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Diary 2015 October


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6 October

Starlings  Starlings
Sometimes there are no starlings for weeks, and then all of a sudden a flock appears. I like it when they all land in my birdbaths. These ones are all sitting on aerials further down the road.

Ghost Knife Fish  Goldfish
We went to the garden centre and we always visit the fish. These black ones are ghost knife fish.

Canary Yellow Goldfish  Shubunkins
The Canary Yellow Goldfish are the best of course, but I like the Shubunkins as well.

  Flower bed
The staff were getting the Christmas department ready, behind a lot of red curtains. I didn't peek but the curtain flap was partly open as we walked past! Outside the main gate there is always a colourful flower bed, with a row of ornamental cabbages.

Chestnuts and cases  Chestnut
The walk back to the bus stop was very crunchy at one place, with lots of chestnuts all over the path. I don't think the squirrels can manage to eat them all.

Berry bush plants  Garden
These are the plants we bought, a tall pyracantha for the main fence and a small cotoneaster to go behind this tree. There will be no shortage of berries in my garden!

Clematis montana
Lots of stuff has been cleared away so now this clematis montana can grow faster and cover the top fence more.

9 October

Grey wagtail on birdbath
We often see grey wagtails down by the river but here is one in my garden. He even went on the pond, walking over the lily leaves to eat the little flies. He was able to find all the spaces left in the nets over the pond. Birds can always get out easily, as long as there is no-one nearby making them flutter about in fright.

10 October

Train journey  Blue Parrot on train seat
Today we went to Regents Park in Central London. We enjoy the train journeys as much as the destination. Blue Parrot likes to sit on the headrest, but not when there are too many people about!

Passing through Elmstead Woods Station  Map Regents Park
Brown Teddy always looks out for Elmstead Woods Station because they have lovely gardens along the platform, with pergolas and shrubs. Here is the map of Regents Park and we went in the south entrance by the lake.

Regents Park lake  Heron
The lake looked a bit scruffy with feathers over it, I think this is a corner where the water is not moving very much and the fluff collects in it. There were some of these ornamental herons walking about and taking bread off someone. I don't really like herons as they can eat the fish in people's ponds - but not mine now that we have the nets all round.

Pigeons  Regents Park bandstand
I like to look out for mottled and handsome pigeons amongst all the ordinary ones. In the bandstand was a group of people practising their stretches.

Regents Park lake  Regents Park eagle statue
This lake was much cleaner looking and it has an island. This statue of an eagle looks as if he has spotted a fish. The orange bush behind was very brilliant with its autumn leaves.

Black swans  Lake
These black swans are sitting on a special raft near the eagle statue. I don't think people can get onto the island which I am very glad about, for the birds!

Regents Park rose garden  Regents Park rose garden pillars
The rose gardens are quite big and there were still lots of roses left on the bushes. Blue Parrot likes the pillars with the ropes between. It must have been quite a sight when the roses were in flower, so we will have to make sure we come back next year at the right time.

Regents Park rocks and ferns  Regents Park waterfall
Nearby is a mound with a waterfall and an area with stones and ferns to look like a prehistoric glade. The waterfall is higher than it looks in the photo. You can walk up the back of the mound to get to the top but then you can't see much water.

Ducks on waterfall  Delphiniums
These ducks were finding bits of weed to eat amongst the waterfall rocks. We went back past some of the rose beds and found a whole large bed of delphiniums in all the different blues and mauves. If I tried to grow these at home, the slugs and snails would finish them off very quickly!

Fish fountain  Regents Park Jubilee Gate
Further into the park is a circular pond with a fishy themed fountain. This is the Jubilee Gate in black and gold, and I am sure it is gold paint, not real gold!

Art deco tiles  Art deco sign
These are the art deco tiles in Regents Park tube station, and the original sign over lift number two.

Tiles  Giant fan
More interesting and smart tiles as we went down. There were several of these big fans to push the air through and they sounded like millions of bees all humming at once.

11 October

Misty countryside
This is the farmland near the boot sale field, and the mist over the trees always makes a good picture.

13 October

Mending fence post  Robin
Today we finished repairing the fences. Here I am helping to hammer in the rods which will hold the wobbly posts in place. The robin came to see what was going on.

Screws  Screwing in the post
The screws are very long and sharp. Dino got most of the screws in with this hand ratchet drill. Or mouth, in his case!

Finished Post Buddies  Rooted rose shoot
Here it is finished and the rods are called Post Buddies. The fence post doesn't wobble now. This little piece of rambling rose grew to the ground and rooted in. It is called Adelaide D'Orleans which has lots of tiny pinky white flowers in early summer and always put out lots of very long thin new shoots. I potted it up and all these new roots have grown in just a few weeks. It will go in by the bottom fence and if it is happy down here it will soon cover it in both directions.

14 October

Pyracantha berries  Rose hips
These berries and hips are growing in an area of underpasses where the paths go up and down under different roads. They don't get cut or weeded, so they all grow all over the place and are full of berries. I am sure the birds have this on their list of places to go for a meal when it is snowy and the ground is frozen.

Plant clock  Rose bushes
This is meant to be a clock made of plants at the garden centre with a notice saying it is time to plant. We got four roses for the garden, two here and two at another place.


15 October

Garden centre bulb section  Ornamental fire grate
We went to the garden centre to get some last-minute bulbs, there were still loads there. This metal grate is a brilliant idea for an outdoor fire, as the orange flames will show up the tree silhouettes.

Christmas lights  Polar bears Christmas decorations
We like to go and see the decorations section, even though we already have lots of lights.

Christmas model villages
This is the best bit, all the model villages in a giant glass case.

19 October

Christmas model villages - man feeding birds  Christmas model villages - Nativity scene
We went back to the garden centre. This is another part of the model villages case, with a man feeding the birds. I like this Nativity, and it seems it hasn't snowed there yet!

Christmas models - jacuzzi  Christmas setup - deer
You can buy all the village parts, and this one is some people in a jacuzzi in the snow! The setups are different every year and I like this one with reindeer and fawns.

Christmas pudding knitted hat
I could do with one of these knitted Christmas pudding hats, although it is a bit big for me. I shall have to get someone to knit one for me.

20 October

Hall Place berries  Dahlies
We went to see Hall Place gardens, before the flowers and autumn leaves all disappear. These pyracantha berries will keep the birds going for months. The cut flower beds were still full and these are dahlias.

Pysalis - Chinese lantern plants  Crab apples
This is called Chinese Lanterns and inside each papery lantern is a small berry. Along the path are lots of crab apple trees. They look like cherries but they are not.

Garden notice  Sunken garden
The topiary bushes have notices asking people not to play around them, as it is making the ground hard and affecting the bushes. This is the sunken garden that often gets full of water in winter. The grass always survives somehow, and I think they should plant pond irises in the beds, because they can grow in soil as well as in ponds.

Shrub dropping white flowers  Shrub with white flowers
I thought the falling leaves looked a bit like snow, and then I found this corner that really did look like snow. It is lots of tiny flowers all dropped. The leaves are quite spiky and hard.

Fir cones  Reed sculpture
Brown Teddy was pleased to find lots of new small fir cones growing. This is a reed sculpture on the river bank, flowing over the wall and down into the water. I think the birds will like this as it is very plantlike and when it gets old they can take bits of it for their nests!

Grapevine  Raspberry plant
Here I am in the fruit beds, the tiny grapes have all been eaten by the birds, but there were a few raspberries left here and there.

22 October

London Eye  River Thames & Houses of Parliament
We went up to London to look at the river. The London Eye was packed as usual, and the river is always busy with boats and ferries. These are the Houses of Parliament.

Circular sculpture with lights  Bank travelator
I like this sculpture with colour changing lights dotted over the top. This long travelator at Bank tube station, which is a very interesting ride. There is a tunnel with stairs next to it but this is better!

Rubbish bin  Seat and bin
We then went on to Greenwich Park to find where the new Meridian Line is. It is supposed to be somewhere near this bin or this seat. Different people are always coming up with new places to put the Meridian Line!

Bird on windvane  Ringnecked parakeet
On the Tea Pavilion is this wind vane of Nelson looking out to sea through his telescope - with the help of a starling. All round the park we could hear the screeches of the Ringneck parakeets. This one sat still long enough for a photo.

This thistly type plant was covered in parakeets who were pulling out the tufts to get the seeds underneath.

Secret path  Great Tit
Near the pond are some areas where you can leave the main path and go down some secret paths. This Great Tit was quite bold and I think he was expecting some crumbs.

Crows in flowerbed  Yellow autumn tree
The gardeners were planting up the circular flower beds with primulas, and where they had finished the crows came in to see if any worms had been turned up. This tree has turned a brilliant yellow, and looked even better with the very dark trees behind it.

Hooded crow  The Crown pub
This is a hooded crow, which is not so common as the bigger all black ones. We then walked over the heath to Blackheath Village. I thought this pub was called The Crow, but no, it is The Crown, not quite so interesting then!

23 October

Greenwich Royal Observatory time ball  Park paths
We went back to Greenwich again. It was nearly one o'clock so we stayed around to see the time ball fall on the Observatory building. Having made some investigations, we have decided that the new Meridian Line is to the right of this path, in line with the bluey green tree on the left of middle. The existing Line is out of the picture on the right in the Observatory courtyard.

Astronomy museum  Yuri Gagarin statue
We had a look around the astronomy museum, which was full of children playing with the interactive displays. In the back courtyard is a statue to Yuri Gagarin from Russia, who was the first man in space.

Autumn trees avenue  Pigeon in puddle
We had a good time walking about and getting pictures of the autumn leaves. This pigeon was having a good soak in a puddle. I prefer a warm bathroom myself!

Crystal Palace Station glass roof  Crystal Palace Station interior
We then went on to Crystal Palace Park. The station is quite an old one, but it now has this smart glass roof on. It is quite spacious and was built when the Crystal Palace was here, to take the big crowds of visitors.

Crystal Palace terrace  Crows
The park is quite empty and windblown, and I always try to imagine the glass Palace and the crowds of Victorians and all the noise and activity. Someone fed these crows with a bagful of bread, and here they are cleaning up the remains afterwards.

Crystal Palace steps  Paths
We then went to the lower part of the park. There are lots of paths to choose from.

Stage - The Rusty Laptop  Aerial pylon
Brown Teddy and I always have a laugh when we see the stage and roof which people have called The Rusty Laptop. We walked round the back of the park, past the aerial pylon and got our bus home.

26 October

Seagulls on park pond  Crow
Lots of activity in the park pond as someone was throwing whole slices of bread in. Inside the park, the crows have to find their own and there are plenty of worms in the muddy grass.

27 October

Well Hall Pleasaunce moat  Old brick wall and gateway
We went to see Well Hall Pleasaunce. The moat is getting full of leaves. My favourite parts are the very old walls and doorways, which are all different colours of orange and red with green mosses.

Duckweed covered pond  Brickwork patterns
On the other side of the Pleasaunce is a little pond with a bridge over and the duckweed looks like you could walk on it - not a good idea at all! I like these patterned bricks, it needs a pattern when it is a big area to cover.

28 October

Boating pond  Robin
This is the boating pond with more autumn trees. You can just about see the leaves on the ground are in faint stripes, which means the man has been along with the blower, and then more leaves have come down to fill it all up again! This robin in the main park is the same colour as the red leaves hanging down.

Crows in tree tops
In the distance was a lot of noise, with all the crows cawing and flying about. I think they can't decide which is the best perch.

31 October

Canary Wharf colonnade  Canary Wharf trees
We went to Canary Wharf. There is a lot of polished marble and steel about. These trees are completely covered in fairy lights, but we won't be here when it is dark.

Skating and leaves  Skating aid seals
We watched the skating. There were a lot of leaves frozen inside the ice. These seal skating aids are new to me this year, it is usually penguins. These are better, as they are seats as well.

Crossrail Place entrance  Wavy planter
I think next time we will go down here to see what the view is like at the end. As we walked past this planter, the wavy lines seemed to be moving up and down.

Stepped water cascade  Curly bike racks
I just love this water cascade, it is quite noisy. It was a good job the weather was mild and not icy! These very neat curly bike racks are quite decorative on their own.

Galaxy effect gate  Box balls
This gate has swirling shapes and a middle to look like a galaxy, and I think it probably lights up in the dark. The planting in the middle of the two roads was hundreds of box balls and they are all being kept very neat and well clipped.

River Thames from Canary Wharf
We sat and had our sandwiches on a bench by the river and watched the boats and ferries going up and down.

Chinese sea pattern  Pair of security cameras
Nearby is a Chinese food bar. These round shapes I think are meant to be water, but I think they look like the restaurant plates in the dishwasher. These two security cameras are obviously very tired and drooping, after watching people all day!

Rods with rubber protectors on ends  Reflections of glass building windows
This is not a bean growing veggie patch, but a building site with lots of steel rods with protectors on the end. I wonder if the cup was put on because they ran out of green ones. These shapes are the tall glass building windows reflected in the almost still water in front of it.

Lock gate wheel handle  Lock gates
You can turn these lock gate wheels but nothing happens as they are disengaged. On the left of this bridge is the Thames and the water in the picture leads up to a pumping station on the right.

Whirlpool plughole water feature  Closeup of plughole effect
Nearby are some buildings called The Landmark (Marsh Wall) with this absolutely wonderful whirlpool water feature, like a giant plughole. The water gradually goes down until there is nothing, and then it fills up very quickly and starts all over again. There are three tubes inside the base shooting the water round to keep the vortex going at high speed. I could watch it all day and I wish smaller versions were on sale somewhere! It is best with the sunlight illuminating it.

You can see a video of a similar one here but the Landmark one is all enclosed and doesn't spill over.





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