Today my grandson was attending the last day of a course which is held on the banks of the Thames in the Young Mariners Club. It was kayaking day.
Having dropped him off the plan was to go for a long walk and return (three hours later) to collect my charge.
I was amazed how much better the river car park was since my last visit. It had been closed for renovations earlier this year and now, not only is the surface lacking the rather deep pitholes, but new wooden fence posts have been added and, more importantly, a great number of new trees have been planted.
I started off along the river bank in Ham (near Richmond). Normally I go downstream towards Richmond so today, for a change I decided to go upstream towards Teddington. With all the sun and rain we've had recently, the growth of the grasses, plants and trees was very lush.
I'd forgotten however, that in Spring and Summer when everything has grown so much, that the view of the river in this direction, is masked by the vegetation. So retraced my steps after a while and decided to wander around the Ham House area. Ham house doesn't open till 11.00 o'clock and entry would have been forbidden as I had Boo with me.
However, we walked around the area and I managed to take some shots of the house through gates and railings.
As we got back to the car, the rain started and I still had an hour and a half to kill. So we had a drive around Richmond Park, then parked the car at Young Mariners (a very pretty location), watched a Great-Crested Grebe, a Grey Heron and the coots etc. swimming around on the pond which is the training area. By now I'm getting rather wet and soggy so retired to the car where I had an enjoyable hour reading my book before collecting my charge and going home.
Wandering along the towpath
Newly refurbished car park - I was most impressed
with all the new planting.
The "rear" of Ham House
and some very impressive gates.
This magnificent Chestnut was not far from the
House in the common grounds. The blossom is a
deep pink which the camera (or me!) hasn't done
The front of Ham House
And outside the grounds, a large wild-flower
This is Boo's stance which says - "Oh here we go again;
she's got the camera/binoculars out - time for a
A Bumble bee was enjoying the flowers too.
Padstow & Lanhydrock
2 hours ago