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Diary 2013 August


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2 August

Aquarium temple ornament  Geckos in pet shop
This interesting ruined temple is in a fish tank in my local pet shop, with two brown fish resting inside. As far as they are concerned, it is just another cave! These geckos were sitting very still - I had another look at them before leaving and they had not moved at all.

Riverside  Weir
The river runs behind the shopping place. My favourite parts are where the grass slopes right down to the edge. It is all very shallow, at least for people, but for Teddies it would be over my head in places. I like the weirs where the water changes from glassy smooth to boiling froth at the bottom. The noise of the rushing water drowns out the traffic on the nearby road.

Adventure playground
They have finally finished this adventure playground near the river. It is a lot of sand, bricks in wavy shapes and some rocks, with some features that allow children to play with trickles of water.

Ducks in grass  Cinnabar moth caterpillar
These ducks were staying safe in the marshy pond at the side of the river, hiding amongst the tall grasses. There were lots of these caterpillars around, and I think it is best not to touch them. They are eating their favourite plant the ragwort and will turn into cinnabar moths, which are a bright red colour. These caterpillars and the moths are poisonous.


3 August

Tufted ducks  Coot chick
Here is a family of black tufted ducks on the small pond by the river. I think they use the pond to sleep safely in the middle, and then go back to the river to feed. In Priory Park, the birds are still making use of the crates of straw as sitting places. They will sit on anything and don't really care what it is.

Garden ornament  Garden centre pots
We went to Ruxley Garden Centre to get a rose bush for a friend. This astrolabe-type ornament reminded us of the Millennium sculpture in Greenwich Park on the Meridian Line. I think this cart is really a big table with a roof and two wheels at the sides. I can just see myself serving up a really big picnic spread on this!

Giraffe garden ornament  Models of cows
This giraffe ornament is made of lots of rounded pieces of metal. My favourites are the cows, and someone has had a very good time painting them. The cow's name is obviously Daisy!

Aquarium  Sucker fish
In the pet shop part, you can view this aquarium from both sides. The fish are very colourful but I think they would be better off with more space to swim in as the fish are quite large. This spotty sucker fish reminds me of some very smart pyjamas.

Streaky glass ornament
I really like this piece of glassware in the gifts section, as it looks like swirling water with goldfish swimming around. It was expensive, so I will make do with a photo to admire.

Wall ornaments  Spiral water feature
These ornaments would be just right for a conservatory. This spiral water feature is my favourite one, but there was not enough water flowing and it had turned green. If I had one I would have more water, some blue colouring in the water and some washing up liquid to make blue bubbles.

5 August

Grasses and seedheads
I enjoy the boot sale at Pedham but even better I like the big open space and the wild flowers. They are all seeding now and waving their seedheads about in the wind. The tall one is a teasel and the others are thistles.


8 August

Brambles regrowing  Copper tape against snails
The parks department have cut down the bramble thickets next to the path, but the plants are regrowing really quickly and it will soon be back to its normal depth and height. Here I am putting a sticky back copper strip around the base of my new greenhouse, to stop slugs and snails from climbing up it. It is a bit expensive, but it works, even when it has gone dull and greenish.

Butterfly  Amaryllis
This butterfly was in the greenhouse and so we helped him out. He did manage to fly, even though he had lost a bit of wing. I am really pleased with the amaryllis flowers this year, as we have been looking after the giant bulbs carefully all summer.

Dino with Liquorice Allsorts  Parrot with Liquorice Allsorts
Some gave us these Liquorice Allsorts as a thank you for helping out. Dino is the best person to take charge, as he will always notice if some of them disappear. Parrot enjoyed playing with them, making pairs of eyes before eating them.

10 August

Colourful knitting yarns  Embroidery silks  Quirky clock
I like going along when people are buying their knitting wool. I could play with these colourful wools for hours and hours. Fortunately all the short ends get saved for me to play with. This is just the sort of clock to buy for someone who doesn't really care what time it is!

11 August

Wheat field  Wheat heads
This waving wheat field was next to a boot sale out in the countryside. It makes me think of all the lovely breads, buns and cakes that can be made out of it.

Here is a corner of my greenhouse. I was really pleased with the leaves-pattern bin sticker. I put it on some cardboard which is standing up against the storage box to hide it.


12 August

Riverside  Riverside with log
Another walk by the river. This part is a bit deeper than usual and all the weed is waving about in long strands like green hair. The log has made its own island as bits and pieces get stuck around it.

16 August

Streaky sunset sky 
The sun has set to the right of the picture and is lighting up all these very high clouds.

18 August

Boot sale field
Here is one of the boot sales. The grass is left in long stripes, so that the cars know where to park in rows.

Robin  Robin on compost bin
In the afternoon we tidied up around the compost bins, as a lot of plant stuff had been thrown down in a heap. I heard a gentle singing from the tree and found the robin sitting there. As soon as we moved away, he came down for a rummage. The two bins are absolutely full and the lids don't quite go on. But we watered them well and that will make them collapse quite quickly, ready for the next lot.

Nest in hawthorn tree  Dragonfly
We were going to trim the tops of the trees a little bit but found this nest. It is probably left over from springtime and I don't think it is occupied, but we decided to wait until winter before trimming the trees. The dragonfly flew around my pond several times and then came to rest on the lavender.


19 August

Red and white mittens  Rainbow mittens
We spent the morning photographing the mitten supply. These are my very favourite ones. They will be going out to people in other countries who do not have enough clothes for the very cold winters that they have.

Woody the wood pigeon
Here is Woody the wood pigeon. Now that the sparrows have grown up and spread out, he is the only bird that comes down to look for crumbs. He does a good job of making sure it is all gone before night time, so that any mice don't get it.

20 August

Conference pears
My Conference pear tree is full of big hard pears weighing down the branches, and we keep knocking our heads on them as we go past. Last year we had no pears, but lots of apples. This year it is the other way around.

24 August

Start of river  Ducks on rainy pond
Here is where my river begins, with water that starts in Priory pond. In the park, the ducks were very happy with the rain, as they still haven't forgotten how the pond dried out last year.

25 August

Bug on cap
This friendly bug landed on someone's cap. He sat very still for his photograph, and then was allowed to walk off the hat onto some flowers.

26 August

Here is another robin that we heard singing in some apple trees, as we were parked in a layby.


28 August

Garden centre flowers  Drain cover
I like going into the small garden centre, even though I don't buy all the plants. As it is quite small, they cram the plants in and so it all looks a lot more colourful than the bigger garden centres. On the way home I notice this drain cover - I wonder if it the same Brunel family that built the famous bridges around Britain, or maybe the company are just borrowing his name.

River weir  Metal plate and padlock
This is the weir at the end of the Riverside Gardens. It is very noise, with two weirs and a high gushing outlet on the left. I am wondering what this plate and padlock are on the footpath, it has to be either pipes or cables underneath. I think it will remain a mystery.

River bridge  Duck river
My favourite bridge is now repaired. It leads to the duck part of the river. Here all the ducks are sleeping and resting under the willow trees.

Pigeons on branch in river
These pigeons were all sitting on a branch in the river, soaking their feet and staying safe at the same time.

Big weir  Braided river weed
This is the big central weir that the little lake overflows into. It is the noisiest of all and there are often large broken branches at the bottom. Further upstream, near the railway viaduct, the river had made braided paths through the weed, where it is quieter and more peaceful.




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