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How to Enjoy Monday (even in the rain)

“Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a collection of both plants and animals; it is a botanical as well as a zoological garden.  Plants are the living powerhouse of the planet.  Leaves convert energy from the sun into foods. Without plants there would be no animals.  All animals, from insects to humans, depend on plants.  The gardens at the zoo are both fascinating and beautiful. The collection contains some of the most spectacular plants in the world, and some of the rarest, which are exhibited alongside the animals of the world.”

I have quoted from the guide book to the zoo, and I admit, with so many wonderful animals to see, from the smallest insects to the tallest giraffes, it is easy to overlook the botanical nature of the park’s 75 acres.

I’m no botanist but this morning, on our walk around the zoo – wonderful to be able to walk in almost, but not quite, isolated splendour, holidaymakers now having returned to their homes and local children at school – we were able to admire some of the lovely trees and plants.

We have a small acer in a pot in our garden.  I wonder how long it will take before it grows to this size?

We also visited some of the animals.  It’s a long time since we visited the parrots, and I’m always amazed at their brilliantly coloured plumage.

This pair were not as close to us as this photo would indicate, but high up in their enclosure some distance away, so I zoomed to get this shot.  But what gorgeous colours they are.

Who says blue and green should never be seen? This fellow (above) has some dark navy features under his make coat of green.

What fabulous reds on this bird – he would never have to fear about blushing if he were embarrassed, would he?  No one would ever notice.

This notice was on the wire of the parrot enclosure

Indeed, one parrot (not one I’ve photographed) ‘said’ what sounded to be “Hello” to us as we came into view.  I expect he was just  happy to see someone on such a damp and dismal Monday morning!

We also visited the Reptile Nursery, where some of the ‘baby’ reptiles could be seen,  including this wonderful Monitor Lizard – again I loved the colours of his skin.

I don’t know whether he was simply breathing or yawning!

But after about 3/4 hr we found that the weather was worsening and so we decided to call it a day – we’d enjoyed our walk even though by now our raincoats were rather wet – and so made our way back to our car and from there we decided to pop down to the Palace Hotel for hot chocolate, a little inexpensive treat on such a dismal day.

By the time I fished my camera out of my bag, husband had already snaffled a biscuit …

We then went home and not long afterwards my latest parcel from Marks & Spencer arrived, a jumper in Ochre and one in Dark Marine, both of them in a smaller size than the Emerald and Chilli ones I bought last week.  And they fit perfectly.  I’ve now sent for the Emerald in a smaller size, but unfortunately, the Chilli is out of stock.

Here they are with some scarves, one of which I put with the Emerald and with the Chilli jumper last week (it has so many colours in it that go with all these jumpers.)  Strangely enough, the jumper I wasn’t quite sure about – the Dark Marine – suits me the best.

Once I had finished trying on these new jumpers I made soup for a late lunch:  leek & potato.  This takes about five minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook, a really easy, fairly fast food.   Ingredients:  1 large white onion, 2 medium potatoes, 2 leeks, 4 veggie Oxo cubes, boiling water, and when ready to blend, a good dollop of creme fraiche (I didn’t completely blend, but left some chunks of potato and leek in the soup).  To serve with it, grated cheddar cheese and some crusty baguette.

As we wanted to listen to the News on TV, we had the soup on trays on our knees in the sitting room.  Just what we needed on what has turned into a chilly, very damp and dark autumn day.

Until next time.

About Margaret

Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    A lovely way to spend the day, I never tire of a day with wildlife and nature, it’s good for the soul.
    I only have a few pieces of blue clothing, but would love more navy it seems to really complement my eyes, we had cream of leek and potato soup this evening.

    • Margaret Powling

      What a coincidence that you also had leek & potato soup today, Marlene; my cousin also had this today! It must be flavour of the moment! I love it, it’s one of my very favourite soups.
      We enjoyed seeing the parrots today as we rarely go to that part of the Zoo, at the very far reaches, and we’d never seen the Reptile Nursery before, and I loved seeing tiny lizards and even tinier blue frogs.
      Navy is my go-to colour in clothing, I love it. It goes with so many other colours, or rather is a wonderful complement to other colours.

  2. We have annual passes to the Wild Place (Bristol) and Slimbridge wildfowl and wetlands and never get tired of a stroll round. It’s lovely to just decide when you get up that you fancy a walk where you can look at animals or birds.

  3. I wonder why the parrot sign uses ‘Seattle football supporters’ at 137dB as their example of an ear-deafening noise. Surely there must be some English football crowds who are equally as passionate ? Ha ha….. The colours of the autumn leaves are stunning. When I lived in Sydney we would sometimes drive a couple of hours southwest to the southern highlands where the huge deciduous trees would proudly show the change of seasons. My frangipani plants are starting to grow their leaves for this year which is about as seasonal as my area gets – although the arrival of the mosquitoes and flies can be a very Australian indicator of seasonal change…. I like the colours of your new jumpers. I looked online and M&S have an ‘M$S Australia’ section but the prices were in your pounds. Our dollar is still quite low, perhaps $Au2 = £1 I’m not sure. Given I didn’t wear a jumper this past ‘winter’, nor the one before I’m sure I don’t need to buy any more. But it’s always fun to ‘windowshop’. My husband just made me a cup of tea to enjoy as I’m catching up on your posts. He’s a keeper !

    • Margaret Powling

      I presume the sign is because they are possibly the loudest supporters in the world, Lara? I have no idea, it could be just a joke. One of the loveliest areas for autumn colour is on a mile-long stretch of road, known as the Bovey Straight, just outside the little moorland town of Bovey Tracey. This road used to be used in the 1960s by bikers, who would attempt to “do a ton”, i.e. 100 mph, on their bikes. Quite illegal of course, but that didn’t stop them from doing it. It is the only stretch of almost-straight road without a hill in the area! But along this road are beech trees and their colours in autumn are stunning.
      How lovely your husband has made you tea while you have been reading my posts. Tell him I’ll have a cuppa, milk, no sugar, please!

      • We also had soup for dinner last night – the vegetable (with lentils thrown in for good measure) soup I’d made in the afternoon. It was a simple but delicious dinner with grilled cheese on toast on the side. I went a bit overboard and made a particularly large batch so our freezer has many containers (two portions each) but with so many excellent, locally grown vegetables used I can have it for lunch or a starter for dinner.

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