Tuesday 25 May 2010

A walk in Simons Wood

It was very hot yesterday so we decided to take the dogs to Simons Wood where there's plenty of shade.
Decades of fallen leaves have bequeathed a soft, friable surface, soundless under foot and paw. There is an abundance of Scots pines in the wood and they were releasing clouds of pollen with their wonderful scent. The solemn mien of the pines is alleviated by the uncurling fronds of bracken, the grace and brightness of silver birch and the wild rhododendrons which are everywhere in abundance throughout this area.
Jenna is still not allowed free exercise. She recently finished her anti-inflammatory medication and after a few days she started a course of Cartrophen (Pentosan Polysulphate Sodium) injections to regenerate her damaged joints. She has had two at weekly intervals so far and will have another two in the next fortnight, then she will have monthly shots and finally, hopefully, annual boosters. This compound is not licensed for use in humans as it must not be used with steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin. Animals do not have free access to over-the-counter analgesics but humans do and a mixture of the two could be fatal! There is a large lake in Simons Wood with a small island in the middle where Canada geese nest each year.
Mallards and coots abound but this year all the ducklings and coot chicks and most of the goslings have disappeared. There are no pike in the lake but three large terrapins (turtles) have been spotted and they have come under suspicion for the demise of the baby water birds. I suspect that the terrapins once lived in someone's aquarium or garden pond and were rehoused in the local lake when they became too big or troublesome to look after. (I hope no-one is keeping baby crocodiles; they wouldn't survive the winter if similarly disposed of but could do a lot of damage before the cold weather arrived! I'm joking – I trust!)
As we approached the lake Frodo's stride lengthened and he plunged into the water to cool off, followed hotfoot (hotpaw?) by Jenna and Gus. Hydrotherapy is the only unrestricted exercise Jenna can undertake at present and she thoroughly enjoys her gambols in lakes and ponds. Buddy keeps well away from all water!
As Jenna and Gus tirelessly retrieved a large stick they were joined by a pretty Golden retriever who played with them for a while.
After she had gone home, a Jack Russell bustled up. He paddled rather than swam and was really more interested in playing chase on land with Gus. Much play-growling ensued, each in turn playing the part of catcher.
Eventually, he, too, went off with his master and we realised we had been out much longer than intended and returned home. The rest of the day was quiet, the peace being disturbed only occasionally by the snores of contented dogs.


  1. What a lovely day, you describe and portray Janice. No wonder the dogs were exhausted. It's a joy to follow their exploits.

  2. A very enjoyable read Janice and I though all your photos were splendid. Watching dogs playing in the water brings so much joy, and your bird photos are super too. Loved that last shot! Simons Wood looks like a marvelous place for a walk.

  3. Sounds like a great walk. I love the pictures of dog chase! And the way they took turns-how polite!

  4. Wonderful day my friend. I love it. :) The dogs are so cute. How fun and what a day it must have been. So refreshing :)

  5. Oh Janice!that was so beautifully written. i could almost feel the cool breeze on my face, hear the dog's playful growls,feel the serenity of the woods...
    wonderful pictures. very very 'paintable' in fact!
    thanx for sharing.
    By the way Janice,though u asked me not to, I have been holding my breath ever since u said you might write that post on Freemasons, and my chest is aching!!!(wink)

    I even told a few of my friends, non bloggers but avid readers how excited i am about it!
    I really don't think you need to worry about getting it right... you write just so wonderfully.
    Please please please do think about it.
    with love,

  6. This wooded area looks like a wonderful place to walk. I'd love it there!

    I bet Jenna is very happy when she's allowed to play in the water, especially on hot days. Hopefully all the medication will make her strong and healthy.

  7. Thank you all :-)
    We are very fortunate to live in an area where there are many places to walk and most of them have water, so the dogs are happy.

  8. That all looks like a lot of fun. I like the sleepy pic - Harry is good at that two. Though that pic makes me blink a bit because it is like I'm seeing two Harry's.


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