Some days I don't post at all - today, this post is the final of three all posted today!! I've been a tad busy!
So Monday comes - back to the weekly routine. The usual visitors in the garden this morning and I was treated to another fly past by the Grey Heron. Its presence is always alerted by the gardens birds who take off for the heavens upon its arrival. Unlike their behaviour when the sparrowhawk visits and they scatter every which-way, filling the sky with beating wings, the Heron's appearance normally predicts that each species flies off in their species groups - pretty impressive sight nonetheless!
The wind was bitingly cold today, but fresh air and exercise were much needed so I headed off in the afternoon for my local patch. As I arrived in the car park - the heavens turned the colour of soot - and the resulting hailstones ricocheted of the car roof! So I bided a wee while until the worst had moved on. The car park was virtually empty of vehicles, but the opportunists had moved in.
(I've uploaded these pictures in a smaller size to save space!
Clicking to enlarge them, could be to your advantage)
I then walked past the Diana Fountain
where many Canada Geese were grazing
Today, I forsook a wander around the water, for the gardens of Hampton Court Palace. There's normally a charge to enter these nowadays (at one time, as a local resident, you were entitled to a pass - but no longer) but in the winter there is no-one collecting the relevant entry fee!!
I wandered into the formal gardens at the rear of the Palace. Beyond these, and through the ornate gates, is Home Park, where the Grey Phalarope was residing last week, on Rick Pond.
The Long Water, - (a very long piece of canalised water) which is the River Longford feeds the ornamental gardens of Hampton Court and then, having travelled as the Long Water, goes into Rick Pond before finally discharging into the River Thames.
One of the young occupants...
With my back to the Long Water, looking towards the Palace
From there I walked through the rose garden (where roses were still in bloom!) around to the "front garden".
This is the "front door" to the Palace
Here the signs of commercialism were obvious. I large hoarding proclaiming "the return of King Henry 8th" to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his accession to the throne.
And the less historic, but becoming annual Yuletide event, of the Ice Skating rink. Today, this was being filled with water and the refrigeration unit (shortly to be immersed in ice) was clearly visible.
I left the garden by way of the towpath and then up onto the road bridge from where the soft late afternoon sun (albeit weak) was lighting the palace and River Thames.
Walking back into the Palace grounds through the main gate, you're in the shadow of four stone sculptures (three shown below) - each set high on a stone plinth at the gateway
On returning to Bushey Park the sun was setting behind the Diana Fountain and pond.
A pleasant wander despite the weather.
6 hours ago