After all that snow, I went on a garden inspection. It is all rather
muddy and gloomy, but there are flowers in odd corners. Here are
snowdrops, pulmonaria (lungwort), winter jasmine and crocus. The blue
pulmonaria is always first out, and feeds the very first bees and
insects that appear. Sometimes it has pink flowers on the same stem as
the blue ones.
There are a good amount of berries left on the cotoneaster bushes so I
know the blackbirds still have something in their larder.
On the riverside walks, there are lots of tree trunks left to rot, to
provide places for insects and wildlife. I really like these little
bracket funguses, they look just like an owl's feathers. I had this
fungus on my old apple tree stump a long time ago. They look soft but
they are quite hard.
This is one of the deeper weirs along the River Cray and is quite noisy
when there is a good flow of water. I love the mossy bricks on top of
the wall, they look like miniature forests of shrubs and trees.
I see this white egret quite often nowadays and he likes the quieter
parts of the river. He stands very still waiting to see a tiddler fish.
There must be some there, because if not, he would soon go elsewhere.
Dino took this picture of me looking out to check up on the new fall of
snow. He said I looked as if I were in a snow blizzard! There was only a
little covering snow which did not last long. Out the back it was
obvious that a big woodpigeon had been walking around to see what he
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Spring has definitely arrived in the garden centre which was looking
very colourful. The ornament is a penguin with a shiny mirror finish. He
has obviously been attracted by all the snow we have had and has decided
to stay for a while.
This is by the River Cray. In the summer this patch is full of brambles
about three metres high. It has all been cut down, but I know that it
will soon be back bigger than ever. It will be interesting to compare
this picture with one taken next summer. I saw some primroses about, but
I suspect they were planted by the parks people. I hope the plants
spread about as much as possible in their new home.
This strange shape is a crow preening. He was too busy to see me walk
past, which is unusual as they usually fly away when someone is near.
This big weir is very noisy, especially with the high winter water flow.
This branch has made it under the barrier and it making for the edge of
the weir. I think it might have too many snags and bits of branch to
slide along smoothly. It will probably collect loads of other bits of
rubbish, and then the water will push the whole lot over the edge.
Further along this colourful ball looked as if it was doing its best to
jump up the weir. The white water is curling over and travelling
backwards and pushing the ball against the smooth edge, making the
This is a more peaceful part, where all the ducks live. Here is my
favourite white duck. It will be much nicer when everything is greener
and they have more places to hide away, especially when they want to
have a nap.
Here is the part of the river where a big muddy bend has been added at
the edge of the river, to provide a boggy place for plants. It is here
that the blackbird in the snow was flinging the muddy leaves. This will
be all green before long.
It was a chilly morning but the sun came out, and we decided to take a
walk. I was very pleased to see these crocuses and snowdrops on the
verges of the path.
We had to get some things out of the garden shed, and went in very
carefully, but the robin, who we thought was out in the garden, came
shooting out of the shed. We were very quick to get our bits and I
quickly took a photo of the nest in the basket. I am glad to say that
our disturbance has not put the robins off their nest site.
We went on a river walk determined to get photos of spring arriving and
found these beautiful dangling yellow catkins. Near the river we saw
this yellow wagtail and he sat long enough for us to get several photos.
Seems to be a yellow day today!
I was puzzled by the holes in this paving near the river. It is made so
that the grass can grow through the squares, and I think some are empty
because the rain may be seeping through and taking away the soil. Maybe
in the summer they will fill up again as the dust blows in.
I just love these mossy brick wall tops and this one looks like a grassy
mound with green daffodils about the come out. This white egret was in a
very secluded place having a rest.
I really like the water patterns and we spent some time taking movies of
the ripples in this shallow part. I found some more interesting patterns
on the wooden bridge, and on looking more closely I realised that they
were strips of grit glued onto the planks to prevent slipping.
I find these pavement signs amusing and this one is like the road safety
campaign Be Safe Be Seen. The character's dull jeans are invisible but
his teeshirt and hood is clean, white and can't be missed!
We don't see much of our resident dunnock but unusually he came out for
a bit of bread. The second picture proves why he is stripy and prefers
to stay amongst the plants - he is almost invisible.
This is the first time we have seen a bluetit taking the crumbs, as they
usually stay in the trees looking for insects.
This ancient oak tree is getting some care and attention from the Parks
Department. They have decided that the soil is too high round the trunk
and have removed some of it. If the soil comes up too much round the
base, it would eventually rot the trunk and kill the tree.
Dino was very excited to see these pictures of Easter Eggs. He loves
eggs, firstly to play with, and secondly to eat if they are sugar or
chocolate. The little chicks look very warm with their fluffy feathers.
I found an extra outlet today along the riverside. This is where a tree
has fallen, and the outlet pipe has been exposed and the bank has worn
away a bit. For a small animal it would look like a huge waterfall in a
big gorge, with plenty of interesting places to hide and find snacks. We
had to tread carefully at the edge because it could be slippery at this
time of year.
This wren was walking on the twigs and leaves on the water. Being so
small and light, he can walk on almost anything and not sink or make it
bend. I was wondering what he was finding to eat, was it insects or
maybe seeds washed down. This duck also looks as if it is walking on the
water, but it is really standing on the end of the big log. The Parks
people leave bits of log in the ponds for the ducks so that they can
have a rest in safety without leaving the pond.
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