Monday, 20 November 2017

Riverside Walkings

It had rained overnight, and it did so again today.

But it was light, and curiously refreshing rain, so I rather enjoyed it as I walked out towards Farndon, and came back in along a river reflecting dramatic cloudscapes as various weather fronts moved over.

There wasn't anything amazing to see, just the boats parked up in front of the houses that back onto the Trent. A few gulls sat ornamentally on various vantage points, and noisy mallards squawked their way around the watercourses.

I didn't do any geocaching, but I did find a different sort of treasure. At Sconce Park, they have have had children paint up some stones and hide them around the grounds, and today I came across one in the charming sign for the mini reserve of Hawton Holt.

I wonder where the rest are? I hope I find a few more, I like being able to come across things like this.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.11.17

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sunset Committee

I've spent the afternoon at my cricket club AGM, and am thus rather too full of diet coke for this time of the evening. Hopefully a pint of Reverend James later will clear those jitters.

I've had a bit of a lazy day today, wanting to get some reading and watching of movies. I didn't really enjoy how cold it was today either, as I went to buy some milk.

I was out looking for Leonid meteors last night; I didn't see a single bloody one, despite the excellent conditions. Ach the Leonids, a very erratic shower at best, especially away from one of their periodic maxima such as that in 1966, where virtually no meteors were seen in the UK, while thousands lit the sky PER HOUR in the USA.

Still I had my binoculats so was able to have a bit of a general stargaze. Lost my bearings, and thought Gamma Andromedae was a nova at one point. Silly boy.

As ever, the river looks beautiful in the last light of the day.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.11.17

Saturday, 18 November 2017

That 70s Show

Done my usual pootling around today without a whole lot to be found apart from a 70s exhibition in the local library.

"Do you recongnise any of this stuff?" asked the librarian and indeed I did, I had the very same "Lou Reed Greatest Hits" cassette and Scrabble with Turnbtable I could see prominently on display. I also loved Scalextric, but never actually owned one myself - I had a much smaller Matchbox system that sat in my bedroom, used properly for a while by 6 year old me, before inevitably becoming a series of attempts to make the cars jump over things.

I did have a train set, but only the basic track and engines, I didn't have anywhere to put it up properly.

Really, there should have been Warlord Annuals, Spangles, slimfones and spacehoppers present to make it the 70s I remember.

And Starsky and Hutch. Where the hell were they.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.11.17

Friday, 17 November 2017

Stargazey Pie

So, we've had some clear skies recently, and so Mr Si has been out there with his 10x50 binoculars, taking in the sky.

In many ways, it is the best time of the year for it. The skies can be magnificently clear, unlike summer they are properly dark, and there are many interesting sights as the milky way crosses the constellations of Cassiopeia, Perseus, Auriga, Monoceros and Gemini.

Orion too has some stunning starfields, and of course the great nebula, you can sweep about and just love the stars there.

If I were to wait until dawn I'd see Venus and jJpiter blazing down. But I can't, as it is sooooooo coooold! Even a couple of rums wouldn't keep me out there for more than hour.

But I love doing it. It is silent, it is beautiful, it is contemplative.

And it is free.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.11.17

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Good Evening Mr Snail

I don't know about any of you my dear readers, but to me one of the saddest sounds I hear is when on a wet night, I walk up my dark driveway and feel the horrible crunch as I tread on an innocent snail.

Even if I am quick enough to take the pressure from my relatively titanic boots, the equivalent of us having a bus dropped on our heads while minding our own bloody business while walking along the street, it's almost certainly too late for the snail.

Even if it isn't dead, it's damaged shell will render it an easy target for the local thrush population.

So I was very glad to see this character hauling itself out of damp danger up my door frame. Well done, Mr Mollusc thing!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.11.17

Monday, 13 November 2017

Of Sundials and Guinea Fowl

No running today, and it being very cold it was very hard to get started today. But eventually, after buying the usual load of uninspiring lunch things for work this week, I struck out for Hawton, across the fields, with the hope of doing a little geocaching there too.

The wind had dropped today, so it was a rather more pleasant day to be out but still cold and crisp. Not enough sun to make the sundial in the cemetery work, but nice all the same.  I thought I might run into some winter thrushes out in the Grange Road fields, but there was nothing apart from a heron investigating the freshly ploughed field. Meanwhile I listened to 6 music, happy as ever.

My mother always asks me where do I go, and why. I tell her it doesn't really matter. I love to listen to the radio while I'm outside.

Hawton Church, with its carved faces on either side of the doorway, perhaps Thomas Molyneux and his other half, is the site of a geocache, a so called church micro which are usually placed nearby rather than on the church itself. I narrowed my search down to a park bench just the other side of the wall, but yet again I lucked out.

I'm a a bit hopeless at this new game of mine, alas.

Still, the church always looks splendid, I wish I could catch one of their little markets in summer.

Just along from the church, I noticed that the bizarre flock of guinea fowl I'd come across before was clustered in the entrance to a large house off the main road...aha, an ornamental flock. They are very strange looking birds, with huge (and tasty?) bodies relative to the tiny head.

Two were sat on the gate like edible sentries.

More mysterious goings on were taking place in a beet field on the way back into town. A couple of chaps were looking at a laptop mounted on a sort of trailer with prongs, towed by a quad bike. It was probably some farming related mundanity; the more excitable part of me hoped it was an archaeological geophysics investigation.

After that, it was off to Rumbles for a well earned and very large cup of tea!


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Low Level Light

Yes, I've been on two walks again today, sore leg or not, and while the first one was pleasant, if very cold, the second one was far more picturesque.

I deliberately waited until 330pm to head out again, so I could take advantage of the setting sun.

I headed through the cemetery, where a squirrel seemed to become fixed with embarassment when it got caught with a conker in its gob. I had no idea they ate conkers at all.

Perhaps they don't, and this was just a really stupid squirrel.

Evidence of the remembrance ceremony that had taken place earlier on was in place; the candles were still burning despite the wind. Around the lake, the sun although part obscured by errant clouds, still lit the water in gold. Love it love it love it.

Another mission I had was to see if any winter ducks had arrived on the lakes - sadly none yet. Hopefully we will see goosander, pochard and shoveler at the very least in town.

Here's hoping!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 12.11.17