Thursday, 31 July 2008

Not such a good walk at Broadstone!

The other evening we decided to try a walk in the conurbation instead of driving out into the country....bad idea! When we were there a couple of weeks ago to see the Nightjars we noticed a walk along the old railway line from Ashington Cutting, it's a nice walk through an old trackbed. Lots of birdsong and someone has gone to alot of trouble to make it suitable for walking. We saw a deer and just enjoyed the amble until we happened to find ourselves on the edge of Broadstone Golf Course! We decided to turn back into the track and retrace our steps but a rather officious elderly golfer had seen us and informed us we couldn't go back as it was the Golf Clubs land! To be honest we didn't want to walk anywhere near the golf course as we find them rather sterile areas and without the wildness we like. Anyway he wouldn't have it and as we are peaceable folk we went his way which was a footpath that just led to a sign saying "End of Public Footpath" led absolutley no-where!
After returning to the car via a busy road we decided urban walking is not for us! But still, whoever did the hard work on the track, thank you. Sorry this turned into a rant...I'm not really grumpy I promise....we have learnt our lesson now!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Kimmeridge at the end of the day

Sunday was so hot that Wrecks could not possibly walk in the day with all that hair he carries with him! So an evening walk at Kimmeridge was just the job. The sky was beautiful and changed every few camera sounded like a papparazzi's camera with all the clicking and whiring!
We climbed up to the newly rebuilt Clavell Tower on the cliff edge. The flowers in front are where the tower was stood last year. It is going to be let out for a price I'm sure!
The view a few minutes later from the tower, very peaceful and serene and we were the only people up there, and Wrecks who was breaking the silence with his panting having climbed up there.
And we stayed until it got dark and looked back up to the tower for a last look before home.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

More Stapehill....

This sign intrigued me and I wanted to find the swarm to see it or take a photo of it...I'm not sure my friend was as keen as me to find it! I asked a gardener and he said he didn't know where it was that day so I didn't see it...shame!
This is just such an English country garden scene and the fountain was cool to be near on a hot day. It is quite a big garden with lots of different little areas, we asked the gardener we spoke to how many of them look after it and he said only four of them, which isn't much for a garden that size.
I just loved this window, in fact I think I may do a watercolour of it sometime from this photo. The red bricks and the flowers around it are just lovely.
As we wandered around, on our way out we found this secret door in the garden wall, it reminds me of the book and subsequent film of the same name, "The Secret Garden". I had to know what was the other side, was it a secret garden, or a tool store, or what.......Scroll down to see what was the other side.....

Oh, not so exciting after all!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Stapehill abbey Quilt show

What a lovely way to spend a summer friend Sandra and I went to Stapehill Abbey to see all the beautiful quilts on show made by local ladies. This Cloister garden is next to the quilts and a peaceful oasis to wander round, which we of course did.The abbey is 19th century and has beautiful gardens, but more of that another time. For 200 years it was the home of a silent order of Cistercian Nuns, and someone that Sandra and I know actually went to school here, taught by the Nuns ( I assume that wasn't silent!) No school I ever went to was as pretty as this one!
The quilts were hung in wonderful old rooms and the natural light added to their charm. We were both inspired but also a little feeling that we could never aspire to such amazing works of art ourselves. Still, it didn't stop us both buying some cut up and sew together again!!!!
We took a picnic out into the garden and sat by the lake to eat it, met other people we knew, chatted to people we didn't know and just really enjoyed it. So now....where's my sewing box?.......

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Corfe Castle from the other way

When we had our day out with church on Saturday there was a bird hide on the edge of the site looking over the back of Poole Harbour where the River Frome comes out from Wareham. It was such a peaceful spot looking over a little pond and on into the harbour itself. When we got there some deer were grazing and soon the birds started to appear. Immature Great Spotted Woodpeckers, young Greenfinch, Blue Tits, Chaffinch and Great Tits. I'm sure there would have been much more to see but we were with other people so didn't spend as long as we otherwise would have!
After this we went off to the Scott Arms at Kingston for a little light refreshment on a hot day and this is the view from the garden of the pub. Not bad eh? Many a time we have sat here and watched Buzzards circling around. If you are visiting this area this is a lovely pub, the food is good, and the view speaks for itself!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Summer Evening

Whilst walking near the coast path at dancing ledge and on towards Swanage we saw this farmer cutting his hay in the evening, he was racing up and down the field really quickly. I think he must have been hungry or something! He no doubt will be back there today with the hay turner on the tractor.
The weather is set fair for a few days so all the farmers are busy out in the fields to get it all cut, dried and baled up before the next rain comes. Some of the combine harvesters are about too. Saw a lovely yellow hammer while walking and some gentle looking Guernsey cows, a few deer and still no dolphin to be seen from the cliff top! I have only ever seen them while on holiday in Pembrokeshire but I would love to see them off the Dorset coast.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Somewhere new

Today has been a lovely day, our Church hired out Holton Lee near Sandford for a rest and relaxation time for everyone. Mark and his wife Angie did the most amazing BBQ, probably the best I've ever been to and the sweets afterwards were all homemade, lovely. After lunch about 20 of us went for a walk down to the edge of the harbour.....and this was the view! It's remote because no-one can get to it usually. Some folk stayed back at the site and played rounders, quoits, boules, tennis, cricket or just vegged out.
Anyway back to the view, after a while the path got a bit overgrown and most turned back but five of us continued on through the brambles and were rewarded with this view.
This was where we had the Church day, probably 60 to 70 people were there, it was nice to get to know people better and just relax. There was a bird hide we walked to but more of that another time. Afterwards my husband and I drove onto Purbeck and walked another 4 miles along the coast legs ache!!!!
In total with walking Wrecks this morning I've walked 7 1/2 miles.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Wearing the dog out near Kinston Lacy

I'm not overgood on butterfly recognition, especially when they won't be obliging and open their wings, but I think this is a Wall Brown which is nearly always in the garden...please correct me if I'm wrong.
Last night my daughter and I and of course 'Wrecks the dog' walked near Kingston Lacy House just north of Wimborne. For those who are not local, Kingston Lacy is a large country mansion dating from 1663 which was owned by the Bankes family but now is run by the National Trust. It's on the opposite side of the road to Badbury Rings, which I think you can see on the far left of this picture almost behind the tree on the left. Badbury rings is an ancient Iron age hill fort which you can walk around, there are signs of occupation in the Bronze age there too. We had walked up this long straight path from the road where there are usually alot of butterfly's but it was a bit cloudy and occasional showery rain so nothing doing last night. going right across the top of the picture is the famous avenue of beech trees which line the road between Kingston Lacy and Badbury Rings, it stretches for 2 miles and originally had 365 Beech trees but due to storm damage and the age of the trees there are not so many now.
Took this through a hedge but the light was getting a little low by this time. I don't want to be depressing but it seems the nights are drawing in a bit now and the evening walks will either have to start earlier or be shorter.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Swyre Head

These photos were not taken this week but it's a place we often walk to. It's not a long walk and you can do a circuit if you are like my better half and don't like to retrace your steps! Of course the walk is not so short if you stop to admire the view (which you won't be able to resist).....if you do stop and look you will be there for ages. These shots are taken looking west....well as it's sunset it can't be any other really can it!! We walked up here once with some friends who have a farm between Weymouth and Abbotsbury and we could see the sunshine on their area while we were under a cloud.
This morning I got up early and my daughter dropped me and the dog off about 3 miles away from home on her way to work and we walked back through a nature reserve and eventually home. It was nice because most of the dog walkers were not out and made a nice peaceful walk. Lots of butterflys today...the weather has been so poor lately we haven't seen many. The slow worm is in the garden every day now...have instucted anyone strimming or mowing the lawn to do a check for him first!

Monday, 14 July 2008

A walk in the park

This is my local park, just behind the trees is a railway line and beyond that is the harbour. It's a very beautiful view over to Purbeck. I walked a couple of miles with Wrecks the dog but didn't see any real wildlife..and that's it for tonight !

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Mad horse on a Sunday afternoon

After night shift I sometimes like to chill out by the water for a few minutes before home to sleep. The ferry is on it's way to France and if you look in front of the boat between it and the tall mast you will see Corfe Castle in the distance on the Isle of Purbeck. ( It is the castle that inspired Enid Blyton and she called it Kirrin castle ). The boat makes a quite big bow wave as it goes through and scatters all the sea birds away for a few minutes.
This afternoon we had what we had hoped would be a gentle stroll on Purbeck. We walked onto the Kilwood reserve near East Creech. This was a general view as we walked along the track and you can see some deer grazing in the field. Lots of butterfly's and heard one or two Woodpeckers and saw a Green woodpecker. It's a small reserve but very nice and plenty of insects and butterflys and wild flowers.
The other side of the reserve was a style into this chaps's field. We crossed the field with no bother from him and passed into a woodland with a narrow winding path which was not fenced off so the horse had access to it too. As we sauntered along we suddenly heard thundering hooves coming towards us, turned to be faced with this horse galloping at full pelt along the track towards us, we jumped off the track and used a tree for protection and he flew past us at a cracking pace! A little disconcerted we carried on when he had done a circuit and gone back into his field, a few minutes later he did it again and another tree had to be used to hide behind! By this time we had decided not to go back across the field, so after much scrambling managed to find another track and did a big circle back to the car. I have never been so close to a galloping horse and it was so powerful, even though he wasn't a huge horse. I have not been nervous of them before but this one spooked me a bit!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Coombe Keynes

We wandered along this path last night near Coombe Keynes in Dorset, as it happens we were in the wrong place as we were looking for the nature reserve and this isn't it! But, it might as well have been as we saw lots of deer and a couple of Buzzards, foxgloves lined the paths and the wind rustled through the grasses.
A little while later after we had consulted the OS Map we found ourselves walking towards the reserve from the Coombe Keynes road at Kimberts End. As soon as we got onto the bridle path we saw a deer and her fawn sniffing around the edge of a maize field. Another Buzzard and a quick flash of a hare running between the rows of maize as we walked along. Due to our wrong path previously we didn't have time to get to the reserve, but we will go back sometime I'm sure and the path to it was as good, after all no-one tells the creatures what is a nature reserve and what is not!
There was a farm there selling free range time I will have money in my pocket for that too.
Our son had run on through the reserve as part of his fitness plan, and as he came out the other side he met this fellow snouting in the grass. He took this with his mobile so it's not great quality. He tried one using the zoom but it was just a blur. It did ruin his run but I think he felt it was worth it, he still did a three mile circuit . We wished we had gone just a little further and seen it too. Not a bad evening's will have to do for a couple of days as I am on night shift for a couple of it's fox watching out of the window and listening to the dawn chorus!
I didn't go on the Nightjar walk the other evening as it didn't stop raining so I thought it may be cancelled, they'll always be another time.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

No rain on this blog!

This picture is just here to remind me that the sun did shine a couple of weeks ago even though it has rain solidly all day today! I think this is Uppark, a house owned by the National Trust. Walked Wrecks around the locality today and most people were very sensibly staying indoors. A few brave Mum's walking to fetch their children from school,,,most though were in their cars. My children when they were at school used to call children who always went by car in the rain 'the cardboard kids'.!
Whilst walking through the graveyard three gravediggers were filling in a grave, sad for the family of the person who had died to be saying farewell in such atrocious weather....and poor gravediggers, what a job on a wet day.
Met a 'Lollipop lady' waiting to see the children across the road, nice and dry in her fluorescent coat and hat...but she said the rain was running down her neck!
If it drys up this evening I may go on another Nightjar walk on Canford Heath, I know I saw them last week but I want to know where they are so that I can go and see them when I like and take the rest of my family.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Now you see you don't!

This is Kimmeridge again. Those of you who are local will know about the tower at Kimmeridge but for those who don't, this is it. Due to erosion the cliffs have been receding and Clavell Tower which is perched on the top above the cove had to be moved back to save it from it's fate in the sea. Last year the work started and when we were there the other day it is clear that it is nearly complete. The above picture was taken just after they had started to rebuild it last year and you can see how far they have moved it back and below as it is now. Apparently they are going to use it as a holiday home, I think it belongs to the National Trust. What an amazing view you would get seeing dawn and sunset.
The weather here is still a bit iffy, I've been running in and out all day rescuing washing! Saw a young Goldfinch whilst Wrecks and I were walking this morning, four Ring Collared Doves in the graveyard, and a Green Woodpecker flying away.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Kimmeridge in the rain and wind!

Despite it being a very blowy afternoon we parked in the little old quarry above Kimmeridge and went for a walk. My Husband and 16 year old son went right along the ridge in the photo, when they got to they highest point you can see in this picture they dropped down into Tyneham which is out of sight the other side of the ridge.. Tyneham is a village that was taken over by the army many years ago and sadly the inhabitants never were allowed back after the war had ended so it has become a bit of a ghost village. The village in the foreground is Kimmeridge. I went on a different track because it's easier to try and train Wrecks with just me there. He walked beautifully this afternoon. I climbed up higher the other way and despite the weather it was stunning to see. The wind was so strong up on the top it nearly took me off my feet! Being up so high I could see the rain coming so back down the hill quick and under the shelter of a huge chestnut tree Wrecks and I sat it out and didn't get a bit wet!
There is still beauty out there even on the most bad weather day isn't there. These wayside flowers are just so pretty.
Last night Tattyanne and I went on a Nightjar and Glow worm walk at Corfe Mullen on the heathland. It started at 9pm and we were led by the Dorset Wildlife Trust warden, Nicky to a spot where we would be sure to see and hear the Nightjars and a few minutes later we were treated to a display by the birds! Later we walked on as the night fell and saw three or four Glow worms...I hadn't realised how bright they are, almost fluorescent. It was a lovely walk so thank you to Jane and Nicky for that. I hadn't done one of these organised walks before and was a little nervous but it was Ok.
This picture is for you, GTM...hope it makes sense, if it's not highlighted it's still in the freezer. You should be able to click on it to see it better.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Walking,walking and more walking

I have been reading the book by Cesar Milan about training dogs and he reackons 3/4 hour morning and evening walks for a dog. I have to say I have done less than that so I increased the time. Poor old Wrecks!! I got up at and walked him for 3/4 hour before going into work today, the only rare thing I saw was a milkman in a milk float...they are getting less and less common I notice!
Went to work and afterwards I took him for another 3/4 hour round a local country the rain!! Tonight I am supposed to be going on an organised nature walk with tattyanne but wonder if it is still on with the weather as it is. If it is I'll write about it tomorrow.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Fresh start

I read a blog by Sarah,
the other day and she had been reading a 1930's book about housework and the suggestion was that you do all the housework stuff such as cleaning, washing, ironing, hoovering, cooking etc in the morning and leave the afternoon for crafts, gardening, etc.. ( what I would call the 'gentle arts'). Good idea I thought, so today I happened to wake early at about, I got up and walked Wrecks the dog at shocked him!!! See the photo above as to his thoughts on the matter! We walked for 40 minutes then I came back and got stuck in and It's just gone midday and I have finished!! Hooray!! I even found time to make some Lemon Curd so the house smells lovely.Thanks Sarah for the idea.
I'm now here on the that a gentle art?...not sure about that!
I haven't done too much country walking this week as I've been quite busy but I've got a day off on Sunday so hopefully we'll get out and about then.Bird feeders are covered with Sparrows and below it the ground feeding Dunnock and of course the Wood Pigeons. The Great Tits are still visiting too.
The sunset photo was taken at Moors Valley Country park last week where I walked in the evening with my daughter and Wrecks. Usually it's a very busy place and we avoid it but in the evening it's so quiet that it's a pleasure.
Well it's afternoon now so I'm off to do a little light weeding!