Sometimes there are
no starlings for weeks, and then all of a sudden a flock appears. I like
it when they all land in my birdbaths. These ones are all sitting on
aerials further down the road.
We went to the
garden centre and we always visit the fish. These black ones are ghost
The Canary Yellow
Goldfish are the best of course, but I like the Shubunkins as well.
The staff were
getting the Christmas department ready, behind a lot of red curtains. I
didn't peek but the curtain flap was partly open as we walked past!
Outside the main gate there is always a colourful flower bed, with a row
of ornamental cabbages.
The walk back to
the bus stop was very crunchy at one place, with lots of chestnuts all
over the path. I don't think the squirrels can manage to eat them all.
These are the
plants we bought, a tall pyracantha for the main fence and a small
cotoneaster to go behind this tree. There will be no shortage of berries
in my garden!
Lots of stuff has been cleared away so now this clematis montana can
grow faster and cover the top fence more.
We often see grey
wagtails down by the river but here is one in my garden. He even went on
the pond, walking over the lily leaves to eat the little flies. He was
able to find all the spaces left in the nets over the pond. Birds can
always get out easily, as long as there is no-one nearby making them
flutter about in fright.
Today we went to
Regents Park in Central London. We enjoy the train journeys as much as
the destination. Blue Parrot likes to sit on the headrest, but not when
there are too many people about!
Brown Teddy always
looks out for Elmstead Woods Station because they have lovely gardens
along the platform, with pergolas and shrubs. Here is the map of Regents
Park and we went in the south entrance by the lake.
The lake looked a bit scruffy with feathers over it, I think this is a
corner where the water is not moving very much and the fluff collects in
it. There were some of these ornamental herons walking about and taking
bread off someone. I don't really like herons as they can eat the fish
in people's ponds - but not mine now that we have the nets all round.
I like to look out for mottled and handsome pigeons amongst all the
ordinary ones. In the bandstand was a group of people practising their
This lake was much cleaner looking and it has an island. This statue of
an eagle looks as if he has spotted a fish. The orange bush behind was
very brilliant with its autumn leaves.
These black swans are sitting on a special raft near the eagle statue. I
don't think people can get onto the island which I am very glad about,
for the birds!
The rose gardens are quite big and there were still lots of roses left
on the bushes. Blue Parrot likes the pillars with the ropes between. It
must have been quite a sight when the roses were in flower, so we will
have to make sure we come back next year at the right time.
Nearby is a mound with a waterfall and an area with stones and ferns to
look like a prehistoric glade. The waterfall is higher than it looks in
the photo. You can walk up the back of the mound to get to the top but
then you can't see much water.
These ducks were finding bits of weed to eat amongst the waterfall
rocks. We went back past some of the rose beds and found a whole large
bed of delphiniums in all the different blues and mauves. If I tried to
grow these at home, the slugs and snails would finish them off very
Further into the park is a circular pond with a fishy themed fountain.
This is the Jubilee Gate in black and gold, and I am sure it is gold
paint, not real gold!
These are the art deco tiles in Regents Park tube station, and the
original sign over lift number two.
More interesting and smart tiles as we went down. There were several of
these big fans to push the air through and they sounded like millions of
bees all humming at once.
This is the
farmland near the boot sale field, and the mist over the trees always
makes a good picture.
Today we finished
repairing the fences. Here I am helping to hammer in the rods which will
hold the wobbly posts in place. The robin came to see what was going on.
The screws are very
long and sharp. Dino got most of the screws in with this hand ratchet
drill. Or mouth, in his case!
Here it is finished
and the rods are called Post Buddies. The fence post doesn't wobble now. This
little piece of rambling rose grew to the ground and rooted in. It is
called Adelaide D'Orleans which has lots of tiny pinky white flowers in
early summer and always put out lots of very long thin new shoots. I
potted it up and all these new roots have grown in just a few weeks. It
will go in by the bottom fence and if it is happy down here it will soon
cover it in both directions.
These berries and
hips are growing in an area of underpasses where the paths go up and
down under different roads. They don't get cut or weeded, so they all
grow all over the place and are full of berries. I am sure the birds
have this on their list of places to go for a meal when it is snowy and
the ground is frozen.
This is meant to be
a clock made of plants at the garden centre with a notice saying it is
time to plant. We got four roses for the garden, two here and two at
We went to the
garden centre to get some last-minute bulbs, there were still loads
there. This metal grate is a brilliant idea for an outdoor fire, as the
orange flames will show up the tree silhouettes.
We like to go and
see the decorations section, even though we already have lots of lights.
This is the best
bit, all the model villages in a giant glass case.
We went back to the
garden centre. This is another part of the model villages case, with a
man feeding the birds. I like this Nativity, and it seems it hasn't
snowed there yet!
You can buy all the
village parts, and this one is some people in a jacuzzi in the snow! The
setups are different every year and I like this one with reindeer and
I could do with one
of these knitted Christmas pudding hats, although it is a bit big for
me. I shall have to get someone to knit one for me.
We went to see Hall
Place gardens, before the flowers and autumn leaves all disappear. These
pyracantha berries will keep the birds going for months. The cut flower
beds were still full and these are dahlias.
This is called
Chinese Lanterns and inside each papery lantern is a small berry. Along
the path are lots of crab apple trees. They look like cherries but they
The topiary bushes
have notices asking people not to play around them, as it is making the
ground hard and affecting the bushes. This is the sunken garden that
often gets full of water in winter. The grass always survives somehow,
and I think they should plant pond irises in the beds, because they can
grow in soil as well as in ponds.
I thought the
falling leaves looked a bit like snow, and then I found this corner that
really did look like snow. It is lots of tiny flowers all dropped. The
leaves are quite spiky and hard.
Brown Teddy was
pleased to find lots of new small fir cones growing. This is a reed
sculpture on the river bank, flowing over the wall and down into the
water. I think the birds will like this as it is very plantlike and when
it gets old they can take bits of it for their nests!
Here I am in the
fruit beds, the tiny grapes have all been eaten by the birds, but there
were a few raspberries left here and there.
We went up to
London to look at the river. The London Eye was packed as usual, and the
river is always busy with boats and ferries. These are the Houses of
I like this
sculpture with colour changing lights dotted over the top. This long
travelator at Bank tube station, which is a very interesting ride. There
is a tunnel with stairs next to it but this is better!
We then went on to
Greenwich Park to find where the new Meridian Line is. It is supposed to
be somewhere near this bin or this seat. Different people are always
coming up with new places to put the Meridian Line!
On the Tea Pavilion
is this wind vane of Nelson looking out to sea through his telescope -
with the help of a starling. All round the park we could hear the
screeches of the Ringneck parakeets. This one sat still long enough for
This thistly type
plant was covered in parakeets who were pulling out the tufts to get the
Near the pond are
some areas where you can leave the main path and go down some secret
paths. This Great Tit was quite bold and I think he was expecting some
The gardeners were
planting up the circular flower beds with primulas, and where they had
finished the crows came in to see if any worms had been turned up. This
tree has turned a brilliant yellow, and looked even better with the very
dark trees behind it.
This is a hooded
crow, which is not so common as the bigger all black ones. We then
walked over the heath to Blackheath Village. I thought this pub was
called The Crow, but no, it is The Crown, not quite so interesting then!
We went back to
Greenwich again. It was nearly one o'clock so we stayed around to see
the time ball fall on the Observatory building. Having made some
investigations, we have decided that the new Meridian Line is to the
right of this path, in line with the bluey green tree on the left of
middle. The existing Line is out of the picture on the right in the
We had a look
around the astronomy museum, which was full of children playing with the
interactive displays. In the back courtyard is a statue to Yuri Gagarin
from Russia, who was the first man in space.
We had a good time
walking about and getting pictures of the autumn leaves. This pigeon was
having a good soak in a puddle. I prefer a warm bathroom myself!
We then went on to
Crystal Palace Park. The station is quite an old one, but it now has
this smart glass roof on. It is quite spacious and was built when the
Crystal Palace was here, to take the big crowds of visitors.
The park is quite
empty and windblown, and I always try to imagine the glass Palace and
the crowds of Victorians and all the noise and activity. Someone fed
these crows with a bagful of bread, and here they are cleaning up the
We then went to the
lower part of the park. There are lots of paths to choose from.
Brown Teddy and I
always have a laugh when we see the stage and roof which people have
called The Rusty Laptop. We walked round the back of the park, past the
aerial pylon and got our bus home.
Lots of activity in
the park pond as someone was throwing whole slices of bread in. Inside
the park, the crows have to find their own and there are plenty of worms
in the muddy grass.
We went to see Well
Hall Pleasaunce. The moat is getting full of leaves. My favourite parts
are the very old walls and doorways, which are all different colours of
orange and red with green mosses.
On the other side
of the Pleasaunce is a little pond with a bridge over and the duckweed
looks like you could walk on it - not a good idea at all! I like these
patterned bricks, it needs a pattern when it is a big area to cover.
This is the boating
pond with more autumn trees. You can just about see the leaves on the
ground are in faint stripes, which means the man has been along with the
blower, and then more leaves have come down to fill it all up again!
This robin in the main park is the same colour as the red leaves hanging
In the distance was
a lot of noise, with all the crows cawing and flying about. I think they
can't decide which is the best perch.
We went to Canary
Wharf. There is a lot of polished marble and steel about. These trees
are completely covered in fairy lights, but we won't be here when it is
We watched the
skating. There were a lot of leaves frozen inside the ice. These seal
skating aids are new to me this year, it is usually penguins. These are
better, as they are seats as well.
I think next time
we will go down here to see what the view is like at the end. As we
walked past this planter, the wavy lines seemed to be moving up and
I just love this
water cascade, it is quite noisy. It was a good job the weather was mild
and not icy! These very neat curly bike racks are quite decorative on
This gate has
swirling shapes and a middle to look like a galaxy, and I think it
probably lights up in the dark. The planting in the middle of the two
roads was hundreds of box balls and they are all being kept very neat
and well clipped.
We sat and had our
sandwiches on a bench by the river and watched the boats and ferries
going up and down.
Nearby is a Chinese
food bar. These round shapes I think are meant to be water, but I think
they look like the restaurant plates in the dishwasher. These two
security cameras are obviously very tired and drooping, after watching
people all day!
This is not a bean
growing veggie patch, but a building site with lots of steel rods with
protectors on the end. I wonder if the cup was put on because they ran
out of green ones. These shapes are the tall glass building windows
reflected in the almost still water in front of it.
You can turn these
lock gate wheels but nothing happens as they are disengaged. On the left
of this bridge is the Thames and the water in the picture leads up to a
pumping station on the right.
Nearby are some
buildings called The Landmark (Marsh Wall) with this absolutely
wonderful whirlpool water feature, like a giant plughole. The water
gradually goes down until there is nothing, and then it fills up very
quickly and starts all over again. There are three tubes inside the base
shooting the water round to keep the vortex going at high speed. I could
watch it all day and I wish smaller versions were on sale somewhere! It
is best with the sunlight illuminating it.
You can see a video of a similar one here
www.williampye.com/video/982-charybdis but the Landmark one is all
enclosed and doesn't spill over.
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