Earlier this week I spent a joyous afternoon with my granddaughter, Bella. At six years of age, she really is a pleasure to spend time with. Although, I am surprised that my ears weren’t bleeding by the end of the day. She just talks and talks and talks.
Primarily, Bella just wants to go somewhere with a play park. Slides, swings and roundabouts. With all those things she is happy.
A favourite haunt is Petersfield Lake. There is a sizeable play park, a cafe and lovely walks around the lake. So, most items were checked on her must have list.
Arriving shortly after one o’clock I was surprised at how misty it was. I couldn’t see the bank at the far side of the lake. Although the sun was just starting to break through.
When in the direct sunlight it was nice and warm but as soon as you moved into the shadows of the trees you could really feel the underlying chill.
After an hour, or so. And the obligatory ice-cream, and coffee for me, we set out to walk around the perimeter of the lake. By now the mist was gone, presenting us with a lovely sunny afternoon.
The lake plays host to many aquatic birds. Swans, geese, ducks, moorhens, coots and gulls. Lots and lots of gulls. Of course Grandad got his coots and moorhens mixed up. Thank god for smartphones and Google. I was able to sort things out. Don’t want to be misleading the kids.
As we traversed the boardwalk we were able to see many of the birds making their homes around the lake.
Also we were able to view the results of the hard work being carried out to create submerged islands, planted with shrubby plants. Hopefully these will mature into safe habitats for the birds to nest in.
I was surprised at how few of these there were. South of Petersfield, there are several playing fields, in and around Portsmouth, that are taken over every year by huge flocks of Brent Geese.
Not sure why an Egyptian Goose would be overwintering here in the UK. You’d think they would stay where it was warm.
Just a couple of snaps across the lake. What a fabulous view the owners of those houses have from their windows.
During our stroll we spotted many other birds, including robins and various tits and finches. They were making good use of the coconut shells, filled with suet and seeds, variously hung around the bushes and trees.
Another nice touch was this fairy garden, set in a tree stump. Bella really enjoyed investigating the various pieces here.
And so the circumnavigation was completed. One more go on the slides, well several really, and it was time to head out for a bite to eat.
Basic error on my part was that I asked Bella what she would like to eat. In my mind I was certain we were headed for McDonalds. Surprise, surprise, Bella wasn’t interested in Macca’s, or KFC, or pizza. After perusing several menus outside of pubs and cafes we ended up in a Cafe Nero. Where Bella settled for a toasted cheese and ham roll, a Belgian chocolate chough pastry donut all washed down with a fruit smoothie.
A fitting end to a lovely day.