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Diary 2014 March

 

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3 March

Danson Park puddles 
Went went to Danson Park in Bexleyheath to see if there were any signs of Spring. It was cloudy and everything was still very muddy and puddly.

Daffodils  Danson House
I was glad to see these miniature daffodils out near the car park. This is Danson House which overlooks the whole park and the lake.

4 March

Top front seat on bus
Today we went to Bromley. I like sitting on top of the bus at the front.

Bridge over path  Pond
We went into Church House Gardens, behind Bromley High Street. The lands falls away quite steeply and at the bottom is a bridge and a big pond.

Steep steps up  View from top
On both sides of the pond, all the gardens are up lots of steep steps. When we got to the top, the sun came out. I am glad we visited before the leaves come out, as there is a really good view of the valley from here.

Sandpit playground 
This is on the steep slope on the other side, overlooking the children's sandpit playground. It gets full sun all day and I am sure the sand gets really hot in summer.

Ducks asleep on branch  Pigeons in trees
Back at the pond, we found the ducks asleep. This mossy branch was round the side where people don't walk. Back at the top there were lots of pigeons sitting in the trees to one side. In this top part there are seats where office workers come out to have their sandwiches, and no crumbs go unnoticed!

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5 March

Dartford Public Library  Stone bath with flowers
We went to Dartford. This is Dartford Public Library. I will definitely be coming back on a more sunny day to get better pictures, and look in the museum, which was not open today. The Library is in Dartford Central Park. This stone bath looks interesting. I have heard of having a bath before bed, but not a flower bed in bath!

Teddy with ducks  Ducks
We walked through the park and followed the River Darent for a little way. These two ducks were swimming up to us, so we let them have a few bits of our lunch buns.

Artwork on barn  Mick Jagger sculpture
Some people have been very artistic with this barn, which is colourful but also blends in well. Here is an iron sculpture of the pop singer Mick Jagger who was born in Dartford. He was well known for making this pose when he was singing on stage.

Steep path up  Brooklands Lake
The River Darent disappeared under a short bridge tunnel. We went up a steep zigzag path. We crossed the main road, and found a footpath down to Brooklands Lake on the other side. This is another one for my diary, to come back when it is warm and the trees are green.

River Darent overflowing  Cycle Network sign
Here is the other side of the two bridge tunnels that the river goes through. It was overflowing the footpath and the big gates were shut for safety. Brown Teddy saw the national Cycle Network sign and asked if you would stay dry if you were on a bike, but it is too dangerous for that while the river is overflowing.

Milestone 15 miles to London  Milestone 7 miles to Gravesend  Mick Jagger design on window
Back in Dartford town, I got some better photos of the milestone which say 15 Miles to London on and 7 Miles to Gravesend. We found another image of Mick Jagger, etched into the glass on the railway station entrance.

Steam train plaque 1  Steam train plaque 2
On the railings opposite one of the platforms are quite a few of these plaques showing old steam engines throughout history.

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6 March

Ducks amongst twigs  Pigeons on lookout
The riverside ducks here at St Paul's Cray are very well camouflaged amongst the twigs. They stay half asleep even when people are about but every now and then they open eye to make sure there is no danger. These pigeons have a wonderful lookout post on top of the cut down tree. Only the very top of the big tree was cut down so this point is very high up. I can guess what they are looking out for! I am glad they are on the job with the bread crumbs, as rats are quite a problem here due to overfeeding.

Willow tree 
This slowly collapsing willow looks as if it was too old and tired to stay upright. Sometimes the branches root and put up new shoots, so I will look out for that in the future.

Water over weir  Patterns on log
This is the water going over the weir, and the second is a photo of an old tree trunk left to rot, with flowing watery patterns along the wood.

Frogspawn  Frogspawn closeup
Back home I checked Frog Corner in my pond. There is a load of frogspawn and there is fortunately a big raft of weed for it to sit on.

Crocus  Daffodil and carnation
All my crocus are out now, and I am making extra efforts to get around and see them, and take photos, as they disappear so quickly. My indoor cut flowers also deserve some photos, so that I have got them forever.

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8 March

Park birds with bread pile
A pile of bread for the birds. There was not a lot of action over it, but some were pecking at it leisurely. There is now a Council notice up not to feed the big geese, and not to use white bread, but I think some more notices in this area might be needed. There is plenty of grass for the geese and weed for the ducks which will keep them a lot healthier.

10 March

Turnstile  Apple tree label
We went to garden centre at Ruxley. I always enjoy going through the turnstile, and hearing the clanking noises. We made straight for the fruit trees section, and had a good look, but we were doubtful that there is any room left in the garden for another apple tree.

Nestboxes  Letterbox nestboxes
I wonder what would happen if a robin flew into the garden centre and decided to use one of these nest boxes! These red ones are no use to birds, being bright red, and especially dangerous as the landing platform is much too convenient for magpies and squirrels to stand on! I think they are better used as indoor money saving boxes.

Leopard gecko  Bearded dragon
In the pet section, this leopard gecko was having a nap. The bearded dragon sat very still but his eyes were following us around.

Fish scales  Shark-shaped fish
This is my favourite beautiful fish in the showcase window aquarium, I only wish his aquarium was a lot bigger for him and his friends, who keep growing and filling it up. These tiny fish are just like sharks.

Chickens  Rose bower
At the back the chickens were scratching about and seemed very happy and contented. Before we left, we had one last look at the artificial flowers. You could spend a lot of money on a bower like this if you didn't want to wait for real roses to grow up and over.

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11 March

Pebbles  Nylon flower ornaments
These stones near the underpass look just like speckled eggs, especially with the soft moss inbetween. Inside I saw these lovely nylon flower ornaments, but it would be a bit expensive as you need to buy lots of them to get this effect!

Cloud clipped topiary  Sheep ornaments
I like topiary bushes and think these are called cloud clipped. The sheep ornaments have resisted the urge to graze on the plants and daffodils.

12 March

Crows  Crow with bread
We went back to Danson Park. There were lots of crows about, who were very quick to come for a few crumbs from our lunch. They don't come too near, they stop at a certain distance and hope you will throw it a bit nearer to them.

Baby wood pigeons  Great tit
This baby wood pigeon was walking around looking for fallen crumbs. He kept walking all the time and only noticed the crumbs and not the person throwing them. This very bold great tit came swooping down for some of the bits that the crows were not brave enough to come and get.

Secret pond  Rivulet
At the far end is a secret pond, with a little river flower out into the big main lake. It is very quiet here, with a few ducks and lots of noisy crows sitting about in the trees.

Dead tree with woodpecker holes  Ducks in tree
I think the woodpeckers have been drilling into this big old dead tree which is at the end of the secret pond. The ducks like this high up branch a very safe place to sleep.

Danson House and haha
This is the front of Danson House with a haha fence in front. This means that there is a ditch in front, with a wall behind, so no-one can get in, but the people in the house can look out without their view being spoiled by any railings.

woodland  daffodils
At the other end there is a daffodil woodland, with lot of little soft leafy paths winding about. All the daffodils were out, and the sun had come out as well.

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13 March

Well Hall moat  Well Hall daffodils
We went to Well Hall again, to get more daffodil photos. Most of them are out now, and the sunshine made our photos much better.

Underpasses  Thompsons - grass fox
On our way home, we decided to get off the bus early and go to a nearby garden centre that we haven't visited for quite a while. We had to go through all the winding underpasses to get to it. This grassy ornament looks like a fox.

Thompsons - polyanthus pyramid  Thompsons - polyanthus fireplace
I like this pyramid of polyanthus which gets a lot more flowers into the same space. I really liked this fireplace, with lots of red and yellow polyanthus done to look like the flames, with some logs underneath.

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14 March

Crow  Crow with some white feathers
Another quick visit to Danson Park, for more crow photos. The second crow has a few streaky and white feathers on his wings.

Crows  Boot scraper
As soon as we moved away from the seat, they all came in to see what crumbs have been missed. This park boot cleaner is a good idea, with a scraper at each side, and brushes in the middle.

17 March

Wood pigeon having bath  Blossom
I got up really early and found the wood pigeon having a bath. They usually like to sit and soak, and have a few splashes now and then. We walked along the main road and got some good photos of the blossom trees.

White duck  Black and white duck
On the river we noticed this beautiful white duck, and its mate is a little darker, with only white head.

Demolition 
While waiting for the bus, I enjoyed watching the demolition on the other side of the road.  When this piece of wall collapsed, we felt the vibration through the ground, as well as the noise. I am glad the dust was not blowing our way.

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20 March

Bowling balls
We walked from Welling to Bexleyheath as it was a warm sunny day. I was amazed to see these beautiful bowling balls in a shop halfway along, and I am sure the owners admire them on their shelves at home, even when they are not using them at the bowling alley. Seeing the prices, maybe they just keep them safe in a box away from being scratched!

21 March

Bus journey  Daffodil meadow mown paths
I like to go to new places, but today we went back to Hall Place for some more photos of the daffodils before they disappear. It was very sunny and quiet. I really like these long and wide mown paths. It is just like one of my favourite poems - we saw at least "ten thousand at a glance" and the poem is Daffodils by William Wordsworth.

Yew topiary  Hole in the topiary bush where bird went in
My other favourite part is these topiary yew bushes, some of which are supposed to be chess pieces. I think this very neat one is a peacock, with a curved tail spread out behind him. Further on, I am sure I saw a robin go into this clipped yew bush, but you can't see inside. It must be a very safe place to build a nest.

Pink blossom tree  Forsythia
This beautiful blossom tree is by the bridge over the river. The branches were all hanging down and blowing in the breeze. We could see the yellow forsythia bushes from a distance, so it was easy to find them and get good photos.

White blossom tree
Brown Teddy's favourites are the white blossom trees. These big trees were in flower, but we will have to wait a bit longer for smaller ones, and then we can get a good closeup look.

White daffodil  Mown paths
This is an "Eye of the Pheasant" daffodil. Every time I see a different one, I think it's my favourite, until I see another one! Brown Teddy enjoyed the grassy paths, because you can't always see where it leads until you go down it, especially if it goes round behind the big evergreen trees.

Brilliant orange dogwood stems  Sunlight through orange peeling bark looking like fire flames
This path led to some lovely heather beds with this clump of dogwood with its orange stems, looking like a fire of twigs. This peeling bark tree also looked on fire, as the sun was shining through the orangey peeling bits and making them look like flames. If the sun was not out, it would look very messy, but I think the amazing effect is worth the wait.

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24 March

Brown Teddy smelling daffodils  Yellow Teddy smelling daffodils
We smelled a lot of the daffodils but they don't have much scent. All we smelled was the mown grass and other planty aromas!

Stone sculpture with hole in middle  Yellow Teddy through the hole  Brown Teddy through the hole
This stone ornament is still sitting here rather forlornly without any name or explanation. It really should be in the middle of a miniature maze, or a circle of smaller stones, or something, to make it more interesting. It is very good for taking circular photos through, and for pictures of us as well.

Pineapple plant  Banana peel on banana tree
In the big glass house Brown Teddy was delighted to find this pineapple plant, and the fruit was quite recognisable even though the plant was very small. I think someone was having a joke with me, with this banana peel on the banana tree, as I don't think the fruits ever ripen on these trees!

Cactus bench  Wind vane
Every time I look up and down the cactus bench, I can't decide which is my favourite. But I do have a favourite pot, the big round one that has patterns on that look like basket weave. I like to collect pictures of wind vanes. The end of this one seems to have a leaf shape, which is just the right thing for a garden.

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27 March

Train journey 
I really like train journeys, as I can see all the countryside and there are no traffic jams. Today we went to Mudchute Park and Farm on the Isle of Dogs.  Mudchute is named from when they put all the mud here from building the docks and dredging out the silt.

Train tunnel  Docklands Light Railway
We went on the Docklands Light Railway. These trains don't usually have a driver, but today we did, as there was a long tunnel, which was interesting, but I am very glad not to spend too long in it, and see the daylight coming.

Row of brick arches  Climbing structure
In the park by the station, this row of brick arches made a very interesting picture. This structure seems to be a climbing frame, with lots of footholds. It's a good job it is surrounded by soft grass.

Painted animal cutouts  Gate to Mudchute Park
The grid near the pre-school has lots of wonderful cutouts of animals all along the length. Here is the entrance to Mudchute where the City Farm is. I think the gate is stop bikes going through, which would not be a good idea in a farm park.

Another gate 
Further on there was another of these gates. I had to explain to Brown Teddy how to get round the gate. You have to step to one side, swing the gate a bit more, and then finish walking through. It would be a bit annoying if you were hurrying through the rain, though! This is a pen that would have had beehives in it, as can be seen by the bee shape on top.

More gates  Main entrance gate
Yet another gate! The big exit gate has real doors though, which had a wheel at one end as they are so heavy. We had a look but then went back into the park to find the farm part.

Horse  Donkey
This horse was managing to get his long neck down to the green grass on our side. I said hello to the donkey, but he wandered off when there was no food in sight. He and the horse had just been fed by the people in front of us.

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Chickens having a dustbath  Turkey
There is a big pen with lots of beautiful chickens and turkeys. They had lots of shelters, logs and places to hide and play, and they can scratch around and take dust baths. I am very glad that they have so much room and they all looked very happy.

Sheep  Sheep getting snacks
This sheep was hoping for a snack. You can buy special food to feed them but they must not have bits of people's own food like bread. A lady had some special food and these sheep were climbing up the fence so as not to miss any. They have obviously done this before! You can buy Mudchute sheep knitting wool from www.mudchute.org

Llamas or alpacas  Goats
The llamas were taking it easy and the white one was snoozing. They might be alpacas, I am not sure of the difference. The goat pen was full of raised planks and logs, so that goats can hop and jump on them. The goat area was a bit smelly, and am glad it was not a hot summer day!

Duck and geese pen
Further downhill we visited the ducks and geese in their pen. They don't get many visitors, so they made a big lot of noise when we came past. They are all well fed and looked after, but I am sure people bringing their special snacks is something that they did not want to miss. Like the chickens, they have lots of shelters and a pond as well.

Duck nesting boxes on high poles  Three-piece garden dragon ornament
These are nesting boxes near the goose pen, but at first we couldn't guess what birds they are for. I think it might be for the wild ducks that visit the wildlife pond just below, as ducks do like to nest in trees. Before we left, we saw this wonderful dragon ornament in one of the flower beds. It is three bits that look like one dragon.

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Thames beach coverd in old bricks  View of Royal Naval College
We walked along to the path that goes along the side of the Thames. The "beach" is really a lot of old bricks, and I was puzzled about this, then I remembered that ships used bricks as ballast a long time ago. We walked all the way to Greenwich, and here is the view of the Royal Naval College seen from the north side of the Thames.

Snack of bread and cheese  Glass door to foot tunnel elevator
We stopped in the riverside park and had our snack of bread and big pieces of cheese. We then went to the foot tunnel entrance that will take us over to Greenwich. This elevator shaft looked a bit scary as it has a glass door and you can see the lift coming up. But it was quite safe.

Yellow Teddy looking down the footpath tunnel  Brown Teddy looking down the footpath tunnel
This is the old foot tunnel that goes under the river. Brown Teddy said he was glad he did not have to walk it by himself. It dips down in the middle and then slopes up towards the other end.

Stalactites  Elevator wood panelling
These are some stalactites hanging from the tunnel roof, I think they are caused by the drips that come through the cement. The elevator back up still has its original wood panelling and is very smart. I could just imagine it as a very comfortable library with all my books along one side!

King Nepture crest on gate to Royal Naval College  Daffodils in front of Queen's House
This is part of a gate into the Royal Naval College, with King Nepture, some shells, and a circle of ship's rope. In front of the Queen's House were thousands of daffodils.

Display of old anchors  Cutterhead for dredging
This display of anchors made us wonder what ships they were on and where they were going and what adventures they had. The orange one is a cutterhead, used for underwater dredging.

Anchors crest on Greenwich Royal Hospital
Here are some more anchors on the crest over the Greenwich Royal Hospital "Otia Tuta" - otia means repose or rest, and tuta means safe. I think all the sailors of the past would having been thinking about safe rest when they were struggling in the gales at sea. We decided it was time we went back home to our own safe haven, after all our long walks all day.

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