Another visit from a swan to the park. The swans don't always stay very
long. It looks like a younger one as the wings are still a bit brown.
There are lots of baby water birds about now.
We went on to the shops, where we saw the Morris dancers. There was a
loto of jingling from the sets of bells on their legs. Out of the photo
is a man playing an accordion. They do some dances, then move to another
part of the area.
Later on we went to The Tarn Bird Sanctuary in Eltham. It is a small
sunken park with a long lake in the middle. This duckweed looks as if
you could walk on it. Further along we saw where the wind had blown it
all to one end. A reminder that you can't walk on it, it's water not a
At the far end is a bridge with stopping places. At the end is an area
planted up for moths and butterflies.
These insect hotels are getting quite common now in wildlife areas in
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We went on to Hornfair Park in Charlton. I was very glad to see a new
fountain here. A long time ago it used to be a lily pond and without the
fence around. Most of the roads in Charlton are planted with almond
trees. I just love to see the pink snow everywhere, it makes up for the
trees losing their blossom.
We went to Charlton Park, a few roads away. A lot of parks now have
these exercise areas so that people can get fit without having to buy
any expensive equipment. This is Charlton House, a Jacobean mansion
built in 1607, that is 408 years ago. It is now a community house,
holding events, and with a tea shop.
There are carvings everywhere on Charlton House, this lion is by the
front entrance. The lions and monsters were meant to show the ordinary
people who was in charge. The date is on the seat, so no-one gets it
To one side is a quiet garden in front of what was the stables. It has
been covered like this for very many years and our family has always
called it the Ivy House, although it is not ivy, it is virginia creeper.
I looked it up and it does not damage the walls.
This clock is on the front of Charlton House, I think it must be gold
paint, there is too much for it to be real gold! The very ornate weather
vane matches all the other decorations on the house.
This is the very first mulberry tree planted in the country in 1608.
Some of the branches have to be supported on iron stays. The leaves were
just coming out and it would be good to go back when it is entirely
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This is the best of my new apples trees called Sunset, covered in
blossom. I have to remove most of the developing apples though, until
the tree is better established. But I will leave a few on to see how
they turn out. I forgot about these tulips, I got them because they look
like raspberry ripple ice cream, which is one of our favourites.
I spent the afternoon in the greenhouse, helping to finish off the
knitting. There are a lot of ends that need darning in and snipping.
I kept the camera handy as the birdbath is just opposite. Further along
our friendly collared dove decided to have a snooze on the fence post.
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This is the Petts Wood May Fayre. It starts with a march around the
area, with a band, the Mayor in his vintage car, then Petts Wood May
Queen and entourage in white and green, followed by Orpington May Queen
and entourage in pink, and then various dancing school groups.
The May Queen was crowned in the hall by the Mayor. Later on they dance
round the maypole, while everyone watches in a big ring.
Then I went straight to the Reptile Events stand. Here is Jane holding
Sandstone, a Woma Python. He is all lovely shades of yellow and orange
when the sun is on him. Cobalt the Blue Tongued Skink was having a nap
on the table, so his orange eyes are invisible.
There were lots of young helpers doing a good job of showing everyone
the various pythons and explaining all about them.
Sweets and cakes stalls everywhere and a funfair in the road nearby.
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The baby birds in the park are getting a lot bigger. As usual, parent
geese have their heads up looking for danger, and also for people
stopping and just possibly opening a bread bag!
We went to Erith. This is the fish sculpture on the roundabout, the
patterns are all done in mosaic. This flagpole by Erith pier makes me
feel I am by the seaside.
We went on Erith pier, whose proper name is Erith Deep Wharf. The
mudflats are huge and extremely deep. At the end, the pier turns right
in an L shape so there is another long walk.
At the very end is a turntable, and a hut with buffers like a train
There were lots of birds finding things to eat in the mud.
This beautiful mural is on the side of the former White Hart Pub in
Wharfside Close. It was done in 2005 and the artist's name is Drostle.
More interesting artwork in the underpass. I think the artist must have
got the idea from a map of the river and all the squares for the houses.
We took the train at Erith Station and I am glad the bus went over the
bridge just as I was getting a photo of our train was coming!
In the afternoon we cleaned out the greenhouse. I checked that the
guttering was clear and it was my job to rub down the windows with an
old teeshirt. There is a lot of glass and I only did the bottom half of
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We went to Well Hall Pleasaunce. In the front flowerbeds, this crow was
sunning himself. I checked out the moat, and it was about half covered
in duckweed with a lot of blanket weed underneath.
The ducks are delighted with their new life-saver ring island! Along the
front of the park, I always go and look at the leaning walls. I don't
think I would like it if they were straightened somehow.
There were lots of mown paths through the woodland meadow part so Brown
Teddy had first choice where we went. Underneath all these lovely wild
flowers is a small ditch, which I have never seen full of water but
maybe one day I will.
Further along, the ditch has these lovely ferns on one side, under the
shade of the big trees. I really like this rock garden part, as the
gravel makes the flowers look brighter.
The wisteria pergola was in full flower and the flowers are very sweet
smelling. This rock garden corner has always looked a bit empty, but now
that I am here at the right time of year, I realise it is a Japanese
garden with the red maples against the green moss on the rocks.
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We went back to Erith, and being morning it was high tide. The end of
the pier looks entirely different with the water up so high.
This sculpture is called "Wind, Wave & Sail". Nearby is the Erith Mural
showing the history of the area.
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The tulips will be going off soon, so I am putting some nasturtiums into
the same pot and they will grow up a frame that I will put over the pot.
The straw island that I put in the pond to protect the tadpoles has sunk
a bit now.
When the fishpond filter mats have to be cleaned, all the mud that comes
off them goes round some of the shrubs, as it makes a very good plant
feed. These are the very last two daffodils, just miniature ones.
Today we went to Stockwood Park in Luton. This is the entrance to
Blackwall Tunnel that goes under the River Thames at Greenwich. Blue
Parrot tried counting the time it took to get through but was not to
good at counting the seconds. I think it is just over two minutes.
They have made a new road layout, with new slip roads, new mounds and
new shrubs and trees planted with their protective sleeves. I think this
sign is just for us!
I just love all the big trees in the park, especially this twisty bark
one. Lots of the trees have a metal number plate on them.
This is the woodland part by the golf course. Blue Parrot decided we
should go straight ahead. He really liked this hollow trunk, which is
open at both ends, and it would make a good shelter if there was some
sudden heavy rain.
I was trying to get a picture of the hooded crow going into the nest
hole, but thought I was too late. Just as I clicked the camera, he came
flying out again. These crows were noisy and chattering all the time.
On the path we saw some beautiful pheasant feathers.
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In the Discovery Centre they were having a steam engine day. All the
machines were working, so there was a lot of chugging and clanking
noises, steam and smell of smoke and hot oil.
The little open lorry was giving rides around and was never without
passengers all the time we were there.
There were some tents with smaller models. The model boats and ships had
lots of tiny detail.
I like all the brass and in this chimney top you can see the park area
I like all these greenhouses, I like them when the plants have been
watered and everything smells warm and damp and planty. One greenhouse
was full of these lovely big ferns, and it had army style camouflage
netting up at the ceiling to keep the plants from scorching, but it was
still quite hot inside.
Dino had a great time talking to the chickens in the Wartime Dig For
Victory Garden. Blue Parrot had some good conversations with them as
well. I don't know what they were talking about though!
This is my favourite part, the Victorian Walled Gardens with lots of box
topiary and bedding plants. I am definitely going to put lots of
wallflowers in my garden for next year.
Dino thought this old farm equipment needs some painting up, but we
decided that that would hide all its rusty old history, with all the
knocks and bumps. So we hope they will leave it as it is. Inside the
Mossman Museum, this Noah's Ark toy had some wonderful sheep that look
There was a display of photos and prints of places around the world. The
first picture is a map of the North Pole in 1595, and the second is a
world map of 1492 by the Royal Geographical Society.
We drove home in about an hour and a half, and when we see the Blackwall
Tunnel gatehouse at Greenwich, we know we are nearly home at last.
Our way through the park was held up by the goose family all sitting on
the warm path in the early morning sun. We walked around them and they
did not move at all! The grass is completely full of daisies, looking
like a hail shower.
I like it when the hawthorn blossom falls on the fishpond, but I think
the fish get a bit fed up with eating bread and pellets with petals attached! Here
are our friendly collared doves again.
The birdbath is a good place to see what's on offer. This dove prefers
I spent the afternoon in the greenhouse, helping with the shorthand
website writing. I got a really good view of the starlings splashing
about in their bath. They are very noisy and leave the water in need of
a clean out and filling up.
We went to look round Beckenham and then went into Kelsey Park, which is
long and thin with a beck/stream and lake running through it.
The waterfall at the end leads to a higher up lake, which gets wider as
you go through the park.
The edges at this end are filled with giant rheum leaves, about as big
as an umbrella. The swan had brought the baby cygnets to get the
bread people were throwing.
The lake is quite wide at the middle and top end. Brown Teddy likes to
listen to the woodland birds in order to identify who is singing and
making the noises.
I just love to see the ornamental ducks, but in my own park they often
don't stay very long. I like to get photos of unusual pigeons,
especially mottled white ones which are more interesting.
I was really pleased to get a good photo of a thrush at last. Outside
the information hut is a wonderful wooden seat with carved birds at each
end - owl and swan.
I don't mind waiting for the train home when the station has interesting
ironwork and other old decorations.
We went to see what was at New Addington, which is a village near
Croydon. The bus journey left town and went through some countryside
roads, and then we caught the tram for the last bit. There were only a
few shops, but we really enjoyed the trip, seeing new scenery from our
In New Addington we saw these carvings on one of the green verges. I am
guessing they must be made from old tree trunks, and sometimes the trees
are still planted in the ground. They both look a bit threatening, as
they are not cuddly animals! But the artist has done a good job in
making them lifelike. I would not want to meet these
when walking home on a foggy night!
On our way home we stopped off at West Wickham. The village sign has a picture of The
Stocks Tree. This elm tree stood for centuries at the junction, exactly
where the middle of the road is now and underneath the tree were the
village stocks, used to punish wrongdoers in past centuries.
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