Sunday, 30 November 2008

More snow

It wasn't quite so cold here today, the thermometer managed to struggle just above zero. Just like yesterday, the two walks we had today look like they took place on different days.

LSH and I took Jana to Culbin Forest, a huge place in which people have been known to get lost (including a member of my family!) and then phone for rescue. Probably as a result of this, there are now leaflets with maps available at the car park plus all junctions are numbered and signposts dotted about. It's a bit like 'Walking For Dummies'.

The snow had started to fall just as we were nearing the forest and actually came down quite heavily. The route we took is a fairly new one and stops off at a look-out tower from which you can get a great view all around above the trees. Not today however. The snow clouds surrounded us and hid everything. I didn't get many photos either because the snowflakes were landing on my lens.

As we headed back home, just a few miles along the coast, we were surprised to see the snow disappearing fast until there was none to be seen. The big snowy cloud must have been sitting over Culbin Forest and nowhere else!

The papillons had their walk at the bottom end of the Burghead woods and you can see how different it was for them. Rosa would have loved playing in the white stuff again but, for now, she'll just have to make do with the bit of excitement she had over an icy puddle.
The snow is falling

No snow for the paps

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Freezing fog and Slorach's Wood

The foggy field

Frosty bracken

Hopeman was hidden under a blanket of fog this morning and there was also a hard frost. The temperature didn't rise above freezing all day and is supposed to reach a low of -5 degrees tonight.
The first four dogs had their walk in the thick of the fog, as seen above, but I took the others a few miles inland where it was still very frosty but bright and sunny! Looking at the photos it could be two different days.
We met Jenny and Morag again and went to Slorach's Wood beside Fochabers. There were ten dogs this time as Pansy got to come along, she'd promised to be on her best behaviour and, I'm pleased to say, she was.
We passed Jean Carr's Stone on our way round the woods, there is an interesting story attached to it which you can read in one of the photos below.
The walk ended and we headed to Christie's garden centre for a warming cup of coffee. Cake was involved (you probably guessed) but don't worry, it was the healthy kind......carrot........we know how important those vegetables are.

Click on the photo to read Jean Carr's story

The dogs just think the stone is good for posing on

Arran and Oban - father and son oldies

The river Spey

Looking down to the Spey through the trees

A couple of interesting trees

Friday, 28 November 2008

Training session

It was a beautiful morning here today, quite frosty but lovely and bright, I love days like this.

Jana had me all to herself on our walk today, I decided it was time we did some obedience practice. The fact that we have the Bronze Good Citizen Dog Scheme test in just over a week and have done virtually no training has spurred me into action! It's not totally accurate to say we have done NO training but it is probably time for a more formal approach. Sit stays were picked up very early on, downs we are getting to grips with. Heelwork may take a bit longer because, at this stage, Jana thinks it involves bouncing.

The reward for her efforts was the toy on a rope and today she was really in the mood to chase it (not always the case, she can be fickle), great motivation. For some reason she prefers to hold the toy by the rope instead of the rubber kong and this means it bangs off her head as she runs! It doesn't seem to bother sense, no feeling!
Sit stays are easy peasy

Getting the hang of downs

The tide was too high for a beach walk

The head banging toy

Snow on Morven

Hopeman beach huts - an old-fashioned kind of thing but nice to see

Thursday, 27 November 2008

More from the Bin

Keep your hair on!



Chase me

Arran's turn with the stick

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The Bin of Cullen

Another group walk, this time with nine dogs! Three dogs each for Jenny, Morag and myself and what an interesting pack they made.

It was a lovely day for a walk up The Bin of Cullen, the highest point around and well worth the climb for the wonderful view at the top. Most of the time we were in the shelter of the forest but the treeline ends just before the summit and we were then out into a fair old wind. Jasper posed on top of the stone cairn, the wind blowing through his ears.

We met only two other people, a couple of lady hikers who looked somewhat alarmed at our motley crew (who were impeccably well behaved) and altered their path slightly so as not to be engulfed by a sea of dogs. I suppose it could look slightly intimidating.

There was only one way to end the a tearoom...... of course.

More cake anyone?
Lossiemouth to the west

East along the coast


Nearly blown away on the top


Brint wins the stick

Jana and Logie have great fun in the heather - he looks like a mad teddy bear!!

Time for a drink
Spot the dog

Cullen beach seen through the viaduct

This is the reason why we can have long walks but not lose any weight!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Winter wonderland

Snow dogs and hens

Snow fell last night and the garden looked lovely this morning. I had a feeling it wouldn't be around all day so took some photos while I could.

I don't remember Jana experiencing snow last winter but, if she had, it looked like she had forgotten what it was. She regarded it with suspicion, she isn't keen on the cold and this was definitely cold, but it didn't take long for her to decide that it was actually a fun thing. The paps, but maybe not Rosa, had seen it all before of course and they really love the snow......even if it does create mini snowballs all through their coats! It's impossible to walk them in soft, powdery stuff. Jana and Rosa enjoyed it the most and were chasing the snowballs I threw for them.

It was definitely a new experience for the hens but, after a bit of hesitation, all three were out and about in it. This was not the case with our last two, they were horrified to see the garden covered by such horrible white stuff and refused to cross it. This meant they stuck to the edges where there was the odd patch that had thawed. Just the once, in a desperate attempt to reach the kitchen (and in the hope of a grape or two), Blue, with much flapping of clipped wings, tried launching herself into the air and flying down across the garden........a not inconsiderable distance. She failed miserably and ended up stranded in the middle, from where we had to rescue her.
Fearless hens

Chasing the snowballs

"It's cold, but I like it!"

Meeting up with Morag

Morag came over on Friday with her three boys and we hit Roseisle mid-afternoon. The beagles had been and gone and we passed Karen heading home so it was just us and the six dogs.

It turned into a slightly longer than intended walk when I discovered, two thirds of the way round, that I had dropped one of my good leather leads and we decided to back track to see if we could find it. No joy. The dogs didn't seem to mind the extra time out, even Oban, who really is an old man now, he just ambled along at a steady pace.

As we got back to the car, the light was really dimming, especially in amongst the trees. The car parked next to us belonged to an elderly couple who had arrived at the same time as us and headed off down the track at a sprightly pace. They were equipped with backpacks and walking poles so perhaps intended a long walk but, at this point, it really was getting dark.......maybe we should have sent out a search party! Haven't heard anything on the news since so we'll assume they were ok. Hope I'll be as fit as them at that age!
Jana sits with Oban, Arran and Logie. Pansy and Desmond refused to join in.
(Jana has developed some boobs since being in season, hopefully not a permanent feature!)

Logie's turn to be on guard in the pillbox

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Sand blasted

Yesterday we met up with Jenny, her three GSDs (Keira, Brint & Sadie) plus Ria's Jasper, for a walk at Roseisle. It was blowing a gale but we didn't realise just how bad it was until we came out of the trees and onto the beach - we could hardly hear each other speak! The dogs had a great time, despite the blown sand getting whipped along at their gets everywhere!

It was good to get back into the relative calm of the forest, hearing restored. As we neared the end of our walk we bumped into the Dughallmors just starting theirs. At this point we had a pack of 10 dogs - all shapes and sizes! It was good to see them mixing well, all except Rosie that is. Poor Rosie is a bit on the timid side and preferred to peep at the group from behind a tree or over a dune. She was much happier once her own little pack moved on.
The two pups

Only Teasel missing from this one

Sadie tries keeping up with Keira

Pug in hurtle mode