Sunday, 5 April 2020

A Butterfly Run

Despite the threats of Matt Hancock, we are not totally locked up yet, and so I was indeed able to head out for another run round the cricket ground today.

I've had a terrible sense of anxiety all day today, which in turns makes me feel panicky and short of breath as it has done for many years. However, I'm still able to run; I wish I could get my fitness level back without pinging muscles all the time.

With it having been a bright morning - contrary to reports it wasn't THAT warm out there - I've had a lot of little insect visitors even to my paltry yard. There's been hoverflies, a huge droning buff tailed bumble queen, and most interestingly of all a red mason bee inspecting the holes in my old garden wall.

On my run, there were more spiralling small tortie butterflies, carder bees on the sun like flowering dandelion, and best of all, my first decent butterfly photo of the year.

Got you ya bugger!

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 05.04.20






Saturday, 4 April 2020

And Now, a Hoverfly!

When I opened my door this morning, a bright sunny morning on this "STAY SODDING WELL HOME OR ELSE" weekend, I noticed I had a visitor soaking up a few rays on my garden furniture.

It was a little eristialis type hoverfly - as ever, I think! - waiting to get warm enough to get active.

Normally these little insects are very difficult to get near, but this one had a flat battery and was waiting for its solar panels to recharge, so I was able to get an ok photo.

Later on, when I was warm enough to get active, I went to our ravaged cricket ground to run a few laps - handily one complete lap of both fields is 1km. No danger of sharing the paths here - there aren't any and it is usually deserted. Just a little boring running round and round the same place, but it being turf makes it a little easier on the knees, if a little bit of a slog.

Ended up doing 7km, which seems to be about the standard running distance for me these days. Still making the most of it while I can.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 04.04.20







Friday, 3 April 2020

First Bumble Rescue of the Year

The crisis is tiring, always seem to feel tired at the moment. Always napping.

Stress must take a lot out of me.

Consequently my lunchtime walk ended up being an afternoon one, but it did have a small bonus.

Not far from the park, I came across a common carder bee on the path, first I've seen this year. I thought it was dead at first, but when I gave it a gentle nudge, it moved its legs slowly, so I resolved to try and help it.

I was able to get it onto my gloved finger, and set it onto a dandelion where I had a slight hope it might be able to feed and get stronger. I hope it made it, these bumbles are so bright and vividly coloured, I'm always pleased to see them.

Warm weather beckons, hopefully there will be more to see at weekend. Except people.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 03.04.20







Thursday, 2 April 2020

The Afternoon Stroll

There's a few more bluebell now open and anemome in bloom in the park today, a day which has been pleasantly dry enough and breezy enough for me to do a spot of handwashing.

My gymwear was getting rather skanky.

I was lucky enough to see another chiff chaff today in the Sconce orchard; they are very hard to see being so small, brown on brown and very flitty. But I got a good few seconds looking at this customer foraging through the trees.

No blackcaps yet; I must pay attention for their badly blown flute song.

I don't know how folk are feeling, but I've been freaked out by shopping, and getting obsessed over packaging. I did catch myself wiping a few things down, but apparently according to a US FDA expert the risk from packaging is virtually nil. I've read of folk quarantining their shopping for a week or soaking it in the bath.

It's a mad world out there.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 02.04.20









Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Yeah, Let's go Parachuting

Chilly day today, nothing nice about it at all, but that hasn't stopped folk getting up some odd things.

I was walking through Riverside Park today, when I saw a couple engaging in what I thought was a spot of kite flying. odd spot for it, I thought, and then - "that's a bloody huge kite!".

It wasn't a kite though. It was a parachute and as far as I could make out this was a couple trying to launch a motorised parachute. I suppose it is safer up in the air than on a bus at the moment, but still rather extreme for the times, I'd have thought.

As it turned out, a safer method of transport than walking, however, as I went flat on my face when my foot tangled in a thorny thicket as I walked a bridleway near the cricket ground.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 01.04.20









Tuesday, 31 March 2020

A New Find

The wind has dropped now, so although the temperature is still fairly cool, it is far from unpleasant with the sun out, and not too bad without it.

Alas the sun had gone in and when I went out for my Boris walk, so I had to make do with "not too bad". No butterflies today, but a lot of buff tailed bumblebee queens investigating nest sites, or feeding off blossom or primrose. There was also a solitary hairy footed flower bee, but other than that I saw no insect activity.

I was walking through the old oak wood at Sconce Park - where the owl seat is if you remember that from my photographs - when I saw some white flowers at the base of a tree. They turned out to be wood anemone,  a flower I have never actually seen in town before, let alone in this site.

Apparently in mythology they were sent every year to herald the arrival of the Greek wind god, Anemos, leading to their alternate name of "windflower".

There were a fair few of them, in company with the first emerging non-native bluebells in the wood, while chiff chaffs called out from the high oaks.

I'm still struggling on, hands raw from washing.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 31.03.20








Monday, 30 March 2020

Wild Garlic is Out

Ventured further afield today, by lockdown standards, but please don't complain to the authorities as I was still staying local.

Yes, I went to the cemetery, having just paid a sort of socially distant visit to my stepfather that involved me talking to him from about 15 feet away for a few minutes. First conversation I have had in the flesh for weeks, it feels like.

So yes, in the damp ditch in the cemetery, the wild garlic is just coming into flower. Just being the operative word, only one of these slightly silky little blooms was open. But the big flat leaves were out, and as ever, the smell of the crushed leaves was sharply pungent..

No sign of any bluebells yet, native or otherwise. Mainly otherwise in this town, alas.

Next to the blue lake the mandarin drake was having a snooze and I was able to get really quite close to him. And blew the photo opp a bit. Oh dear.

Si

All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.03.20