Monday 22 April 2024

Running to Farndon Church

 It's the time of the year when I knew there ought to flowers filling up Farndon Churchyard, so I figured it was time to go out there and have a look.

How would I get there? By running of course. 

Very slowly as it turned out; my legs felt rather heavy and the roads felt very hard under my worn out running shoes - note to self, buy a new pair - and rare sun was making me boil up inside my Aldi running jacket. 

It was worth it though, as the church grounds were full of forget me not, bluebells and even some lungwort. Sadly, it was a bit chilly and so there weren't any pollinators on the wing. But in the end, I had got a good run in of just short of 10km, although it got very muddy where horses has churned up the bridleways. 

No sign of swallows or martens either, I am keeping an eye out for them, and the swifts too of course. 

They can't be far away. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.04.24

Thursday 18 April 2024

A Day in Lincoln

 A train ride to Lincoln then, for my sister to retrieve her bag from a nightclub, and then for a spot of lunch and a mooch around. 

Bag rescued, we headed to the Arboretum, where a community cafe staffed by trainees served up some excellent food for a mere fiver while we enjoyed looking at their extensive painted rock collection, before we walked round the park itself. 

I've been before, but on a dull September day when there wasn't much life around, but on this visit, the spurge plants were alive with various bee species, a pond had ducklings on it, and a fountain water feature was full of tadpoles. An overlooking song thrush sang its repetitive song for us while we poked around in the plants. 

Well I did, my sister has more dignity than that. I on the other hand, probably spend a lot of time looking strange to other people while I'm staring at dandelions.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.04.24

Monday 8 April 2024

Solitary Bees in the Library Garden

 Just back from a little stroll to the library garden, the one saved by the "Stop the Chop" campaign back in 2022. It has become a lovely little space, with a wildlife pond currently under construction, and with a spot of sun in the late afternoon, it is a wonderful place to spot pollinators.

Recently it has become busy with solitary bee species. 

In the last few days I have seen early mining bees, nomad cuckoo bees (too hard to photograph!), the characterful and also hard to photograph hairy footed flower bees, and also grey patched mining bees, a species I've never seen before but suddenly seem to be everywhere. 

"Have you lost something?" asked a passing Polish woman, as I rummaged around in the long grass looking at dandelions and forget me not. 

I do look strange sometimes, I suppose!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 08.04.24

Thursday 4 April 2024

Spring Finally Sprung

 It's taken a long time, with endless wet weather and only occasional fine days that were however rather windy. Poliinators have been slow to take to the wing, and butterflies have been in very low numbers for the time of year - I've barely seen a brimstone up, which I normally consider to be a true sign of spring.

Hence, my first butterfly photo of spring was of a green veined white, which is a first for me. 

That being said, this past few days has seen the emergence of worker bumblebees, various species of solitary bee, lots of lady birds, and of course, the loud singing of chiff chaffs in wooded areas.

Photographing a grey patched mining bee and a two coloured mining bee - or maybe an early mining bee - are both firsts for me. Not seen by me is the remarkable sighting of a black kite at RSPB Langford Lowfields. I wonder if I should cycle out and try and find it. 

I hope you have seen such sights and heard such sounds. I intend to fully enjoy the spring as much as I can. And I hope, show them to you. I'm disappointed to not have had a lot to show you in recent times; this will change. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 04.04.24

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Glory in the Gardens

 We've had better weather - briefly as it has started raining again - and things have really come to life in the Friary Gardens, where the early showing of aconite and snowdrops has been replaced by glory of the snows. 

It's not a native wildflower, it's a cultivar of squill of some kind I believe, but it grows wildly enough, and the bees seem to love it too. 

I've had some time off, spending it with my sister, finally finding an ideal internment spot for my mum's ashes after so long. The original plan was to scatter her in a favourite spot in her Scottish hometown, but the pandemic got in the way of all that, and we've all decided we'd rather she was close to home so we have a spot to visit on important dates. 

So by a mighty and gnarly old tree, which we felt sure she'd have loved, she will rest. 

With time to walk - and run too! - my Tourette symptoms eased somewhat. Although my increasingly middle aged body often wakes with sciatica and other twinges. Yet I do not feel mentally old, I feel as I did when I was 15 in many ways. 

Long may that continue!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.03.24

Thursday 7 March 2024

The Beauty of Small Things

 I'm not seeing many "big" pollinators at the moment, but as the occasional, well, I'd hardly call them "bursts" of sunshine have appeared - more like watery visitations of a sun like object in the sky - there have been plenty of smaller pretties on offer. 

I like to take every opportunity to get outside, waving my cameraphone around hopefully, to see what might be out there, and I like to advise everyone to do the same, if only with their eyes. Because at this time of the year, beautiful things are emerging, and they might not all be of the largest size.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 07.03.24

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Behold the Crocus Carpet!

 For one week only, the cemetery crocus carpet made its glorious annual re-appearance, decorating the houses of the dead with luxurious splashes of purple and white, and giving a haven for early season pollinators.

They barely seem to last now, made even more ephemeral by the rain falling like an anvil on them just as they reach their peak, a modern day feature of local winters that results in a a chaos of savaged petals and broken stems after a few scant days of glory.

But while they are there, they are stunning.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.02.24