least I’m writing in the same month now – I must be starting to catch up. Mind you, I’m likely to get further behind shortly as it has been agreed that the new kitchen will start to be installed (well, the old one ripped out first of course) in 3 weeks time. So I have a lot of work to do in the meantime, like cleaning out the garage to take the new kitchen for a few days when it’s delivered, and clearing out the kitchen.

But back to our walks. It was a lovely sunny morning so Jez, Max and I went to Upton Country Park. This was the view along the path to Hamworthy as we approached the Woodland Walk.

The path to Hamworthy

In the Woodland Walk the Dark Age Dwelling, which is a piece of experimental archaeology, is progressing well and looked lovely in the autumn leaves.

Dark age dwelling

Dark age dwelling

Jez led us around the newest section of the park where I found these fungi.

Cluster of fungi

And then we walked on to the stream.

Max in the stream

We took a circular route back to the Woodland Walk where we met an aquaintance, Steve from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, with his puppy, Molly. We chatted as we walked through the Woodland Walk while the dogs explored. Back at the Dark Age Dwelling the workmen had appeared.

Working on the Dark Age Dwelling

You may notice that the timber the guy on the right is inspecting is badly burned. This came from the old, copy ¬†of a Roman house that had been built nearer Upton House and was burned down by arsonists last year. Talking to them, they explained that they are trying to reclaim the timber to use as much as possible. Meanwhile Jez was pleased to find a gap in the fencing so that she could go in and explore. I’d managed to get her out again by the time I took that photo.

We walked on and were almost back at the main path when I saw a really big clump of Mycenae fungi.

Clustered Mycenae

I always think they look so pretty. By this time it had clouded over, so we had clearly had the best of the day for our walk.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I went for a walk at the top end of Upton Heath.

View over Upton Heath and Poole (plus Max)

We take Jez to Kinston Lacy

Friday 23rd September 2016

Today I had both Jez and Max with me. I planned to walk on Badbury Rings, but when we got there the Rings were covered with grazing sheep. One dog I could cope with, but two was one too many, so I drove back to Kingston Lacy. As you may know, Max and I have walked here quite a bit, but I’ve never bought Jez as well. There are two reasons for this: dogs have to be kept on a lead and it’s a bit of a pain having both dogs on the lead for the entire walk, and I’ve been worried it might be a bit too far for Jez to walk.

Jez was excited to be somewhere new though, and we set off through the Woodland Walk. I took a few photos along the way to give you an impression of what it’s like.

Photo number 1.

In the Woodland Walk (1)

Photo number 2.

In the Woodland Walk (2)

Photo number 3.

in the Woodland Walk (3)

And towards the end of the Woodland Walk we came across this sign.

In the Woodland Walk (4)

From this point on I would normally continue with Max through the gardens, but, as I said, I think this might be a bit too far for Jez, so instead we cut along a path back towards the house. This gave me diffent views of the house from those I’ve shared before.

I rather like this view of it framed by the trees.


And here it is nestled in amongst the trees.


And a bit closer still.

A slightly different viewpoint

And the final one of the house.

Kinston Lacy House

I also took a photo of the second obelisk in the grounds.


This isn’t the famous Philae obelisk which is immediately south of the house. However, I don’t know where it came from as I can’t find out anything about it.

As we got close to the house Jez decided she needed a rest, so it gave me the opportunity to take some photos of the dogs. Here’s Jez.



And here’s Jez practicing for Tongue Out Tuesday.

Tongue Out

And finally, here’s Max.


So, after an abortive start we had a very nice walk.

A year ago today

I found this lovely white brain fungus in Longmeadow Lane Woods in Creekmoor.

White Brain Fungus (fairly rare apparently)

A dog show at Upton Country Park

Saturday 30th July 2016

Jez is still a very stiff and sore little dog after her fall on Thursday. Although she had a hydrotherapy session yesterday the vet cut it short as she clearly didn’t want to be in the water walker. So we’re letting her take it easy for a short time. She went out with Chris this morning so I thought it best not to take her this afternoon. Instead I walked Max over to Upton Country Park where Dorset Dogs were holding a dog show.

Dorset Dogs Dog Show

Mind you, we nearly didn’t get there. Max did not want to walk along the street with me and took a lot of persuading. Which remind me: I forgot to say that Max also had a vet appointment on Thursday as his hind legs appear quite weak and wobbly at times. The vet said he has ataxia and is worried about him. He’s running some blood tests initially and if they are clear Max will have to go in for an X-ray on his spine.

So, back to the dog show. We got there eventually, as you can see from the photo above, and one of the first dogs we met was this gorgeous 16 week old German Shepherd puppy.

GSD Puppy

There was another white German Shepherd 2 weeks older than him, but she was so lively I couldn’t get a decent photo of her.

Max and I started off by walking around the stalls, including the Dorset Dogs stand.

Dorset Dogs stand

They still have an old photo of Jez on the boards, although you can’t see it in that photo. Max enjoyed visiting the stands as he was given a treat at each one! We then went and sat down for a while by the show ring.

Max has a rest

We were next to a Clumber Spaniel and at one point Max went to say hello. I just love Max’s expression in this photo.

Max and Bailey, a Clumber Spaniel

After a time I took Max on to the stream so that he could cool down.

Max cools off in the stream

And then we walked round through the Woodland Walk where I noticed that Bournemouth University are building a Dark Age house.

Dark Age Dwelling being build in the Woodland Walk

Having been very hot it had, by this time, clouded over.

View ocer Upton Farm

Max had not been walking too well so I phoned Chris to come and get me, rather than walk all the way home. The plan had been to leave Jez at home but she was having none of that and was in the back of the car when I put Max in. Although by this time they were clearing away the stands at the dog show I thought I’d give her a quick walk around the lawn. She was happy to go and meet the people who were left, especially Jo and Paul who run the training classes she and Max attended. And then she had to have a rest.

Jez rests after meeting her trainers at the Tricks 4 Treats stand

It took a while but I eventually managed to walk her back to the car and we came home.

A year ago today

Actually a year ago yesterday when we went to Badbury Rings. There were brooding clouds over the Point to Point course. Brooding clouds over the Point to Point course