Tuesday, 20 February 2018

And Now, the Honeybees

Over the weekend, we have a had a new wave of emergences in the public gardens around town - I've seen my pretend squill friend glory-of-the-snows, grape hyacinth, star of bethlehem and the first two daffodils.

But when things emerge, it means other things are dying off. Snowdrops are still atrong, but as soon as they open fully, my beloved aconite begins to die which I always find a really sad time of the year; these are the only source of bright colour in the early spring.

But as they open, it at least means they can be pollinated. And yesterday, I came across a couple of slightly sluggish honeybees in action in the yellow flowers!

It's nearly March. The bees are about. When might I hear a chiff chaff.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.02.18

Sunday, 18 February 2018

A Bright Day's Fishing

As you may have picked up over the years in this blog, I am very ambivalent about fishing. I don't like the damage waste can cause to wildlife, nor do I like how angling clubs obtain waters and make them inaccessible to the public, and / or make them very sterile for nature.

However, it does fascinate me because it is an outdoor past-time and I enjoy watching videos on youtube of anglers behaving in a responsible manner while enjoying their hobby. I also love fish, I love the way that as I walk by the River Devon they are cruising unseen beneath the waters.

Today a couple of anglers were struggling to tempt any from the river on what was actually a really pleasant day outside, a day where the great tits were singing their two tone song like fire engines and long tailed tits flitted in the orchard, really quite close to me.

Why are the smallest birds so unafraid?

So I had a cup of tea outside in the sun, and wandered some more, and finished the day off at cricket practice, bowling at the first teamers and hoping they didn't smash the ball back into my face.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.02.18

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Irises and Injury

So, yet again, most of the day was wasted thanks to a four hour afternoon sleep. I don't know why this is happening so much now. It was raining when I drfited off, and a beautiful late afternoon when I woke.

I felt I couldn't waste it, so off on a run I went, a lovely pre sunset one in a beautiful light, but I felt so horribly stiff and slow and chesty as well. I kept going. I kept chugging on gently but it never felt right and in the end just before 5km I felt my right calf go.

Grrrrr grrrr grrrrr. It happens every so often, I musn't have stretched enough before I ran.

Just feel a bit useless at the moment.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.02.18

Friday, 16 February 2018

Realistic Illustration

I'm no artist at all, but my sister tells me my sketches and doodles have a certain character, presumably in the same way that Stalin had a certain character. I've not done any proper sketching over the winter, largely as t's been rather colder than the last couple and my hands go purple and agonising as soon as the temperature drops below zero.

So, for your pleasure I give you these entirely lifelike and realistic illustrations of the birds I see every day.

I can only hope you like them.


All text and images copyright CreamCRackeredNature 16.02.18

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The Glory of Raleigh

It is quite a fad, I think, but I think it is easy to see why people get seduced by the old style beauty of steel bicycles; their simple slim uncluttered frames, and the way their paint glitters more than it ever can on an aluminium or carbon frame.

Whenever I see a Raleigh bicycle of this nature, it always makes me feel proud - probably the greatest thing Nottingham ever produced. There was a fantastic documentary on BBC4 about the history of the company and its Nottingham factory, and the skilled tradesmen who worked there. I love the heron logo. I love that these bicycles once ruled the world from this county.

So, it gives me great joy to see old Raleigh bicycles at work. Even if leaving a steel bike out in the rain is a bit of a heartbreaker.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.02.18

Monday, 12 February 2018

Just a Twilight Run

Haven't done any deep twilight runs this winter - I haven't run enough, and usually when I have a 4 hour sleep in the afternoon as I did again today, I'm normally too exhausted to move.

Today however, I managed a 5km gentle jaunt through a dark yet not scary cemetery, along a violetly reflective lake dotted with the featureless silhouettes of waterfowl.

It was very quiet, very cold, and very peaceful.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.02.18

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Doh a Deer...

I was out walking along the cycle path, a couple pf miles out of town by the old British Gypsum place which now seems to be home to a French company making washbasins and toilets for the luxury market. I had just gone past the little section of woodland where occasionally Polish folk set up little encampments and tents.

No-one there at the moment, but the rubbish and filth still is, sadly. 

I had decided against crossing the land where a certain member of a certain community had threatened me last year - I could see there was a bonfire and that someone might be around. So I took the turn off onto the road.

I had been listening to Desert Island Discs where the guest, a mixed race composer and double bassist had been of how her Nigerian father had first taught her music by singing "Twinkle Twinkle" at her, and that she had then got into "The Sound of Music" in a big way, and that would be her next choice.

And right at the moment that Julie Andrews sang "Doh a deer, a female deer" a female muntjack deer, about the size of an alsation dog, suddenly skittered across the path directly in front of me, about 5 metres away!

I thought it might have been a roe deer at first, but the longer flashing white tail rather than white bum of the roe indicated it was a muntjac, a species I've never seen before. 

I was thrilled to see it - they've been reported in town before but I've never seen one.

It topped even seeing three egrets on the BLue Lake now, and 6 goosander as well!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 11.02.18