Tag Archives: Walking

A Field Full Of Flowers & Sunshine

Flowers In May,Rocking Dog

Flowers In May

Many of you will know about my love of the fields which lie behind the kennel. They were the perfect place to do an impromptu photo shoot with little Douglas. On the 10th May we ran out of the kennel whilst the sun was shining and the little babe contented. He was surrounded by sun kissed buttercups, clover, dandelion clocks, plantain and gently swaying grasses. How much more lovely to be photographed in this natural environment than a stark and expensive photographic studio! The weeks have since rolled on, the little chaps skin has plumply filled out, smiles have arrived, and newborn clothes have been neatly parcelled up. In time we will run through the grasses, hide, eat picnics, chat, sing, tell stories, do hand stands (!), dance, read, build snowmen, and play games in the field.

With the arrival of June the field shows off new swathes of flowers and grasses. The colourful honeyed smell of spring has given way to less showy moon daisies, wild sorrel, hawkweed, birds foot trefoil and a myriad of tall whispering grasses. Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper butterflies flutter in amongst the sun baked vegetation whilst bumble bees enjoy the sweet dying embers of the pink and white clovers. Large metallic lapiz blue dragonflies skim across the field on their way to the wetness of the Frome. Hedgerows burgeon with bramble blooms, sloes, wild briar rose and elderflower. It is simply too hot for the rabbits to graze, they will emerge from their damp clay burrows when twilight brings the coolness of the days end.

A pair of swallows have returned to the field, the late afternoons bring them joyfully and skilfully utilising their mesmerizing acrobatics. They swoop and dive over the high desiccating grasses, mere flashes of inky black forked tail and iconic aerodynamic wings. The buzzard, deer, wood pigeons and the rabbit loving fox who lives in the orchard put in appearances and makes every walk unique. The seasons leech into each other, days shorten and lengthen, rain, cold, wind, sun, grey, mud, frost, sun parched, the field perpetually changes.

Real Live Rocking Dog loves the field it means chasing his current deflated ball. We are lucky that the cows haven’t yet arrived. Until then it is Real Live Rocking Dogs field. It is a place for thinking, contemplating (despite the constant hum of the motorway), revelling in nature, enjoying the seasons and for planning the next photo shoot with the sooooo sweet wee nipper!

Do You Like Butter?,Rocking Dog

Do You Like Butter?

Flowers In June,Rocking Dog

Flowers In June

Nature Table,Rocking Dog

Nature Table

Brambles In Flower,Rocking Dog

Brambles In Flower

Ripening Sloes,Rocking Dog

Ripening Sloes

Where's My Ball?,Rocking Dog

Where’s My Ball?

Watery Walk,Rocking Dog

Watery Walk

Marshmallow Skies,Rocking Dog

Marshmallow Skies

May Blossom & Friends,Rocking Dog

May Blossom & Friends

If You Go Down To The Woods Today…

Reaching To The Sky,Rocking Dog

Reaching To The Sky

Most days walks with Real Live Rocking Dog take me along semi-wild woodland paths which closely hug the River Frome. I love witnessing the change of the seasons and the ever-changing flora and fauna.

Yesterday was mild and I was aware of the wonderful sound of birdsong. Spring really does feel as if it is on its way. There were huge splendiferous rugs of Snowdrops and budding Daffodils, Primroses, Violets and Celandines. In a month or two these wild blooms will be succeeded by carpets of bluebells and wild garlic. Later still there will be drifts of wild Foxgloves, Cow Parsley and Himalayan Balsam

On yesterdays’ walk I loved the towering bare branched trees reaching into the still grey winter skies. Such wonderfully dramatic silhouettes. Soon these giants will be cloaked with verdant lush greenery and provide nesting places for a variety of woodland bird species.

Dry stone walls were covered with impossibly green velvety moss and there were cascades of ferns tumbling down the Pennant stone “cliffs”. Everything really seems to be sparking into life, I just wish the mud would finally subside!

 

Rocking Dog Huddle tonight 7-9 at the kennel. Look forward to seeing you.

Whose Home?,Rocking Dog

Whose Home?

Abandoned Pipe,Rocking Dog

Abandoned Pipe

Mossy Wall,Rocking Dog

Mossy Wall

Cheery Celandines,Rocking Dog

Cheery Celandines

Snowdrop Rug,Rocking Dog

Snowdrop Rug

Wild Violets,Rocking Dog

Wild Violets

Primrose,Rocking Dog

Primrose

More Trees,Rocking Dog

More Trees

Tired Real Live Rocking Dog,Rocking Dog

Tired Real Live Rocking Dog

Little Hints Of Spring In The Air

Bough Of Catkins,Rocking Dog

Bough Of Catkins

Looking back at the Rocking Dog blog posts of the first month of 2017 it must seem I have been tucked up in the kennel and not ventured out much. Although highly tempting to huddle somewhere warm and cosy there is an energetic Real Live Rocking Dog to walk. Through mud, rain and wintry greyness he tackles his twice daily treks with gusto. With a new pair of unleaky sale price “Hunters” my walks are thankfully definitely more pleasurable than they have been over the last few months!

Yesterday there were tantalising little hints of spring being in the air. Boughs of citrine yellow catkins swayed in the breeze enjoying a brief window of winter sunshine and blue tinged skies. I loved the branches of pretty pink blossom and vowed that “yes” I wanted one of these early flowering shrubs in my garden. In the nook of an ancient Copper Beech  someone had carefully positioned a jar of cheerful daffodils. Whilst I walked I wondered whether the lovely floral shrine had been created to remember a much loved human or pet. I pondered a lot.

Meanwhile on the swollen river a forlorn Cormorant seemed to be waiting for a mate to swoop in. I hope St Valentine lends a helping hand.

At home the snowdrops have gallantly pushed through, poor little things they have had quite a struggle to get through a thick layer of decomposing leaves. Why oh why didn’t I get around to “closing up the garden” in the autumn! With drier days hopefully in the air I can get on out there and absolve my guilt for abandoning all plans and hard grafting during 2016.

I hope hints of Spring are beginning to spring up wherever you are in the world. Love Rocking Dog x

PS. The food just keeps a comin’! Recipe tested yesterday a Courgette, Tomato & Buffalo Mozzarella Gratin and a  delicious Caramelised Carrot, Red Onion and Feta Tarte Tartin. We are being truly spoilt by talented recipe developer daughter. Thank you. Slim Fast next week me thinks and some jet propelled walking in the new boots!

Pretty Pink,Rocking Dog

Pretty Pink

Blue Tinge Sky, Rocking Dog

Blue Tinge Sky

Hardy Snowdrops,Rocking Dog

Hardy Snowdrops

Looking For A Mate,Rocking Dog

Looking For A Mate

Promise Of Spring Shrine,Rocking Dog

Promise Of Spring Shrine

The Food Keeps A Comin'!,Rocking Dog

The Food Keeps A Comin’!

Jollying The Rocking Dog Front Door

Rocking Dog Door Dec', Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Door Dec’

Rocking Dog loves to jolly the front door of the kennel at this time of year. With autumn gradually leaking into the shortening days of summer I love to gather hedgerow fodder.

Walking everyday with Real Live Rocking Dog, my boot marches give me such a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the changing seasons. Even if there is torrential rain and the prospect of a doggy ramble is rather unpleasant, once out the rain feels good!

Yesterday was gloriously sunny and the hedgerows were scarlet with haws and ripening blackberries. I gathered together a few thorny branches, sprigs of acorn’d oak and some teasels. I would make a door decoration.

Back at the kennel I arranged the botanical booty. I am not one for symmetry so my door decoration has a little bit of a life of its own! I used twine to secure my bunch and added a tie of autumnal coloured braid. Tied to the old door handle I gave the decoration a final frou. It’s not my finest 10 minutes of flower arranging, but the berry’d bunch gives the house a lovely welcoming touch.

I hope whatever the weekend brings that it is a good one for you. Love to friends en route to Italy and Florida.. Bon Voyage and have wonderful memorable times with all those scrummy little ones!

Hedgerow Pickings, Rocking Dog

Hedgerow Pickings

Beautiful Brambles, Rocking Dog

Beautiful Brambles

From Little Acorns..., Rocking Dog

From Little Acorns…

Gathered, Rocking Dog

Gathered

Bunched, Rocking Dog

Bunched

Last Year's Door, Rocking Dog

Last Year’s Door

A Weekend Up North

Real Live Rocking Dog Taking A Dip, Rocking Dog

Real Live Rocking Dog Taking A Dip

We were lucky enough to have an invite up north before the mayhem that is Christmas truly kicks in. We ventured North on Friday afternoon and a journey that should have taken 4 1/2 hours ended up being a stressful 7 1/2 hours, but heh ho! Things got so bad that I ended up playing guess the flavour of the crisp with Andyman. After many guesses and many hints he finally sort of guessed Winter berries and Prosecco. I kid you not M & S have bought out a bag with the aforementioned flavour, and to over-gild the lily have scattered the crisps with minute gold stars! We then had guess the flavour of the sandwich, and before we knew it we had wasted 3/4 of an hour and moved half a mile! Please let me know how YOU while away time on a laborious car journey.

We finally reached the beautiful Lake District with a starry crisp night to greet us. How unbleached the skies are there, and definitely somewhere I’d want to invest in a telescope (preferably with Prof Brian Cox to guide me through my constellations!).

Next morning we awoke to a fantastic view from our bedroom, alas, with none of the predicted snow. We were out on the fells before you could say Jack Robinson! Real Live Rocking Dog anxious to impress and keep up with our friend’s proper dogs (two black Labradors) took the icy plunge in the tarn complete with his tartan coat.

The scenery was truly amazing and felt so untouched by mankind. Some of the higher peaks sporting a sprinkling of snow, reminded me of a row of Pandoro cakes lightly dusted with icing sugar. Eight or so miles of brisk walking and chatting through bracken, marshland and stoney tracts we were ready to eat and tackle two lovely bottles of Barolo.

Sunday, a shorter but steeper climb, we all felt as if we were on top of the world. Overlooking Lake Coniston we were buffeted by the cold November cross-winds and took refuge by clambering back down an unorthodox route. There were hundreds of foxglove plants as we trekked downwards and I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful the fells must look with this beautiful species in full bloom. We passed a house with the most stunning topiary, and it somehow all felt rather surreal with the amazing backdrop of towering crags.

After eats at the Bluebird Cafe it was time to bid a fond farewell to our hosts and tackle the journey home. Real Live Rocking Dog pleasantly exhausted, and with no crisp flavours to adjudicate, we had a good trip back.

Though it was short, we had a lovely time with gorgeous friends and in a truly beautiful patch of England. Feel so lucky.

Bedroom View, Rocking Dog

Bedroom View

The Noisy Neighbours!, Rocking Dog

The Noisy Neighbours!

Terrific Topiary!, Rocking Dog

Terrific Topiary!

Snow-capped  Peaks, Rocking Dog

Snow-capped Peaks

Natures' Amazing Colours, Rocking Dog

Natures’ Amazing Colours

Hilltop Sculpture, Rocking Dog

Hilltop Sculpture

Real Live Rocking Dog Recovering Well

Our Mr Dog, Rocking Dog

Our Mr Dog

The house is quiet, horribly quiet. Real Live Rocking Dog has been away having an operation on his large intestine. Hopefully I will go and collect him from the vet’ hospital today, and the house will feel whole again. It makes me realise just how much I talk to the four legged member of our household!

Hamish is eight years old and was a welcome addition to our changing household 8 Octobers ago. The nest was feeling empty with two Ferguson’s having gone off to Uni, and one very lonely little Ferguson left. Hamish filled a void. Now there are are just two adult humans and one needy canine remaining.

Dog ownership has brought so much to our lives, especially our love and appreciation of walking. We adore observing the changing seasons, love foraging and meeting other walkers and dog owners. When it is pouring with rain we sometimes dread the dog walk, but we always feel better for having ventured out.

Having Hamish has meant we have got to see more of England, Wales and France (Scotland yet to be explored). I am absolutely convinced that he can smell the sea while we are still a considerable distance from the coast. Many of his favourite words start with the letter B. Beach, Ball, Bed and Barking come to mind.

Owning a pet is something not to be taken lightly. Insurance, vet bills, food, grooming, flea and worm treatments, kennel & doggy daycare, wear and tear on furniture etc…all need to be considered. Time required for walking etc.. also need to be evaluated. HOWEVER… the benefits of having a dog I feel are immeasurable and inexplainable.

Come home soon Real Live Rocking Dog, you are so missed.

Bed...., Rocking Dog

Bed….

Bed....., Rocking Dog

Bed…..

And More Bed!, Rocking Dog

And More Bed!

Brook, Rocking Dog

Brook

Ball, Rocking Dog

Ball

And Place To Bark!, Rocking Dog

And Place To Bark!