We're not 11 Usain Bolts that's for sure.
We were playing in West Park, a lovely and evidently very popular expanse of green space overlooked by the towering chimney of the impressive Industrial Revolution era Harrington Mill. I was excited to see as we went in that there was a nature reserve in the park. And as usual, with us batting first and myself well down the order as usual, I took off straight away.
Today was the first truly hot and sunny day we've had here for probably two months; we certainly hadn't had any sunny cricket since playing Colston Basset in May. As well as the families and the cricketers, it brought out the wildlife too, and I'd barely gone ten metres before a glittering in the grass caught my attention; a small greenish damselfly, possibly an emerald. Of course, such a creature is far too ephemeral for me to catch its glint on camera.
I wandered around, past a flooded meadow where the black headed gulls were feeding in the puddles, stabbing for goodies with their powerful beaks. Here I was excited to find a sign indicating that the reserve, called Fox Covert, was nearby, so I followed the path round, past a white butterfly feeding off bramble, past happy children playing on a "Splash Pad" while their parents predated on magnum ice creams nearby.
I crossed a small bridge, headed for a faded old sign, and found myself in the reserve, a reserve where chiff chaffs and blackcaps were singing, and beautiful wildflowers coloured the greenery. There were lots of thistles in flower, I figured a sure spot to find skipper butterflies; skippers of the non cricketing kind. And sure enough, small skippers were fluttering about from flower to flower.
Much more menacing, huge southern hawkers were patrolling the skies above the paths like the steampunk monsters they are. They zig zag about, effortlessly munching up smaller insects as they fly, and have no qualm about bring their bright yellow and green bodies right up to you for a close look.
Meanwhile we weren't batting very well on a low slow deck, and when I went in at number 10, quick runs were needed. They didn't get them from me; after hitting a few powerful hacks straight to fielders I was given out LBW to a spin bowler bowling from way around the wicket. Hmmmmm.
Tea was strange. As I finished my cuppa and made to stand up to go back to the dressing room, I heard the third team captain announce "Si, don't move! There's a pokemon sitting on your shoulder and I'm trying to catch it!"
I thus had to sit for several minutes while he made a big fat fail of attempting to capture the "pidgey" with his pokeball thing. I got my own back later on, when I accidentally maced him in the face with my right guard anti perspirant. He should have thanked me, it meant he didn't have to see the bodies of our team mates as they changed.
I mentioned yesterday how I never felt right, and fielded and bowled like a drain. Today was totally different; the sun and setting brought out a completely different me. At 43, I'm not going to be able to dive about like a madman, but I can still un and chase hard, and by filelding well it meant my bowling, which yesterday was so filthy there wasn't a word in the dictionary for it, was generally gun barrel straight on a full length.
No wickets though. But surely one day that will come. It was still a super day, and even though we lost, we worked very very hard.
|Here we are!|
|And here we go!|
|Harrington Mill stack dominates the skyline|
|Juvenile gulls stab the mud|
|green veined small large white. I can never tell.|
|Entrance to Fox Covert|
|Birds foot trefoil|
|Couldn't get a good capture of this bee|
|Fox Covert meadow|
|Ummm, fuzzy stuff|
|A field of fuzzy stuff|