Jo’s Monday walk : Wildfowl Waddle and Glide


Bearing in mind how energetic we were last Monday, I thought that something a little more sedate might suit today.  Hardwick Hall Country Park in Sedgefield, County Durham, is just the place for a gentle stroll.  But that’s not the whole story.  You are probably familiar with my challenging friend, Jude.  Chided to nurture my photographic skills in capturing wildlife, and NOT cheat with inanimate objects, what else could I do?

Clutching the dregs of a box of cornflakes, off I went.  The helpmate had to come too, of course, to obligingly scatter the cornflakes as I poised for action.  And action there was, aplenty!  It seems that swans are extremely efficient hoovers when it comes to cornflakes.


We used to come to this park when my son was small.  Many battles were fought in the crumbling old fort- some of them just to get him out of there, and home again.  Nobody much seems to clamber in it these days.  Just the odd duck.  A bit of a waste, really.

A park for all seasons, I’ve brought you here a time or two before.  Remember the duck decoy?  And there are quirky sculptures, too.  But fundamental to it all is the lake.  Canada Geese may pretend ownership, but the swans glide imperiously by, cocking a snooty beak.




There are several smaller ponds, beloved of the coots playing hide and seek among straggling roots, and the soft shimmering reeds.  The Temple of Minerva hints at mystery through the trees.  Just one of the interesting sculptural aspects to this park.



Crossing over the Serpentine Bridge, the path leads to fens and a boardwalk.  A new little bird hide has been installed, and our feathered friends are delighted to preen a little while they feast on nuts.  We are equally delighted to quietly spectate.



I’m so used to seeing the folly of a Gothic Ruin that it no longer seems strange to me.  Designed in the Palladian style, by architect James Paine, the gardens are an unusual example of 18th century landscape design.  The cafe, however, is a stylish new build.  That doesn’t prevent it from doing a very creditable old fashioned Victoria Sponge and Bakewell Tart.  I did a good impersonation of those swans as I hoovered up my sizeable portion. Crumbs don’t make much of a photo, do they?

Hoping for a tiny morsel, a robin loitered nearby, teasingly out of camera range.  So, I had to settle for a couple of very cute ducks.


You might have noticed that Jude has been breaking her own rules lately.  Who better?  Pop over and join in her Garden Challenge. You have until the end of March to post some Wildlife.  Meantime let’s put the kettle on.  Time to settle in for a good read.

walking logo

Huge thanks to all my contributors for joining me again this week.  I love having your company, whether you’re a walker or not. Please feel free to send me a walk.  The details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page or click on the logo above.


Lots of happy and willing sharers again this week.  Let’s get Smidge to start us off :

A weekend in the Clyde Valley : New Lanark and the Elphinstone Hotel 

I don’t know why but paddles and Mersey come to mind?  Strange brain I have!  Sorry, Debs!

Across the Forth without a Ferry

Serene in New Zealand this week, with Ellen and a few cows!

Going for a Walk : Motutapu Walkway

South of the Border, one last time (sob!), with Jackie :

Bucerias, Mexico

To the beach with Amy, enjoying the beauty, as she always does :

Monday Walk : Rockport Beach, Texas

Being ‘sinister’ with Anabel in Scotland?  No, not really!

Irvine and the Scottish Maritime Museum

Liesbet doesn’t make the leap, so don’t worry!  Maybe another time?

A Walk in Lover’s Leap State Park, CT

Feeling social this week?  Please go along and say ‘hi’ to Joan :

Having a Social Hike with absolutely Blissful Views

Such a pretty sequence of images!  Meet BiTi from Pret-a-Vivre online magazine :

Our first walk together in 2016

And, as ever, along comes Drake to brighten the day :

Pics up last Summer

Closely followed by Elisa and Dumbo- not the Disney favourite!

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

My friend Meg will love this next walk, so thank you, Susan, for making us both happy :

Rock Walk 

Richard is standing up for Cornish walks and beaches.  Jude will be very happy with that :

Best walks with a view : Trevone to St. Merryn 

And, in case you missed the link at the start of my post, here’s the lady herself :

Garden Portrait : Knightshayes Court

That’s it for another week.  I hope to have a post for you on Easter Monday but I haven’t quite decided where yet.  My daughter and husband are arriving on Thursday evening, so I’m busy and excited.  I hope the weather allows you to get out and about, but if not there’s always chocolate. Have a wonderful time!



  1. Wow, a shot on an angle … great stuff, jo!!!! My favorite birds … the swans. You take some fantastic images, Jo … White ducks. Haven’t seen any for years. We have plenty of ducks, but in the ears I lived here I only saw 4 ducklings. Very strange .. maybe Landskrona ducks are gay!!! *laughing


    1. Oh no! Not gay ducks 🙂 🙂 Whenever I take a funny angle shot I think of you Vivi. Most of mine don’t come off but I liked this one. Thanks for spending so much time with me today. I haven’t got past Gdansk because I’m too busy replying to comments everywhere. 🙂 🙂 Hugs!


      1. Jo, don’t worry catching up with me … you have so much comments on all posts to answer. Take you time, Girlfriend. With the camera on an angle you get a lot more into the shot. At least you’re trying *smile – good on you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cornflakes did the trick Jo! Whatever works (without harming the birds of course) I think, I’ve been known to bribe a bird or two for a photo 🙂 You have such lovely places for walking with ponds, stone bridges and gothic arches – delightful. I would have loved a fort to play in as a child, my Dad would have preferred it to us heading bush with his tools to make cubbyhouses among the trees. Have a wonderful time with your family Jo 🙂


    1. Wonderful, Miriam! I was just wondering when I was over at yours last so I’ll really enjoy a walk with you :). I’m crazy busy with reorganising (cleaning the muck out!) before Lisa arrives tomorrow. The 6′ 5″ son will have to sleep on a futon- bit tricky 🙂 Will pop over soon.


    1. The rest of my walking group have learnt to ignore me. They know I’ll catch up sooner or later. I do mostly keep them out of sight 🙂 🙂 Happy Easter to you, Draco!


    1. Hi Bella! (if I can call you that? 🙂 ) Of course, you’re more than welcome to join in. There really aren’t any ‘qualifications’- I just enjoy company 🙂 I’ll pop over right now.


    1. Thanks, Rosemay! 🙂 We’ve had a couple of proper Spring days and now it’s sliding back into the grey 😦 Not a good forecast for Easter, but we’ll wait and see. I’ll be kept busy entertaining anyway. What have you planned?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The photos certainly look like it’s getting a bit warmer Jo but sounds like the Easter forecast isn’t that great. At least when the sun comes out it is starting to get a bit more warmth in it at this time of year! We have had a humid week and storms are predicted for Easter but the long dry summer is on its way out – the season seems to change over beginning of April here. We’re seeing family and friends over Easter – first year we’ve been in Perth at Easter time for a long while usually in Europe but with Easter being a bit earlier than usual and not leaving until after granddaughter # 2’s 1st birthday we’ll be over slightly later this time. Have a wonderful Easter and enjoy all your entertaining! 😃


    2. It’ll make a nice change for you to be home for Easter. I was just thinking this morning that I would like to be in the Algarve next Easter. It’s a more special time in Catholic countries. But we had Shrove Tuesday and the parades so not complaining. Have a lovely one, Rosemay! 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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