A Walk on Holt Heath

•February 3, 2016 • 5 Comments

Today there was a nice blue sky and some sunshine so mum thought we’d go for a walk on the heath. We were both sleeping… and had to stop snoring and dreaming.

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You want me to wake up?

Hintza had been trying out my ‘best’ bed, I only go in it when I’m clean and dry. I think it’s a bit small for him but he was determined to stay in it!

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A walk? Now?

It was lovely on the heath, there was a bit of a chill wind but it was nice when the sun came out. Some of the mud had gone but there was still a lot left. We had loads of fun and met two nice labradors and a whole herd of bonkers springers!

I was soon jumping in a stream for a paddle but Hintza was a bit reluctant. I’m not even sure he can swim, I reckon he can – well, all labradors like water don’t they? But he just seems to look and then stays on the side watching.

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Mmmm refreshing

Can you tell it was windy? Hintza’s ears don’t flap like mine do, I look like I’m about to take off.

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The best water hole

Yay! He went in.. only up to his ankles, but at least he went in!

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Gate 37

He’s easily distracted and is either lagging behind or way out in front checking out the sniffs first.

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Hurry up Hintza!

Neither of us went in this one – the water is black and stinky.

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The stinkiest water hole

Well that was about it, four miles of mud and water… time to go home for more snoozing and dreaming.

Hintza’s Back!!

•January 25, 2016 • 1 Comment

Hintza’s back!

He came to stay with us last year for a week and this year he’s back again for two and a bit weeks this time! I’m going to take him on all my favourite walks and introduce him to all my doggy pals. Pickle is happy because he’s a ginger and she likes gingers.. and Hintza doesn’t have any urges to ‘eat cat’ BOL. Mind you he does want to eat anything else that’s even just a tiny bit edible. He got stuck in to the tub of composting stuff and snaffled 2 egg shells… jeez, egg shells? Poor boy must be starving to eat egg shells!

Pretend you didn't hear her

Pretend you didn’t hear her

Look just over her shoulder

Look just over her shoulder

Smile? Where's the smile?

Smile? Where’s the smile?

Tee hee, this is fun!

Tee hee, this is fun!

Shall we both smile together?

Shall we both smile together?

OK just me this time

OK just me this time

OK look just over her right shoulder

OK look just over her right shoulder

Quick! We're both smiling!

Quick! This is your one and only chance!!

So, hopefully I’ll be back with more pictures of me and Hintza having fun on our walks and you never know, by the time he’s been here for two weeks I might even decide to sit right next to him!

Little Stick Walk

•January 19, 2016 • 3 Comments

Well, after my last post, it only seems fair to sticks that I point out that some days I like big sticks and some days I like little sticks. And some days I don’t even think about sticks. Well, okay, maybe that’s a lie, I think about sticks pretty much every day but I don’t always find one that I want to carry on a walk.

Anyway, today it was lovely and frosty so mum said we could go for a nice long walk on the heath.

All the puddles were covered in a layer of ice! I wonder who stepped on this one and broke the ice.

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Hmm I shall use my super spaniel nose to see if I can find out who it was.

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Investigations will have to wait because we’ve just got to one of my favourite water holes. I’ll just have to have a quick paddle, luckily it’s in a sheltered spot and there isn’t any ice.

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Brrr… there was no ice but it was still pretty cold.

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I’ll soon warm up in the sunshine if I run around to get dry.

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Such a lot of blue sky and there are two airplanes doing criss-cross trails.

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It always looks funny seeing the giant road cones up on the heath. They’re mostly marking where the bore holes are.

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Such a nice day but we only saw about 6 people and we were walking on the big paths that come up from Whitesheet where most people go. I thought everyone and their dog would want to be out today but we only saw someone with a full set of labradors [cream, yellow, chocolate and black] and they weren’t very friendly at all, oh, and someone with a greyhound, at least I think it was a greyhound, that definitely wasn’t very friendly.

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Have you spotted my stick yet? If you look carefully you can just see it – it’s so small you may need a magnifying glass.

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Maybe I’ll find a bigger one on this bit of the pathway, it’s not a bit we walk along very often because it’s usually very wet and muddy but today the mud was nicely frozen.

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And here we are at one of my favourite spots, Gate 37, where there’s always nice clear water to cool off in when it’s hot. But what’s going on here? Roadworks? Maybe not… my ears tell me that somewhere there is someone nearby with a chainsaw cutting down trees and doing some gorse bashing.

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This bit of the footpath looks like a stream! We are heading up over the green grassy bit to cross the road and walk up the track to get us back on the top bit of heathland.

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And here we are, at the top of the hill, after walking up the path from the track.

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It’s a lovely view from the top, well, that’s what mum says. Me, I’m more interested in what’s going on at ground level.

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It’s quite a big hill and the gorse is really prickly.

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From the top we can even see Horton Tower – it’s in the middle of the picture and looks like it’s just under the power line and in the middle of the woods. But of course it’s not in the middle of the woods, it’s in the middle of a big field, as you can see here.

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That was a great walk, I think I’m going to sleep well tonight.

Big Stick Day

•January 14, 2016 • 3 Comments

Today I had the shortest of walks ever in the morning, didn’t even deserve to be called a walk… but mum had to go out and she didn’t get back until after lunch time. [I was absolutely starving and looking forward to lunch until she reminded me that I don’t get lunch. What? No lunch? Ah well, it was a nice dream while it lasted.] Anyway, after she got back we went out for a walk on the heath, it was lovely and sunny and there was still ice on the puddles.

Here I am at the beginning of our walk… lagging behind, as usual, checking all the p-mail. The first 50 yards are always the slowest as there’s such a lot of it. Now, if you can just tilt your head slightly to the right, you won’t notice that this picture is wonky.

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A bit further along the track and the puddles get really big… the water’s really cold so I don’t think I’ll be doing any swimming today.

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The sun was getting low in the sky and our shadows made us look like giants!!

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The low sun also made it difficult to take pictures.. mum finds it a challenge at the best of times, but you can just about see me checking out another interesting smell.

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And in this one it looks like my head is missing altogether, but I’ve just got my nose to the ground again. Actually I think I spend most of my time with my nose at ground level, that’s the best place to catch a whiff of any birds. Not that I find many pheasants up here on the heath, but today I did manage to flush one out!

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We had over an hour until it was going to start getting dark so we were going to walk right down to Gate 37, or is it 36… I don’t suppose it matters really, but it’s a nice walk… so we set off down this gravel path down to the track which leads to the road. From here we can see Bournemouth and on a clear day the Isle of Wight!

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This is the bottom of the path and you can just see the little unmade road that leads to the proper road.

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Oh dear, it all looks a bit dark doesn’t it, the pesky sun was sneaking down behind the hills and we were walking in the shadows.

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On the other side of the road we walked down to the stream at Gate No 37, or 36, but I decided not to have a swim because it was a bit chilly. I decided to look for a stick instead and guess what, I found one! Isn’t it lovely?

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It was a goodly size and not too heavy so I thought I’d take it with me.

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I reckon I’ve got this ‘balance’ thing just right…

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One has to carry it just at the right spot otherwise it drags on the ground… like it was starting to do here.

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If a stick is causing me too much trouble then sometimes I go off and hide it. But if I get spotted by a human then I have to go and pick it up again. Darn… I was spotted hiding it behind this tuft of grass.

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The clouds were all pinky tonight.

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Well, that was about it for this afternoon’s walk… here I am back at the car and nomming on some lovely dried tripe. Yes, I’d brought the stick back to the car and got it into the back with me, but it was so big I managed to trade it for THREE bits of tripe! BOL the reward has to match the size of the stick… if I don’t get offered enough treats then I don’t give up the stick. And if I don’t give up the stick then by the time we get home the back of the car is full of chewed up stick. I’m good at bargaining!

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Today’s stick joined the pile of my other sticks from previous walks, I think you can just see one of them here, the others are in the gorse bushes.

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2015 in review

•December 30, 2015 • 5 Comments

Is it really that time of year again? My, didn’t this year just fly by – it’s almost 2016 so I had better get in a quick “Happy New Year” before it’s too late.

Anyway, the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog and as I really like their number crunching, here it is for all to see. In 2016 we’ll have to try to get round to doing a lot more posts and not just have a gazillion photos waiting to be sorted out with some words.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Almost a New Walk

•October 25, 2015 • 2 Comments

It started off well, it was a lovely sunny day

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And we were going to walk along a new footpath… so we headed off down the gravel track

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Where we pass the water hole that’s just too tempting to resist having a quick swim. Only a quick one though as the water was a bit cold.

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I’d been dithering, following the scent of something interesting, so I had to go under the fence instead of going through the gate.

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Here we go.. down past these nice houses, between them there’s a gate and a bridleway along a gravel farm track.

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Mmmm nice smells in these leaves but must get on….

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Mooo – How now brown cow?

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Rather a lot of brown cows…

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No, the path doesn’t go this way, there’s a sign saying Private.

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We have to keep going along the track  – and can see some buildings in the distance.

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Rather a big ‘public footpath’ sign… I guess they don’t want us walking up past their house.

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The Courtyard… I wonder what that is.

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So, we follow the sign and it takes us along past where the footpath is shown on the map, to another sign… lots of long wet grass and as there’s quite a lot of water around this area we decide to give it a miss and come back when mum has wellies on. We might even start from the other end of the footpath, we know where that is but we’ve not been along it because it’s never looked very inviting. And neither does this one, with two strings of electric fence to go through.

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Ah well, we decide to walk back the way we came and then take a walk through Holt Wood. It’s a very posh wood, even the bats and birds have houses with numbers on. Sensible really, how else would the Amazon deliveries get to the right boxes. This was number 30.

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We passed lots more bat boxes, which are all next to the numbered brown wooden nest boxes. I wonder who lives in the brown wooden boxes, we think bats live in the black boxes because they look dark and like the sort of house bats would live in.

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How about this for a weird shaped tree.

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And if I were you I wouldn’t walk under this broken bit of tree, it looks a bit dangerous!

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This looks like a safer path… it’s not far now, so watch this space for our next adventure down the uninviting grassy public footpath which really will be a New Walk.

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BOL just for fun we added the tag cute kittens, so if you were here looking for cute kittens I’m afraid there aren’t any… blame Justin Bieber, it was his idea. Cocker spaniels are almost as cute as little kittens.

We went to the woods today…

•October 20, 2015 • 6 Comments

But we didn’t see any teddy bears having a picnic. We did see lots of trees and some horses and two people out walking with four dogs.

We started off our walk from the lay-by at Lower Row which is where we saw some fly tipping at the weekend and reported it to the council. You can see some of it here, two big plastic things that looked like grass collecting boxes off lawnmowers, there was a big parcel shelf from a car, a cement bag full of something, and a builders bag half in the lay-by and half on the road that was full of wood.

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We thought we’d go today because the sun was shining and there’s a bit of rain forecast for tomorrow and the paths are likely to get muddy pretty quickly.

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It wasn’t hot but it wasn’t cold either, it was sort of middling… so I decided to have a quick swim to cool off just in case I got hot later on.

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This is the beginning of the bridleway going up into the woods, there are lots of leaves on the ground now – it won’t be long before all the trees are bald.

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The path got a bit narrower here.

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And then it got wide again when we got into the forest. There are lots of ancient trees in Holt Forest. I think these trees are so ancient that they’re actually deceased.

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Some of them have died and fallen over.

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There are some big puddles already but we could walk around the edges.. after some rain it’s going to be a really muddy everywhere.

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We’re back on a footpath now – we decided to walk a different way than we’ve been before, and we thought this would take us up to a bit of Ferndown Forest where we could walk across and back down the other side of the woods.

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Maybe not. At the top of the path was a stream and we couldn’t see where the path went. So we turned round and walked back down again. We didn’t jump over the pile of logs, I think they’re meant for horses to jump over.

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Ah, this looks better, another nice footpath going the other way.

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And yes, that was the gravel path we could see at the end… and we thought it would be a good idea to try to keep on that for a while. See that pink on that tree? It’s a sign.

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It says “Tower” – we’ve been up that path before and it gets very muddy before it becomes a footpath that goes along past Horton Tower.

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But we didn’t want to go to Horton Tower today, we needed to head back to Lower Row. So we took a path that was going in the right direction.

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And look what we found! A gate into a fenced off triangle, I wonder what that’s all about… a shepherds hut and another building – a very nice spot indeed but we couldn’t see any people or horses, but there were a couple of Christmas trees planted.

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Here I am back on a wide bit of pathway going through the woods… look at all that mud, I’m glad we’re here today and not after it’s been raining.

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This little clearing had some weird trees and piles of logs. Witches and warlocks probably come here at midnight and dance around wearing robes and pointy hats, chanting mysterious words.

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Maybe we’d better speed up a bit… and I’ll carry a big stick in case we meet any of them.

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It’s a rather fabulous stick isn’t it! Big is beautiful and if you’re going to carry a stick it may as well be a big one!

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OMD we have to walk under all these wires and past a pylon. That means we’re nearly back to the heath so we can slow down a bit, I don’t think the witches would want to walk past a pylon.

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Phew, safely back in the car… with my prize stick. Mum didn’t have any tripe sticks in the car so I didn’t do a trade for it – so it will come all the way back home with us.

So, that was today’s walk. 4.49 miles in 1:53:36 and it looks a bit like a seahorse except for that little sticking out bit at the top where we turned round because we couldn’t see where to cross the stream.

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