Rain then some sunshine

Sunday 10th September to Saturday 16th September 2017

Yes, we went over to Upton Heath for our walk on Sunday and we got wet again! Although it wasn’t as bad as yesterday my walking boots decided enough was enough and let water, so I came home with wet feet. Teddy wasn’t particularly happy about the state of affairs either.

Wet again! Teddy's not very happy

Monday was a good day – we didn’t get wet! And on Tuesday we actually had sunshine for our walk on Canford Heath. Here is Teddy, backlit by the sun.

Backlit on Canford Heath

And letting me know that all this photo-taking malarkey can get a bit boring.

Well this is boring!

When we do get sunshine a lot of Red Admiral butterflies are taking advantage, and we saw this lovely one as we headed down towards Knighton Heath.

Red Admiral Butterfly

I also spotted quite a large fungi and was trying to get a photo of it, but Teddy thought he’d take a leaf our of Max’s book and photobomb the shot.

Teddy takes a leaf out of Max's book and learns to photobomb

We continued on round and Teddy met a young Cocker Spaniel for the second time and they had a really good play. After which, of course, Teddy had to find the nearest puddle in which to cool down.

Teddy poses for Tongue out Tuesday

I particularly like this photo of him.

Time to cool down in a puddle

Needless to say he got out covered in mud!

Tuesday would have been Jezebel’s 10th birthday, so the day was tinged with sadness. But she loved cake, so in her honour I made a chocolate marble cake in the afternoon which Chris and I have been enjoying. This photo of Jez was taken on her birthday last year.

Jez on her 9th Birthday

On Wednesday I went to Dad’s in the morning as usual. I am pleased to say he has suffered no ill effects as a result of his fall last week, other than a very sore thumb where he cut it. In the afternoon I took Teddy over to Canford Heath, although I didn’t take any photos as once again it looked as though it could tip down with rain at any minute. After our walk we dropped round to Pat’s to take her her birthday presents: she will be 97 on Thursday.

On Thursday Teddy and I headed out to Badbury Rings for our walk. We didn’t get that far, though, as Teddy decided to whine and bark in the back of the car. Instead I called into Kingston Lacy which was closer.

Unfortunately the main part of the Woodland Walk is closed.

No Woodland Walk for us today

We did manage to do one small loop in the woods though, and then headed back past the house to the gardens. This view of the house was taken as we were walking back from the Woodland Walk.

Kingston Lacy House

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but in the woods in one part of the gardens they are using pigs to clear the undergrowth. They’ve always been too far away for me to get a photo before, but today they were by the fence. Here is the big one (I think it might be a Gloucester Old Spot, but I can’t actually see any spots so I might be wrong).

Clearing the undergrowth in the gardens the natural way

And here is one of the Kunekunes.

This Kunekune is hoping to be fed a few apples

He came over to the fence as there is a shoot there. You can buy apples and feed the pigs. Sadly I didn’t have 50p on me for the apples, so he had to go hungry.

Over in the Kitchen Garden the dahlias are looking lovely.

Dahlia

There was supposed to be an orchid flowering there somewhere but I couldn’t find it. I did find the little autumnal scene in one of the outhouses though.

Autumn's harvest in the Kitchen Garden

And one final shot of the house as we walked back to the car.

Kingston Lacy House

On Friday we walked over Upton Heath again and although I took the camera we spent time walking round with a dog walker so I didn’t take any photos. I did take the camera when we went on Saturday though, despite the forecast of rain. There was a very misty and moody view over Poole Harbour, looking towards Arne.

A misty view across the heath

And yes, we got wet, but not very. Just a couple of fairly light showers. So I’ll leave you with a panorma of the heath and hope that the forecast is right and we will not have a few days without rain.

Panorma across Upton Heath

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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.

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.

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.

Fungi

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.

Framed

And here it is nestled in amongst the trees.

Nestled

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.

Obelisk

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.

 

Jez

And here’s Jez practicing for Tongue Out Tuesday.

Tongue Out

And finally, here’s Max.

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)