Friday, 21 June 2013

Midsummer - state of the ponds

Well, it may be a cooler day, but the top pond in the Dene is now waterless, though still damp. Ponds two and three still have standing water, but the fourth is as waterless as the top one.
I rarely go past the ponds, as they are a bit of a detour, but today is an exception. I thought I would see the effects of three or four weeks without significant rain and high temperatures (dare I call it summer? Of course I do). There is still a seepage of water coming from the spring lines, just not enough to keep all of the ponds going.

The dogs miss the water in the top pond as it is generally fresher then the others if they need a drink on a hot summer's day. Never mind though, it is nearly Hoppings week (even if they are no longer calling that) and the peonies are coming into flower, so we should be due a good downpour any day now. 

Outsider art in Denton Dene

I know I occasionally rail on about the damage I see done by presumed youths in the Dene, so to balance that (pun noted in hindsight) I thought I would share this little gem of youthful creativity.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Four is a crowd

This week has been a bit of a handful, to say the least. We were going to be looking after my son's dog Ebony, then we were told we were not. I therefore thought nothing of agreeing to walk my little friend Homer while John was away.
As luck would have it we ended up with Ebony on Tuesday, so I am walking four dogs again. On Tuesday Homer thought I had brought him his birthday present; he was quite smitten. For her part, Ebony was playing the floozie, shoulder bumping Homer as they walked along and licking his chops. Since then the interest has waned, thankfully.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Two dogs in a boat

I had the boys with me today, and the weather was fine, so we headed up to Warkworth on the beautiful Northumberland coast. In order to unbounce the lurchers for the visit to the castle which followed, we went for a little walk along the Coquet beforehand.

I knew about the little hermitage a little way out of town, but I didn't say anything about it to the boys in case it was out of bounds to lurchers. So I let them have a little romp about in the woods, then put them on the lead when we came to a field.

(Always obey signs telling you to put dogs on leads or not to enter with dogs when in the countryside, even if you are on a right of way.)

We got to the chap with the boat and asked if it was ok to cross with the dogs. The boys got in first, then I went down with the dogs. Although they were both keen to follow the boys, Rover was a little unsure about getting on the boat, and I think they both had reservations about sitting still in the boat as the bank swung out and away from them. Getting off was the  same, with Rover being unsure about getting on to land. Of course they had it all to do again on the way back.

I think on the whole they endured the experience well, it was just one of those strange unnatural things that their human pack mates insist on doing from time to time.

We saw a heron fishing in the shallows on the way back to the castle. Which was nice.

In the castle, the dogs must have thought I had gone quite mad. The boys certainly did. I know Warkworth Castle like the back of my hand, having stayed there over several weekends re-enacting 17th century life. It has loads of hidey holes and back stairs, so I was able to give the boys the slip and reappear somewhere else where they did not expect me. The only problem was that I had two lurchers attached to me, and their panting kept on giving me away, or they would put their heads round corners if they heard the boys. Ah, youth!

I hope the photo appears with this blog. Sometimes they don't if I try attaching a picture from my phone.