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Diary 2013 October


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1 October

Bus map  Tidying garden
I like maps but I prefer to read them at home and make my plans. This one is in the bus shelter, with wind and traffic roaring past. I did not want to be reading it and then see my bus whizz by! In the afternoon we tidied up the garden. I had to have some help cutting up the thicker branches.

Cox's Orange Pippin  Cotoneaster
I will have to pick these soon, they are Cox's Orange Pippin and have ripened really well. This cotoneaster is full of berries for our blackbirds.

3 October

Penguin garden ornaments  Bird shaped watering device  Starlings on phone lines
At the garden centre, I thought at first that these ornaments were crows because of the beaks, but they are penguins. This bird watering device looks like a good idea. I prefer the real birds on the telephone wires nearby my window, they are a lot more interesting.

Stone chip samples  Pyracantha hedge
These stone chip samples remind me of the coloured bead sets where you can play games or make patterns. I always admire this hedge near the garden centre and I have planted some pyracantha in my garden, but it will be some time before they get to this size.

4 October

Car full of garden rubbish for the dump  Last flowers in a jam jar
Here is all the garden rubbish going to the dump, where it will be recycled in their giant composter into garden soil. Brown Teddy saved all the bits of flowers and put them in a jam jar on the kitchen window sill.

Scrubbing the pears  Blue Parrot with pear
I took some more pears from the tree and scrubbed them all. Blue Parrot found one just the right size for him.

5 October

Blue tits  Great tit
These blue tits and great tits have been twittering around our gardens for several days and at last I got a picture of them. They move away very quickly so I had to take lots of photos to make sure I got one with them actually in it.

Swan  Ladybird
In the park two swans have arrived. They stay for a bit and then they might be gone a week later. This ladybird on the park railing is the opposite of the normal black dots on red.

6 October

Wet spider web  Closeup of wet spider web
It was a very misty morning and we found this wet spider web in the grasses in the boot sale field. When we came home, it was invisible again as it had dried off.

Well Hall Pleasaunce shield  Squirrel eating chocolate biscuit bar
In the afternoon we went back to Well Hall Pleasaunce with Auntie (we first visited last month). I will have to find out why the lions on the shield have chimneys behind them! This squirrel is eating a piece of our orange flavoured chocolate biscuit bar.

Leaning wall - Yellow Teddy  Leaning wall - Hands  Leaning wall - Auntie's stick
Here is the leaning wall again, and we all took a turn at holding it up, with Auntie using her stick.

7 October

Wood pigeon after bath
This is Woody the wood pigeon after his bath, letting his wing feathers dry in the sun.

8 October

Clipped tree  Chicken ornaments
We went to the garden centre at Ruxley. This big shrub is about 2 metres tall clipped in cloud shapes like bonsai trees. These plastic chicken ornaments look very real.

Marbled stone  Spiral water feature
I really liked this marbled stone and I would prefer it without the fountain and the slimy green algae - I prefer the rock patterns on their own! Last time I came this water feature had nothing in it, but now it is working properly.

Tiger barb fish  Fish scales
I always visit the fish and these are tiger barbs. I also got a good closeup picture of the beautiful scales on one of the bigger fish.

British Birds tea set  Chocolate button lollies
I really liked these British Birds tea set things. I always take a photo for Dino and he will probably ask why I did not buy one of the chocolate button lollies as well!

9 October

Crocus bulbs  Planting daffodil and crocus bulbs
I am hurrying to get all the new bulbs planted while the weather is good. In the hole are Salome daffodils, and yellow and white crocus. We will be able to see these from the kitchen window next spring, when it is too cold to go out. The soil in this bit is quite good so the daffodils should not die out like they do in other parts of the garden where it is drier.

Fence mending - old planks  Fence mending - new planks
We replaced a piece of fence, rather than repaint it. The new fence planks are a very smart honey colour and now the height is the same all the way along instead of up and down.

10 October

Dino with apples from the garden
I picked all the remaining apples on our trees. The red ones at the back are Cox's Orange Pippin, the green ones are supposed to be Russet but they don't look like it, as Russets should be a greeny brown colour. In the colander are a few Spartan, the only ones that the tree has produced this year. Dino offer to test them all for tastiness, especially as there is always a dish of pieces from the ones that need to be eaten straight away.

11 October

Rainbow  World's Strongest Man
I always take a photo of rainbows when they appear but they always look brighter in real life than in photos. In the evening we watched the World's Strongest Man competition. You need a good armchair to see it, as it is interesting but very tiring watching them pick up the big stones.

15 October

Hall Place topiary  Hall Place garden gate
On the way back from a shopping trip, we went into Hall Place for some more photos. I found another creature amongst the Chess Pieces topiary, but there is no notice to say what it is supposed to be. I like the secret garden gate as I know it is going to be all quiet with no-one there!

Hall Place steps and seat  Hall Place millstone
Steps and corners are always interesting. In front of the seat is this millstone, left over from when the estate had a mill on the river.

Hall Place Princess Diana seat  Hall Place Princess Diana seat plaque
This is the Princess Diana memorial seat with the plaque under one of the six seats.

Hall Place geese eating grass
As we walked, the geese were following us but they soon realised that there was no bread on offer, except for two young ones who we noticed standing behind us expectantly. It is best to keep moving so that they don't waste any further energy on following people. The geese keep this grass very short.

Hall Place crab apples  Hall Place pyracantha
On the way out we admired the ornamental crab apples. These and the pyracantha in the model gardens will keep the birds supplied over winter.

16 October

Starlings on phone masts
Starlings usually squabble over their perches but these ones have a phone mast each.

20 October

Heavy rain at the window  Sunny interval at the window
Heavy rain with sunshine in between, obviously a day to spend indoors and I think it would be a good idea to sort out the books and rearrange them a bit. The sun came out in between the heavy showers.

22 October

Felled tree sprouting  Felled tree
We took a walk by the river. This felled tree is sprouting leaves but I don't think they will grow into another tree because there are no roots anywhere.

Tree log with wasps notice
This rotting tree trunk is full of wasps and I am glad the Parks people have put a ribbon round and a sign at both ends! The logs are left to rot down for insects, so the wasps are allowed to stay.

23 October

Kyd Brook bridge 1  Kyd Brook bridge 2
I found a new footpath today, along the Kyd Brook from Locksbottom to Petts Wood. There are lots of bridges along the way.

Kyd Brook hurdles  Horses
This part of the path goes away from the muddy and crumbling edge of the stream and the parks people have built hurdles at each end to prevent anyone from walking along the edge. Further along it opened out onto a field in the Riding Centre. The horses all had coats on and several were munching the acorns from the mud.

24 October

Hedge against bus window  Country fields
We took a bus along a very narrow country road near Cudham and the branches were scraping along the window, with sound effects! We took a walk along this road where it is all more open and sunny.

25 October

Sevenoaks Road at Green Street Green  Bus stop sign with spider
This is the road from Green Street Green. There is countryside all round but the road is very busy. This sign on the bus stop should have said "No stopping except for buses and flies" as a spider had made his web right underneath.

Yellow Teddy with cat scarer  Cat scarer in garden
We have had to get some scarers to keep the cats from visiting the garden. It makes a sudden noise that only cats can hear. It has worked very well and I think the foxes can probably hear it as well.

Yellow Teddy with solar powered cat scarer  In greenhouse with notepaid and knitting
We also got a solar powered scarer which also has two flashing lights like eyes. I have hung it on the parasol stand so that I can move it around. I spent the afternoon in the greenhouse. While the mittens were being finished, I got on with writing my lists of things to do and projects that I would like to start, as well as shopping reminders.

26 October

Bexley sun dial on building
This is called a vertical declining sundial, as it is on a wall. It is on the Styleman's Alms Houses in Bexley Village. "Tempus fugit" is Latin for "time flies".

Pampas grass  Stormy weather noticeboard
At Hall Place Gardens the wind was blowing these pampas grasses quite strongly. Gales are expected within 24 hours so the staff had put out a warning notice to keep away from trees.

Autumn tree  Autumn tree closeup
There were a lot of autumn coloured trees all with a circle of orange leaves underneath.

Noticeboard  Canada geese on the grass
Brown Teddy is reading the notice. It is a long list of what must not be done in the gardens but it makes sure that everyone can enjoy the peace and quiet. The Canada geese tend to walk towards anyone who looks as if they might have a bread bag.

Tree planting sign  Water channel stepping stones
I like this planting notice, it is better than nailing a notice to the tree! Here are the stepping stones at the bottom of the long river overflow channel. They are not very high and I think they just keep the mud off, and would probably not be high enough if water was collecting in the channel.

Yellow Teddy with snack  Brown Teddy with the fragrant tree flowers
Brown Teddy and I had our bits of snack bread round behind the trees, where the geese could not see us! Brown Teddy found this big shrubby tree with lovely perfumed flowers.

Mountain ash tree berries  Big mossy stone
Berries for the blackbirds, just checking! This mossy stone in the rock garden looks like a big cliff with grass and shrubs going over the edge and a forest down below.

Queen's Beast topiary  Fallen apple
One of the Queen's Beasts was actually talking to me, or perhaps it was just the wind blowing his mouth branch up and down! We went on to the fruit orchard. It is laid out as an example from the past, with historical types of fruit trees, and so the fruits are left fall to the ground. The snails and birds have them all to themselves.

Dahlias  Flower head
The cut flower garden has a few plants still left, and these ones look like the fireworks that we will see in a week or two, especially the starburst fireworks.

Wildlife garden noticeboard  Insect house
We went on to the wildlife corner. This pile of logs seems to be an insect home so they can hibernate over winter.

Brown Teddy in the wildlife hide  Yellow Teddy in the wildlife hide
There is a hide with seats where you can watch the river wildlife and the birds on the feeders.

Duck house
There were no ducks near this duckhouse, they are out eating and I expect they only use it at night. There were plenty of moorhens and maybe this belongs to them.

Pond with low level walkway  Egg-shaped stone seat
This pond has been made so that you can walk down and get level with the water. Just outside the hide is a giant egg-shaped seat. It is made of reconstituted stone that looks like marble with bits in. Dino will just love this photo and we will have to take him another time so he can try sitting on it.

27 October

Autumn leaves
The winds will be very galey tonight so I think this might be the last photo of the autumn leaves on the tree that I can see from my kitchen.

28 October

Stormy dawn  Broken tree
The weather was still stormy when we woke up. On our walks we found one or two trees that had blown down.

29 October

Footpath  Rosehips  Spindle Tree berries
We went on a country walk near Green Street Green. I like to see interesting footpaths but this one was very muddy. The hedgerow had plenty of rosehips. These pink berries are from the Spindle tree, a type of Euonymus, and they are poisonous to us.

Fields  Way marker
Between the trees were sunny green fields and horses at the equestrian centre. I was not planning to walk to Sevenoaks, and we shall be bussing home afterwards. When the milestone says London, it really means the centre of London, not the outskirts near where we live.

Working in the greenhouse  Dino with the ex-sweet pot
In the afternoon I did some work in the warm greenhouse. Dino came in as well. He spent a lot of time checking the red chocolate container, but it has been empty of sweets since last Christmas and only contains the knitting!

Stormy sunset
Back indoors, I was just in time to get a good photo of the sun going down behind this stormy looking cloud, with all the sunrays streaming out.

30 October

Ice house  Looking into ice house
We went to Tarnwood Bird Sanctuary, which is a park in Eltham with a lake in it and lots of trees, where the birds can all live quietly. At the entrance is this Ice House. Long ago, ice was collected in winter and stored packed in straw in a cool shaded hole in the ground, to be used during the rest of the year. I am glad about the wire mesh over the top of the hole!

Tarnwood lake  Friendly geese
The lake was very quiet with lots of birds, ducks and geese. These two geese followed us as we walked along, so we thought they deserved a bit of our snack bread.

Noticeboard  Lake bridge
There are information signs everywhere about the birds, frogs, bats and other wildlife. At the end of the lake is a bridge.

Toilets building with tree trunk supports
Back near the beginning is the toilets building. The posts are tree timbers that have been left in a tree shape and not cut straight, but I think the short bits at the top have been added in, so that they are all the right size and angle. I like it much better than straight posts, as they hide the building amongst the other trees.

Drinking fountain outside church 
Back in Eltham, we found this very old drinking fountain from 1886 on the outside of the church wall, with a dog or horse drinking container at ground level.

Tree blown over  Leaf identification sign
We carried on to Well Hall Pleasaunce. It was a bit sad to see this really big tree blown over, and we were glad it all happened at night when there was no-one there. This sign says "Can you find these leaves?" and I am sure they were all there, but we wanted to get round for our photos before the sun went in.

Boggy pond  Moat
The bog garden pond is covered in duck weed, but I was pleased to see the moat is now clear water, although it still had a lot of fallen leaves in it. 

Wall with sloping bricks  Back of wall with sloping bricks
I was very puzzled by this wall, with the line of bricks dipping down at an angle. We went round to the garden on the other side and found the same thing. My guess is that the bricks had to be built going upwards and over a water channel or pipe. I wonder if there is secret tunnel underneath?

Tudor Barn bell  Wobbly logs in playground
This bell is at the top of the roof on the Tudor Barn, which is now a restaurant. I think it would be fun if they rang it as a dinner bell, when lunch was ready to be served! In the children's play area, if you look closely you can see a piston at the right hand end of the logs, so that they sway up and down when children walk along them.

31 October

Hot pear and oats  Branch in goalpost
The weather is getting colder now and I have decided to put some of the frozen pear pieces in my porridge. Hot pear and oats is very delicious and it's nice to know the pears are from our own tree. In the park, the wind has blown this branch through the goalpost, not the sort of goal we really want, though.

Coming out of the park is a footpath behind some gardens where I found this scented honeysuckled growing down on our side. I am glad the owners did not chop it back too much.

Mittens  Box of bubble wrap
Back home it was time to pack up the pile of knitted mittens, especially my favourite red ones, and take them to the charity, along with a big box of bubble wrap. The box was very light but difficult to keep hold of, so we used the shopping trolley. I hope some more red mittens like this get made, and I think they will, now that we have a photo of them. I wonder if there will be time to make me a hat like that as well, for when it snows?



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