Monday, 22 May 2017

All the Pictures!!!

We've had sun this last few days, for what seems like the first time in a couple of weeks T-Shirt temperatures have been with us again.

Consequently there's been a lot to see, not just at cricket matches. I've been in the park and around town the last three days; in the cemetery and around the lakes. There was been a ton of things to see, and photograph while the swifts scream wildly above.

Check out in particular the volucella bombylans imitating a red tailed bumblebee - what a magnificent insect! - and the big queen wasp.

I've loved it.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.05.17












Sunday, 21 May 2017

Happiness through Failure

Today wasn't a massively successful cricketing one for me today. The team lost for a start, despite working really really hard, and I'd grafted away again with the bat to get myself in, only to swipe the ball straight down a fielder's throat when I'd finally scored two runs.

We struggled to 83 all out, thanks to our skipper who must have internally seething when I struggled to get going and get him on strike when we batted together. Then when we fielded, I opened the bowling and struggled with the left hander, and took no wickets despite really going for it. But we did make them work hard, and I enjoyed fielding today as the weather was so nice.

I was certainly very busy in the field, and even had my suggestions to the skipper listened to a couple of times.

But really, on such a nice day it was great that the natural world came out to enjoy it was well. The ground ivy, buttercups and clover around the ground were busy with bees, and I found a lovely green veined white butterfly too.

Hiding away in the long grass at one end of the ground as a red-legged partridge too! It let me get quite close.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.05.17














Saturday, 20 May 2017

One Day, Two Games of Cricket

We knew the weather forecast today was going to be dreadful, and indeed when me and my fellows in the third team arrived to play Gedling and Sherwood at another biggish complex near the National Watersports Centre, prospects didn't look good.

It was tipping it down, basically.

Our skipper, who was perhaps more concerned with going for a drive in his flash new BMW 320 while pumping out music of an urban variety - perhaps even taking me and a couple of team mates to a "Booty Bounce" as I believe these events are called - was hoping the game would be called off, but as soon as we got into our whites and threw the ball around a bit, he was as keen as any of us, and we did get a game going an hour late.

I opened the bowling, as seems to be what happens these days, and lo and behold, I took a wicket with my first ball! Batsman just lobbed a perfectly average delivery to one of our best young bowlers. I was so surprised I forgot to run round like a maniac as if I'd just got Sachin Tendulkar off.

The same thing happened a few balls later!

Luckily we had other good bowlers too, and after keeping our opponents down to 119-9 off 36, we thought we were in with a big chance. However, it had started raining, and when we went off after 20 minutes of fielding in a downpour and a muddy pitch, we knew that was it.

The ground seemed to be popular with swifts heading out of the city for a feed on the insects drawn to the nearby river Trent, never seen Swifts over a cricket ground before.

The sun came out as we drove home, the skipper deciding that "Saturday Night" by Whigfield was good driving music, and found our first team arguing with their opponents, who didn't want to go back out to finish a game they looked like losing. Well, they were rather chubby and unathletic, I don't blame them.

But on a lovely sunny evening, lose they did!

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.05.17






Monday, 15 May 2017

Allium Season

All of a sudden, these big purple flower heads have sprung up everywhere - the council gardeners seem to really like them and along with geraniums they have appeared in most public garden spaces in towns.

I watched a brave early bumblebee feeding in the rain today, it didn't seem interested in the allium, only the geranium.

Not much else was seen. I am so exhausted again after my cricket weekend double header I could barely move for three hours after doing my shopping in the morning. No run either!

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.05.17








Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Art (!) of Captaincy

Today, I captained an adult cricket side for the very first time in my life. I shan't forget it in a hurry.

For a start it was a bit of a struggle to get an 11 out there. Our new Kiwi couldn't play, and some of our reliable reserve players had other engagements, so as it turned out I only had 10 players to captain. Ach, so what, it's a lovely day, just enjoy it, I thought.

We found the ground ok, we played here last year if anyone fancies looking back at last year's entries - that'll be a no then! - and it was as poor for nature as last year. If I could have sneaked off for a look at the fishing lake next door I would have done, but I was far too busy.

A few red admiral butterflies flew past as we started fielding, my first of the year., but there wasn't much else to see apart from the red ball flying to all parts of the boundary, mostly off my bowling.

Yes, our little assortment of players was up against another mighty side. It was like Christians versus Lions, only the Christians had been given sleeping tablets and had been stapled to the floor.

I was good at arm waving and captain-y noises from the book of sports cliches, and apparently very good at encouraging our bowlers and fielders. Wasn't so hot with tactics, needed a little bit of help with field setting.

We were taken for 303 off 40 overs, even worse than last week. But my players helped me so much it was great. No-one stopped trying when they could have easily, and perhaps rightly, decided their captain was a hopeless cretin and given up.

Especially when after a decent start with my bowling, I came on to bowl at the end, as I like to. 6,6,4,6,4,W went my first over. 0,W, 6,4,0,6 went my next.

I love bowling, but that was a bit much to swallow. The ground was next to a model aircraft airfield, and the colourful little planes were aloft all day doing loop the loops and rolls and stuff.

I suggested at tea we should attach a banner to one reading "SIMON YOU ARE SHIT". Maybe next time.

We had no chance of knocking the runs off. So we just batted as long as we could. I was last out for 11 after 33 overs, so not too bad.

OK, it is only a game.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 14.05.17





Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Agony of Defeat

WEll, today was a cricket day, technically a home game but at our out ground at Collingham. It's a very scenic little ground, as you will see. Apart from the bit where we played, which was a bit of bumpy field with no trees around it.

We were hopeful of a victory today as our opponents got shot out for 60 last week, and indeed we had them about 12 for 3 after yours truly bowled a good opening spell before being banished to the outfield and not bowling again. Alas they went on to make 175 for 6, about 40 more than they should have got.

I didn't get time to sketch the ground today, as I had to go in and umpire when we batted, which always makes me a bit grumpy - luckily, as skipper for tomorrow's game, I can make everyone else do that. I did get to go for a nature walk though, and as we started so well with our batting I thought I would then have a chance to get a quick sketch done.

No chance. We suddenly collapsed prompted by the "retirement" of our captain, and at 100 odd for 5, I strode out there nervous as hell and faced with the task of winning the match.

I tried so hard, I really did. I struggled like a dog for ball after ball, over after over, trying to support our remaining specialist batsman, finally scoring a run after what seemed like half an hour. Then with about 40 required, he got out. I then tried to open up a bit, and had got us to 25 required, when I was given out LBW to a ball that hit me halfway up my thigh!

I threw my bat on the ground and stomped off like a scummy brat. I was trying so hard to win us the game, and failed. Our last wicket fell more or less straight after.

Tell me it's only a game.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.05.17













Friday, 12 May 2017

All the Bikes

Around town, everytime I see interesting bikes, or cycle clubs out on runs, or anything like that, I love to take pictures, dreaming perhaps of the day where I might have a bicycle that actually works and is really nice and fast and easy to ride.

Some hopes!

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 12.05.17