Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A Memory of Sun

We had a moderately grey day yesterday, and an utterly filthy one today where I had to clad myself condom like in waterproofs in order to cycle to and from work.

Luckily Monday had been a relatively nice day, and after being really sore and as flexible as an ironing board, I ended up walking for 90 minutes past various mini wildflower meadows around Sconce Park and the River Devon, where the thistles in particular where attracting various beautiful butterflies - large and small skipper, meadow brown and ringlet.

A comma basked in the sun elsewhere. It was a lovely afternoon.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.07.16

Sunday, 25 June 2017

In a Rut of Rubbishness

Today saw the longest away trip in our season, the annual 30 plus mile drive out to the strong side at Long Eaton, who despite having beaten us fairly easily last year, decided that an even stronger team was necessary this year.

It's a lovely setting in West Park, with families out enjoying the open space, lots of sport being flayed and the little Fox Covert nature reserve nearby to provide some colour. You may remember I blogged about it last year.

We bowled first, and I didn't bowl well; fair enough, I've had two good games with the ball, can't expect them all to go well. And yet again, this was a very strong side, averaging 10 divisions above ours in ability. Once again our juniors did really well where I didn't, but 277 was always far too many for us to chase.

We started ok if slowly, but then the wheels came off our bus somewhat with run outs and messiness. That the pitch was now starting to get very uneven wasn't helping, the ball began to rear head high one minute, scuttling along the ground the next. I saw some of this, but decided to take a tour of the grounds, taking in the magnificent Harrington Lace Mill that overlooks the ground.

It's not like us to be grouchy.

When I got in, a very slow dippy spinner was bowling, and I tried to get my eye in. 6th ball, I slapped straight to a fielder. My hopes for batting well this year seem to be subsiding horribly, rather as we did.

In order to fit in, I asked a couple of team mates if I should throw my bat as well. They said yes, so I did so, in a sort of "Are you not ENETERTAINED" fashion. Aside from umpiring well at Square Leg, it was the only thing I did well all day. But I enjoyed the game. Usually do, on Sundays.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.06.17

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Losing My Balls

So, cricket time, and a trip to Whatton and Aslockton, a ground in an affluent part of the county. Aslockton is the birthplace of reformation Archbishop of Canterbury Sir Thomas Cranmer, and the village celebrates that.

Whatton has a prison and doesn't celebrate that.

The ground is a reasonably scenic, if bumpy, patch of greenery surrounded by horse liveries and a sheep field. The sheep are cricket ball collectors, and make a living selling them back to impoverished teams.

Well maybe not, but if they don't they are stupid, because a lot of balls must get hit to them. A few did today.

We bowled well early on, although I was slightly sulkily patrolling the outfield, carrying on the moodyness from the night before. We had them 4 down for not too many, but then a couple of big hitters came off, just as I came on to bowl in the 19th over.

My first ball was hit to the sheep. Perfectly good ball as well. As were the other couple that got hit out there. I had my revenge, taking two wickets and my final over, the 37th, was a maiden. Only bowled one wide, which hopefully impressed the skipper. I've bowled too many lately.

So they got 220, and our openers just saw off their quicker bowlers. Our skipper hit 70, but the run rate was always too much. Me, I was in better form having had an excellent fruit kebab and a magnum as part of the provided tea.

Nature wise, my explorations led me to a dried up stream bed, where many bees, bumbles and ringlet, meadow brown and speckled wood butterflies fed off bramble. There were skippers in the sheep field, the non cricketing sort, but I couldn't get close enough to them.

I'm still the second leading wicket taker in the club. Good.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.06.17

Friday, 23 June 2017

My Resurgent Buddleia

I reported last Spring how my tattooed Polish neighbour had hacked my buddleia back to nothing to let the sun at her black petunias and other delights.

A year on, it has suddenly grown to ten feet high and is coming into flower. Hoverflies were sampling its delights.

I am pleased. I await butterflies visiting the thickly sweet smelling blooms.


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

How Many Spots, Mr Burnet?

A walk around our conservation and garden areas at work today has revealed that spotty burnet moths, these fairy tale creatures from a child's book, have erupted out of their hiding places and are making merry among the thistle and ragwort on our campus.

I came across them while on a photographic expedition at work - well, it wasn't really, I was crossing the site to collect a parcel that turned out not to be for me, but it was a wonderfully serendipitous thing.

No pretend parcel, no nature spectacle. And these moths are a spectacle, fluttering slowly around like storybook creations, wings a-blur until they settle to reveal an irridescent sheen against which the red spots stand out like rubies.

But how many spots???

These photographs would tend to indicate that these are 5 spot burnet moths - don't go there with that "narrow bordered" stuff that's above my pay grade - and when the teasel flowers, that's when they'll go mad.

I'm waiting.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.06.17

Monday, 19 June 2017

Heat Anaesthetic

Again my cricketing exploits in 28 degree heat over the weekend led to me being really tired, but it was only during and after my 10km run today that I began to feel it - I was too tired to take photographs - and then when I got home I fell asleep with my mobile phone in my hand.

A 90 minute bath helped, reading about Chris Bonington's mountaineering expeditions. Feel non skanky for the first time in a few days now the day has cooled.

Neighbour's flowers very impressive at the moment, especially the black petunias.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.06.17