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On Safari in Colchester (with pics)

Friday, November 16, 2012

I agreed to do a walking blog challenge from the London and Southeast England Sparkteam, but thanks to all my recent health blow-ups I haven't been for a proper walk lately, so on Wednesday when I went into town to return a couple of library books and get a few bits of shopping, I decided to take photos of the walk in and see what I could find in the way of flora and fauna.

Here's a photo blog of the trees, bushes and flowers dotted about the place, along with some unexpected fierce creatures that popped out to surprise me:

So, out of my front door and down my road...

My favourite local Silver Birch in all its autumn glory:

Sign that the Postie (postus deliverus) is on his rounds:

Turn right onto Harwich Rd...

An unexpected flash of white plumage catches my eye. It is our local greengrocer (grocius driverus):

As I continue along the pavement I spot the dead Eucalyptus across the road. It used to be a beautiful tree until the house owners gave it too drastic a trim:

One garden is cultivating its own shrooms specially for you Chicchantal:

And we approach the local wild animal sanctuary:

I see that a number of wild creatures are ready for rehoming...

There are still splashes of colour here and there...

Love the bare branches of trees against the sky...


One of three beautiful Holm Oaks...

One of what must be hundreds of roundabouts in Colchester. Actually, this is two mini roundabouts merged together, and the picture in the distance is of more wildlife, Mr michaelus parkinsus he is as chatty as a Minah Bird, that one...

A resting place by the roundabout so that you can observe all the wildlife that circumnavigates them...

According to this plaque a well was reopened here in 1844, but for the life of me I can't find it. How can I get a drink if I can't find the well?

Some nice gardens down this road as we head towards the level crossing:

And we reach the level crossing, which for once is open to traffic. My timing is usually off on this one but today I sail through...

And now we see more buildings than plants and trees, and aside from the human animals, the wildlife is pretty thin on the ground here. But I love buildings, so here is a selection of the nicer ones...

This is the Old Siege House. You may spot on the upper right side of the building what look like red circles. Each one is encircling a bullet hole from the famous siege of 1648.

And this is the Old Mill which is now luxury apartments...

More trees, and a little park...

More buildings...

And I'm in Priory Street, where Anne and I had the little parking adventure. Room to park today, if I had a car...

And this is where there is a nice long stretch of the Colchester Roman Wall. In Victorian times, the whole carpark was a row of houses and little back gardens. The Victorians who lived here did some repair work to the wall in places, with no regard for restoration as such, and there is even one section of very modern brickwork.

One of the things I love about this stretch of wall is the lush greenery sprawling over the top, and growing out of the cracks in the wall...

The Victorians further damaged the wall by doing this...

The Berryfield Mosaic currently on permanent view in the Golden Banana came from the back garden of one of these Victorian homes. The person in question dug through one corner of the mosaic to make a rubbish pit.

But my fave part of the wall, and the most intact part is this bit...

A low wall has been built to protect this turret...

Close up of the turret window...

So now I'm at the other end of the car park, and I am heading to the town proper, but there is one more building worth a peek at first...

This is St Botolph's Priory. The first Augustinian monastery in England. It dates back to 1103:

As I head into town proper, and through tne now non-existent South gate...

it occurs to me that we have seen very little wildlife, and sadly as I approach the shopping centre, all I see is a couple of well-fed pigeons...

But wait! What is that peeking out from behind the brush...

Ah, it is the famous Red Lion...

And as I approach the library to conclude my walk I sigh in disappointment that the Safari has been so short on wild animals this trip...

But it would turn out that I was wrong, and there were a couple of wildlife surprises waiting for me when I walked round to the local watering hole and feeding spot known as Greggs for a surreptitious sausage roll to munch on my way home.

I should have realised, being a Druid, that the best place to find wildlife is at watering holes.

First, I spotted this very scary looking wolf...

And as I was photographing it for my blog I made the mistake of letting my guard down.

This gave the wild bear a chance to creep up on me ... and grab me for a photo!

A strange bear, this one. It is actually very friendly, a vegetarian (so my sausage roll was safe), and it loves to pose for photos...

Although you have to get his attention first, which isn't easy as he both sees and hears out of one eyehole...

After this most exciting of encounters (the pudsey pudsus is strictly a November sightings only creature) ended my visit to town.

On the way home I popped into Waitrose for a couple of things and treated myself to a free latte. Yes, I said free... If you join My Waitrose you can have one free regular size tea or coffee every day. I've been working my way through the choices. The mocha was yummy, I wasn't so keen on the cappucchino, but the latte was lovely.

And you get a free all-butter shortbread biscuit with it. :-) om nom slurpee!!!

Here endeth my long walkies blog. I'm glad I got the chance to get into town. Not only are the anti-spasmodics significantly reducing the level of abdominal pain, but it means I can go into town without worrying about a dodgy toilet issue at an inconvenient time. Of course I still need to be careful what I eat, because I still get pain in my stomach, just not bad spasms.

Oh, and I've caught Tara's cold. Thanks Sweetie! You are so generous. :-) But touch wood, it is only a head cold and hopefully I'll be able to breath again through both nostrils in a few days.

Here's to less pain, more exercise! I'd love to feel well enough to get back to a proper exercise schedule again. : )

Enjoy your Friday, and have a great weekend!
Lex xxx
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Nice to see you in the blog, an inspiration for the rest of us to get out in our towns.
    Thank you for sharing Colchester with us all
    1982 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    Awesome pictures. We have absolutely no green (other than pine trees) here.
    1982 days ago
    Love all the roman doings. Come the summer, I'll be over to inspect them and the ivy-leaved toadflax in person.
    1982 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    really cool! thank you for sharing!
    1982 days ago
  • CARLA-216
    What a lovely walk! I really enjoyed this blog. I loved seeing your town; it is beautiful!
    1982 days ago
    wonderful walk Lex! Hope you feel a lot better real soon emoticon
    1982 days ago
    I loved taking a mini-vacation through your town. Thank you so much for a great blog.
    1982 days ago
  • _LINDA
    FABULOUS PHOTOS! You live in a very beautiful place! Still so much greenery to enjoy all around! Enjoyed your walking tour very much! Makes me want to visit you so you can show me around!! I love that greenery hanging over the wall too. Its not very common here -too short a growing season for them to get very far :(
    I sure hope they sort out your tummy troubles though, no fun going on a walk wondering where to find the closest toilet. I am a little antsy about my upcoming walk with my Probus group this morning. There are no places to go on those trails and I haven't had my morning constitutional like I normally have so to speak :P
    Hope you have a great weekend and recover from that cold quickly!
    Linda xxx
    1982 days ago
    emoticon blog Great walk Thanks,Have a great weekend
    1982 days ago
    Oh my gosh i just loved your blog thanks for taking me for a walk. i did not see much traffic along the way. I love the buildings & especially the ones with the ivy. I just cannot imagine that as old as the buildings are they are still standing the monastery especially. I love it when pictures are posted of places i love the History of the towns & cities Thank you so much
    1982 days ago
    Wow! You take lovely pictures!!! I really enjoyed them!! (Did I see Ricahrd and Hyacinth in a flower garden? LOL!!)

    Hope you are feeling better!! emoticon
    1982 days ago
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