Birch Woodland and Gritstone.

Despite the bright sunshine of the last few days it has been rather cold. The golden sunshine really lit up today’s visit to a Birch Woodland that borders wild heather moorland.

This woodland has many small Yorkshire Gritstone crags and boulders. There are signs of quarrying in past times. You can see rows of shallow holes chiselled into boulders that were used to split the rock into useful blocks.

The dogs love exploring the boulders especially when they can get to the height of my head and try for a face lick!

A day of sunshine, mud, and wildlife..

Well today had a great start thanks to a rather large Barn Owl quartering and stooping into the long grass below. Hunting in broad daylight, hopefully to feed a large brood and successfully increasing the numbers it’s population.

Also seen; four Buzzards riding a thermal and mewing in turn. Goosanders, Grey Geese, and an obviously lost Cormorant! Not to forget tiny ducklings!

Ten miles walked today. I imagine that, as always, the dogs may have done three times that distance.

What Dog Walkers see…

Walking dogs gives you an excuse to be in places where men of my age would probably be reported for “lurking with intent”.

Today’s Clever K9 companion.

A Clever K9 companion is your passport to all the open access nooks and crannies of your local area. I’m not sure if it’s a second childhood or a “Last of the Summer Wine” syndrome but I’m rediscovering all sorts of local objects of interest and it makes me feel good!

I’m also discovering many things for the first time. Like today with this magnificent shallow stone trough which is approximately 6ft square. Of course I didn’t actually “discover” it – but I discovered it for myself, it being my first time in that particular woodland to the North West of Bingley.

I’m seeking out interesting walks through various mapping and databases on the internet. I’ll share these resources once I’m sure I’ve identified the best ones to use.

Last of the Summer Wine factoid:- I’ve twice walked past the actress who played Nora Batty (Kathy Staff) the fierce nemesis lady of the long running show. First time was on a Zebra Crossing in Keighley, and the second time it was a Zebra Crossing in Leeds! I’m sure that means something but what!?!

*UPDATE* What Dog Walkers see…

Willow reinforcing a river bank.

The Willow is an amazing tree. It is fast growing, clings to our river banks, used in basket making, cricket bats and even biomass power stations. An old friend of humans wherever it is found.

When present on a river bank the willow helps prevent erosion by stabilising the bank soil with its roots. The Willow can take up large amounts of ground water, more than other trees; So much water that when freezing cold weather strikes you can hear the Willow cracking and crashing due to the copious water it holds.

Willow sticks rooting and budding to reinforce the river bank.

One of it’s amazing properties is that sticks of Willow can be simply pushed into the ground and they will root and grow as a full tree! Look closely at the photographs in this blog. You will see that there are green leaf buds forming on the Willow sticks pushed into the river bank.

I walk past this river bank at least two-three times a week. When photographed, these Willow sticks had only been in place for a few days and already green shoots are showing! No doubt that there is also roots growing into the bank soil too.

One of the coldest places I have worked was by the banks of the river Thames near Reading. I used to cycle to work, which started at 6am. I would leave home at 4:30am and in the winter this was the coldest part of the night. In the hour it took me to cycle in I could hear the loud renting explosions of the riverside Willows as they froze!

**** UPDATE ***

29th April 2021 – Just two weeks and here come the leaves!

Every walk an adventure – Prey Drive…

We aim to give our Owner’s Dogs a fulfilling adventure on every walk.

The video shows two of our Clever K9s who have just completed a successful “hunt”. The prey…a feral tennis ball fished out of the nearby river by Meg, is treated as real prey with Meg going through the motions of stripping and and dismembering the tennis ball.

With her walk companion baying in excitement both dogs are having a great time acting as a pack after a successful hunt. A safe way to vent their latent prey drive and bond.

Canine Enrichment in action – select image for video.

With your permission, they will be off lead when it’s safe to do so. The route taken will have off lead safety planned in.

If your Dog has problems with recall from a distance, or recall from distractions, these skills will be developed to allow them off lead when ready.

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