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Diary 2012 July


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2 July 2012

Poppies growing by pillar box 
Poppies are usually pillar-box red but these are definitely on the orange side. There are some in nearby road that are the normal deep red.

Priory swan  Wind in willow trees
This swan has appeared in Priory Gardens and I think it must be a young one because it still has brownish marks. I am very pleased with my photo of the wind blowing the willow trees, every time there was a gust all the dangling leaves lifted up into the air quite high.

3 July

The last wallflowers  Maid of Kent rose
I was surprised to see a few late wallflowers, and I made sure I had a good smell of them, as we won't see them again until next spring. This is Maid of Kent rose that is growing over my fence and leaning on the shed. It grows really fast and big, and needs a lot of cutting every now and then. It is very thorny so I generally just choose which bits should come off and let someone else do the actual snipping!

Blue Parrot with sparaxis flowers  Yellow Teddy in feverfew flowers
Blue Parrot is very pleased with these colourful Sparaxis flowers. I think the bulbs must have been under-sized as the flowers are quite small and should have been bigger. I will feed the plants all summer and maybe next year they will do better. My feverfew plants seed themselves and grow everywhere without me having to do any work. When one of the plants has flowers with big middles and small petals, I always pull it out so that it doesn't go to seed, because I want them all to have big white flowers. The leaves are a bushy bright green and they brighten up the garden even before the flowers come out.

4 July

Ribbons in sewing shop  Silk flowers in sewing shop
We went to Welling this morning. I had a good time in the sewing shop and really enjoyed all these reels of ribbons and flower sprigs. It is very difficult to choose when there are so many. We didn't need any ribbon, but I was thinking very hard of an excuse to buy some. Dino reminded me that we have a box of ribbon bits in the cupboard at home, so maybe I could get a pinboard and put some of the pieces on it just to look at.

Welling pylon
There are lots of pylons crossing Welling between the houses, and I wonder if they interfere with the televisions and equipment in the houses underneath. Maybe the pylons were put up before the houses were built. I think I prefer trees, though.

Jubilee streamers  Smiley cakes
This Jubilee banner in Sidcup high Street looks very Christmassy because of the tinsel. The best shop in Sidcup is this cake shop with the smiley buns. It's a good job I take my banana with me on shopping trips to fight the hunger pangs!

Comet shop sign  Wall made of brick fragments
I like this shop sign. I have read comets described as "big dirty balls of ice" and so a dry cleaners is the best place to clean it up! This wall is made of recycled lumps of brick and it would make a very nice quilt pattern to sew up, especially for Brown Teddy as he likes variations of brown colours. It reminds me of a map of a town, with big blocks for the buildings and white roads. If it was a greeny colour it would look like a map of fields and hedgerows, which I think is much more interesting because you could imagine what was growing in each field - mainly apple and pear orchards, streawberries, raspberries, and a few with potatoes and carrots. Some fields would need cows to provide the milk and butter, and some with sheep for the wool. I would leave a few fields full of wild flowers and have some beehives for honey.


5 July

Yellow Teddy with rainbow on broom
This rainbow on my broom in the shed was a mystery until I traced it back to a reflector fitted on one of the bike wheels. I just had time to get my camera before the sun moved round.

6 July

Priory pigeons lazing about  Hole in waste bin
These pigeons and ducks are obviously totally full of bread and have to rest and sleep a bit before they go looking for more. We saw a big vole run across the path and disappear into this hole in the base of the waste bin. I have seen one before swimming in a corner of the pond, so I hope it really is a water vole and not a small rat. Hurry up, pigeons, eat the leftovers so the rats don't get it!

Priory ornamental duck
Amongst the ordinary mallard ducks, we saw this beautiful ornamental duck. Of course, he got some extra bits of bread. The other ducks are bigger than him, so I waited for him to swim a little way from the others, then I threw his bits of bread in, so he got a chance to eat most of it before the others came.

7 July

Yellow Teddy stripping wallpaper  Dino stripping wallpaper  Yellow Teddy with ladder
Today we decided to get the stairwell wallpaper off. I started with the scraper at the bottom and edges, and Dino pulled the strips. The paper had so much paint on, that it was very stiff and came off in one go. Dino really enjoyed helping and using his strength to tug the bits off. We got the job done really quickly. I am leaving someone else to go up the big ladder!

Orpington Model Railway Club - tracks
Later on we went shopping and in the Walnuts Shopping Centre we saw a display by the Orpington & District Model Railway Society. The best bit about model trains is when you make a tunnel out of boxes and blankets, and then send the train through. You have to have a big green sheet or blanket to make your hills. Some shiny silver paper makes a good lake and river, and a long piece of squeezed up clingfilm makes a gushing waterfall.

Orpington Model Railway Club - steam engine  Orpington Model Railway Club - coaches

8 July

Feeding baby sparrow No. 1  Feeding baby sparrow No. 2
Here is our favourite sparrow, feeding number one baby and then number two baby. The sparrows get very bold for bits of bread when they have nestlings to feed.

11 July

Water droplets on nasturtium leaves  Priory ducks eating seeds
It is was heavy thunderstorms most of the day, and I enjoyed watching the heavy raindrops bouncing around on the nasturtium leaves. It collected in the middle and then jumped around and slid off. In one of the short sunny periods we went to the park. Someone had thrown down a lot of bird seed and all the ducks and some doves were busy pecking at it. I walked past very slowly and they didn't take much notice of me.

Triple rainbow over fields  Triple rainbow over houses
This triple rainbow over the countryside looked really bright and huge. There is no time to waste in getting the camera out, because the sun could go in at any moment.


12 July

Amaryllis flowers
I am really pleased with our Amaryllis plant. This was a really good boot sale bargain, and we knew it would do well because the bulb had two big buds coming out of it. This is the first bud with four flowers, and the second bud is just coming up.

13 July

Dino having his Dinosaur Footprint rolls with raspberry jam
Dino was really pleased when I bought him these Dinosaur Footprint rolls. He is having them with raspberry jam, but they are also very good to have with soup because they pull into little bits for dipping in. Dino says his favourite soup is Primordial Soup which was invented millions of years ago and is the reason why dinosaurs grew so big and strong!

15 July

Pedham Place - grassy path
I just love these grassy paths at Pedham Place field, where we go to the boot fair. They are best on a breezy day when the grasses and wild flowers are all waving and swaying in the wind.

19 July

Evening primrose  Nasturtiums along path
I have been waiting ages to get an Evening Primrose in my garden, because this is my favourite yellow. Now that it is here, I hope it will seed around so that we will have some every year. This is the path between the fence and the fish pond and there is only just room for me to get past the plants, even after we tied them up. They are climbing nasturtiums but they seem to have climbed across the path instead of up the fence.

21 July

Priory Park - ducklings 1  Priory Park - ducklings 2
As last we have some ducklings in the park pond. They don't mind swimming away from their Mum, as long as they can see her. They keep moving around the pond and not staying in one place, so that they stay safe. They are full of energy and swim quite fast.

Priory Park - Mother duck and ducklings  Priory Park - moorhen chicks standing on log in pond
The mother duck was making clucking noises to keep the ducklings together. Eventually they swam to the other side of the pond to dabble in the thick weed there. There are six ducklings in this family, and there is another family of much bigger ducklings. These are the moorhen chicks standing on one of the logs that are floating about the pond. Moorhens have red beaks, and coots have white beaks.

Priory park - rat  Priory Park - crow with hard crust
Here is one of the rats that lives near the bridge. I think he is too big to be a water vole. He likes all the extra weed that has filled the ponds, because he can look around without being seen. This crow spent ages pecking bits off of this hard crust. The ducks could have told him how to soften it so that it goes down in just one or two pieces!

Bird patterned fabric
After our time in the park, I noticed this bird pattern in the fabric shop. It would be a good reminder of the park, apart from the flowery chickens!


22 July

Yellow Teddy with newly arrived goldfish  Goldfish swimming out into the pond
Today we collected four goldfish that the owner can't look after any more. We used a deep bin with a lid for the very short car journey. We we got home, we put some of our own pond water into the bin, so that the fish would get used to it. The fish were very calm and after a while, we let them swim out into our pond. I think it will take a while for them to explore all of their new home, as it is a lot bigger and deeper than their old pond. They have now got lots of new friends to play with and places to find snacks.

24 July

Priory duck and ducklings on their favourite log
This is the Mallard duck family's favourite log for sitting on, either for sleeping or to preen their feathers.

25 July

Three piece serpents
I always go into Homebase Garden Centre when I am passing, to see what new things they have got in. I saw these serpents some time ago amongst some plants, but here they are with the three bits altogether. They look a bit like a worm or a millepede with the stripey pattern, and I think I would prefer them to be smoother and greener!

Yellow Teddy by the River Cray weir  Brown Teddy reading the river sign
The River Cray is nearby, so we walked home that way. The waterfall is always interesting. It is so noisy that you can't always hear the cars zooming past on the main road. Brown Teddy likes to read the notice boards, to make sure he is not missing anything.

Wild flowers on river bank  Yellow Teddy with the very tall nettles
This part is normally short green grass, but with all the wet weather over the summer it is now full of tall wild flowers and long grass. These nettles are taller than a very tall person and this patch is definitely not the place to run and play. You would get covered in stings.

Yellow Teddy with big bramble thicket  Brown Teddy approaching river bridge
As well as nettles, there are lots of very tall bramble thickets, which I like because it feeds the birds and they can stay inside and be safe from everything. Brown Teddy's favourite part is the bridge over the river, but at the moment it needs repairing, so people cannot use it.

Young thrush
There is always lots of birdsong along the River walks, and here is a thrush. It looks like a young one because the colours are quite pale. It is easy to hear thrushes because they sit on the top branch of trees to sing, but it is not easy to get a good picture of one. I like it when they visit my garden because they eat snails!

Yellow Teddy with buddleia bushes  Brown Teddy with bindweed flowers
This is the semi-wild riverside garden by the top part of the river where the ducks like to stay. This blue plant is buddleia which is also called Butterfly Bush. Brown Teddy likes the bindweed flowers. In a garden it is a weed because it grows over other favourite plants, but the flowers are very beautiful white trumpets. It can quickly cover up a fence or a tree stump.


27 July

Mother duck and ducklings underneath  Tufted duck with babies
The Mallard ducklings are now getting quite big and they cannot all fit under Mum's feathers. The Tufted Duck has twelve babies, but we could not get them all into one photo. They stayed away from the edges of the pond as they are more shy.

Yellow Teddy watching Olympics Opening Ceremony  People dressed as doves on bicycles
We really enjoyed watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony. My favourites were the floating rings all coming together, and the people dressed as doves riding bicycles. We have a bike but we would definitely like some extra wings like that, as long as they could really fly!

Flags and TV screens in shopping centre
The shopping centre has flags and four television screens so that people can catch up with sports and Olympics results, without having to stay indoors. The shops prefer people to carry on buying things!

28 July

Yellow Teddy at gap in trees  Hidey hole among tree roots
We took another walk along the river gardens. You can tell a tree has been removed, because the ones next to it are all bald at the side. I wonder if the greenery will grow back? This hidey hole at the bottom of a tree looks interesting and is a good place for insects to hide in if it rains hard. Wouldn't it be interesting if there was a very tiny door here with a doorbell and a letter box!

Flowing weed in River Cray  Crow in River Cray|
My favourite part of the river is where there are lots of clean pebbles and the river weed all flowing down in long stripes. This crow was not having a bath but he was trying to find some insects or worms in the shallow water.

 Building storm cloud Ducklings under mother duck
This type of cloud means the air is rising very quickly and it will be stormy quite soon. The ducklings will be safe under Mum, if they can all get in that is. Fortunately, ducks like water!

30 July

Wild sky at boot sale field
This is Birchwood boot sale, which I like because we can park the car very near the stalls. That means I can go back and sit down while I wait for the others to finish. It is a really good place to look at skies, because it is very wide and open. I like a sky that has lots of things going on. Here are piles of cumulus clouds at the bottom, very high wispy clouds in the top distance, and an airplane vapour trail. I like it when the low clouds are travelling in a different direction from the high clouds.

31 July

Untidy Daddy Blackbird  Copper pot with bird drinking water
Here is our old Daddy Blackbird, with very messy feathers. He has been busy with three broods of babies this year. He knows how to find food for all of them, and has done a lot better that some of the tidier looking younger blackbirds. Maybe now he will find some time to tidy up those feathers before the cold weather comes! This copper water pot stays under the seat in the garden, so that shy birds can get a drink in private. You have to be careful when sitting on the seat not to drop anything like pencils through the gaps in the seat!





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