After nearly two weeks of September nip-in-the-air mornings, yesterday felt as if we were still in the middle of summer! The beautiful blue sky was criss crossed with vapour trails. My neighbour and I set off for a local walk.
I was fascinated by the patterns created by the intersection of the soft spreading trails and the dark pylon wires.
While walking up the road beside Littleheath Woods we found that we could get a closer look at the water tower and mobile phone masts.
We can see the masts in the distance from our houses. One is an ordinary mast and the other is a fake pine tree mast. (They could have made the fake one more natural by adding branches lower down.)
The duck house in Heathfield Gardens. I like the reflections.
Sitting on a low wall for a moment - enjoying the view.
Tractors in Croydon?
A field of horses.
There used to be pick your own strawberries around here, and sheep during last winter/spring.We wondered what the ground was being prepared for.
Cyclamen lighting up a dark corner.
Tiny bright orange and yellow flowers.
A cluster of bulging winged seeds.
Shirley Hills water tower. (It seems to have had a name change, Addington Hills water tower - but I object to calling it Addington Hills - it was Shirley Hills to us when we were growing up - Shirley Hills Road runs alongside it!)
From there we walked back down the road to the left of Gravel Hill and came across a tree stump with what looked like an anaemic stale bread roll on it. It's a fungus!
We crossed Gravel Hill and went up a pathway that felt very steep after our long walk, eventually joining the main road for a short while before turning off down the side roads and alleyways to get home. What a fabulous walk - we were out for 2 and three quarter hours including a 10-15 minute rest on a bench in Heathfield Gardens watching the tractors and horses.
This morning, thanks to Google, I have discovered that there really is a British Watertower Appreciation Society! And people have put photos of "breadroll fungus" online.
Cyclamens popping their heads through the wire mesh fence.
Flowerbeds bursting with colour - hardly an inch of soil visible anywhere now.
A few silk tree flowers remain - looking gorgeous against the blue sky.
Grasses and little purple flowers (two different plants)
Big drifts of colour.
Grapes dangling over the "Welcome to Coombe Wood" notice.
Lovely intermingling of colours.
Callicarpa berries beginning to turn.
Leaves in the sun (Cercidiphllum japonicum? Candlyfloss tree or Toffee Apple tree - the fallen leaves fill the air with the scent of burnt sugar.)
Clusters of winged seeds.
These crazy grasses - remind me of sparklers!
More spindleberries (a different kind, not as far on in their development as the others I photographed today.)
Looking closer at those crazy grasses.
Huge fluffy bumblebee.
Such hairy legs!
Not many sunflowers left now - but this one looked lovely in the sunshine.
Tiny salvia (hot lips?)
Sunlit corner, with small poppies.
Wild carrot seed pods (?)
such amazing structures!
I thought this one had the little red flower in the middle but there's an insect hiding in there.
My friend noticed the shine on this fly. (Even the less popular insects are fascinating close up!)
Love this colour!
It's amazing how much these have grown.
I'm glad my friend noticed the leaf unfolding - I would probably have missed it. It's really good to walk with different people - we all notice different things.
We had a leisurely cuppa in the Cafe courtyard. The sun was lovely and warm, birds were singing and a robin was hopping around under tables and chairs searching for crumbs.
Heading home, we paused at the pond to watch the dragonflies and damselflies flitting about.
A couple landed and posed.
On the way back to the car the sun was illuminating the cyclamens which are growing through the fence.
Friday with a different friend. (I love it here and I'm very happy to come here two days running!) It was cloudier and noticeably cooler. While I waited for my friend to arrive I had a closer look at the flowerbed nearest to the entrance.
My friend arrived and we walked around the gardens chatting. I didn't take as many photos this trip.
The corner that was in sunlight the day before - shady today.
Hydrangea with petals that are more rounded than the petals I photographed here a little while ago - they were wavy edged petals. I suppose there could be a couple of slightly different varieties close together - or is it the same plant doing something slightly different with its later flowers?
Spindleberries - more red showing than yesterday.
Hoverfly on an orange flower (is it a gerbera?). I touched the stem just under one of these flowers when taking a photo - the widening bit of stem nearest the flower (you can see it under the flower to the right of the one the hoverfly is on) was surprisingly soft and is obviously hollow.