Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Bee Moth

Came across this attractive character fluttering about the Prince Rupert before having a little rest on the wall.

I photographed so few moths last year, and I've barely seen any this year yet. So nice to see this attractive moth, a new one to me, having a little rest.

Probably waiting for an abandoned pint to sup on.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.05.18

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Red Sun Run

Well, I think that my fitness level at cricket has been lacking a little bit. Not the basic endurance, but the speed endurance for sprinting between the wickets, and chasing after the ball in the field.

I therefore thought it would be good to get a midweek run in, one with a fair few short sprints in it to increase endurance. But even today after my cricket weekend, my legs are so stiff that running at all was really really hard, and  made me feel really really old.

Still, I did 7km, and got to see many baby rabbits on the nature reserve, and a red sun sinking and scraping the rooftops, as my knees and hips scraped as I ran.

Time for a cup of tea,


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.05.18

Monday, 21 May 2018

Mr and Mrs Goose

So, a day off from sporting activity and sheesh does my body need it - I am absolutely achey and stiff after two days cricket. So today has been about enjoying the good weather, and having a walk to see what was out in it.

I trotted around the cemetery, looking at how everything looks lovely in its last coating of wildflowers before the cut is made; buttercup and meadow saxifrage are the dominant species at the moment, the last flowers to lord it over the city of the dead.

The yellow flowers whose name I can't remember are out. The alternative name is "Herb Somebody or Other" but I can't remember the moniker concerned. Rubbish.

Ragged robin has now emerged, those frail looking flowers are so hard to focus on and photograph! But to get to them, I had to get past Mr and Mrs Goose on the cycle path.

Mr and Mrs Goose have three goslings, and instead of being in the water, are next to the cycle path and giving anyone who wants to get past a jolly good hissing at, as well as being lunged at.

They reminded me of cousin Robert's savage Muscovy of my childhood.

However, unlike my grandfather, I got past without having my leg mauled.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.05.18

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Bug at Ruddington CC

Today was the first Sunday game of the new season, an away match at Ruddington  where seemingly entertainment had been laid on for us; a Deep South sounding marching band was playing somewhere nearby for the early part of the match.

I was hoping they would launch into "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac and do a march past. But they didn't.

My first game for the club was here three years ago, on a freezing damp day in early May and Elms Park looked fairly grim. Today, in the endless sun, it was lovely.

We bowled first, and I in no way disgraced myself against a standard of batting rather higher than my usual level, although my opening partner is far quicker, more dynamic, and a brilliant fielder unlike muggins here who struggles if the ball is anywhere on my right hand side. Or frankly, anywhere at all.

I took 1-25 in 7 overs, until a young chap hit a couple of fours off me and I was rested. He then hit about 80, giving us a fair bit of runaround until our Sunday skipper, a natural athlete and distinctly quick bowler, took him and a few others out. Our Saturday skipper also bowled very well, but against that powerful batsman, who stung my fingers a fair few times, it was hard.

212 was about 40 too many really. On the plus side the tea was excellent, and the orange squash at drinks wasn't too dilute, which is really important.

However, thanks to our only upper tier playing today, who scored 88, we kept in the game for a long time, but the opponents set so many fielders back to him it was impossible for him to score at the required rate, even with the support he got from our other batsmen. Things all got a bit surreal at the end, I must say.

They usually do on a Sunday, as the sun lowers towards the horizon and the opposition bring the odd bowlers on, as opposed to the first team Asian speedster we had to fight off earlier on.

Nature wise, it was a little bit bland, but I did find a fascinating bug to commune with for a few minutes.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.05.18

Saturday, 19 May 2018

A Hot Day of Record Breaking

I was in action for the 3rd team today, playing at beautiful Norwood Park against the rather mouthfully Beeston and Toton Sycamore 3s today, always known as "BaTS" for short.

To practice, I went outside at twilight last night to look for bats, but I didn't see any. This made me worried. I needn't have been.

It has been gorgeous all day, and I think everyone knew it was a day to bat. Everyone except the BaTS skipper, who remembering our batting flakiness on seasons past, decided to put us in. Even our skipper, who hardly ever wants to bat first, would have wielded the willow today.

BaTS had plenty of time to repent, as our opener went in with a confident air to take strike to the first ball of the match, delivered by BaTS well known veteran nagging medium pacer.

37 overs later he retired not out on 192, the highest ever score in the history of the club. He hit 21 fours and 9 sixes, some of which would have cleared the ropes on county grounds, they were so huge. I batted with him for a short time, although not as short as our skipper who was out first ball, and watching deliveries being sent into orbit over your head was quite something.

I had my own record as well, scoring 23 down the order (second top score, lol) and being last man out as we made 279, the highest ever score for the third team.

With the match safe, the skipper entrusted the bowling to our juniors, who again rolled through the opposition as we bowled them out for 73. I got in at the end to knock over the tailenders to take 2 for 8, although my radar was off and my standard inswinger was veering down leg and I ended up having to bowl outswingers they couldn't get a bat on. I did find a couple of quickish straight ones to knock over the stumps though.

All the while a wedding was going on at the manor house next to the ground, so we had music and dancing and photos going on while we played. I kept giving peace signs in the background.

I also hope the bride had just started walking down the aisle when a cry of "WIDE" came from the match.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.05.18

Friday, 18 May 2018

Dogs on Boats and Bees

Well, my work week has been mainly spent doing mini Expos, some of which have had some odd side shows - today's was brass polishing - with more educational and vocational stuff.

The mornings have been freezing, driving me back into gloves on my morning cycle in. In the evenings, Venus has been shining like a Silmaril over the rooftops in the evenings early on, before the pale yellow form of Jupiter takes over later on. I've been doing astronomy late on, spotting globular clusters in my binoculars.

And of course, photographing things. Tonight, bees on alkalet. The other day, dogs on a canoe.

This weekend, cricket. Two matches. My poor fat old body!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.05.18

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A Hot 12km

I really haven't been running enough lately, and during my last two cricket matches I've noticed that my fitness level hasn't been as good as it was last season.

The reason of course, is the tendonitis that has dogged me since October. Ironically running doesn't seem to aggravate it as much as bowling does, and I've done various shorter runs without there being any problems.

Today I needed to go further on what was a super day. Only I didn't mean to go as far as I did.

I headed up the cycle track, orange tips fluttering by, towards the green land  - I've forgotten how I used to refer to it here - where the skylarks used to fly and the wigeon whistled in their hundreds on one memorable occasion.

It is being turned into some kind of rubbish tip.

The skylarks are now perched on a fence next to the Middlebeck building site, keeping pace ahead of me asI ran along. Surprisingly large  birds in flight, they didn't do their Vaughan Williams song.

So, I turned back and headed across the fields to Hawton church, past the house at Valerian corner where the valerian is just coming out, and home. 12km in the end, and none too quickly either.

But I'm glad I did it. I just hope it  pays off.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.05.18

Monday, 14 May 2018

Bits and Pieces at Work

Managed to get outside at  lunchtime today to see what was happening on our wilding campus.

This was after I'd seen a scared roe deer running like mad across the grasslands, trapped between various busy roads.

I wonder where it ended up? Hopefully found the way out towards the wooded farmlands at the back.

Lots of strange little characters seemingly feeding of leaf sap today; They looked like wasps but actually seem to be some form of solitary cuckoo bee of the nomad family, possibly gooden's nomad bee. They parasatize on andrena type bees apparently.

We are letting all our verges go unmowed for the summer; forget me nots doing very well at the moment but hopefully we will have orchids again before too long.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 14.05.18

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Buttercups and Butterflies

So, after yesterday's sporting "extravaganza" I was so tired that my only option today was a nice, pleasant walk on what turned out to be a really nice afternoon.

The new predominant colour in parts of the cemetery is orange; buttercups have now emerged amid the grave stones. This winter and spring we started  with white snowdrops, then we went to purple, to blue and yellow, to blue and blue, to now orange.

Butterflies were also plentiful, but we haven't got many of the hibernatory species around, instead we have the whites, the orange tips, the holly blues and the speckled woods. I drove myself mad trying to photograph them today.

Results - not amazing. Bloody fluttery things.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.05.18