Tuesday, 15 January 2019

A Reflective Great Crested Grebe

I took a lot of shots on my walk yesterday! The goosander turned out less well than I hoped, but this great crested grebe, now coming into his breeding colours, was a better subject.

The fact is, unlike the goosander, this character decided he was able to sit still on a mirror calm bit of water and give me at least half a chance. It's still a very soft shot, but it is rather better than a lot of other bird ones I have taken.

Still rubbish compared to the bird shots I see on Instagram!

Still, I give you great crested grebe!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.01.19

Monday, 14 January 2019

Successful Goosander Hunt

I repeated my route of yesterday again today, this time at a slower pace on a brighter, calmer day.

My bridge camera was with me, and I was keen to get some decent goosander pictures for you. Compared to previous years, they are venturing closer inshore on the Blue Lake, but they still are very wary of people and the odd time even took to the air when they noticed me approaching.

They never stop moving either, so it is difficult to get a good shot and I'm still struggling with this bridge camera. At least you can see what I've photographed today!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 14.01.19

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Another Wildflower Run

I'm going to try and keep running gently once or twice a week, so long as it doesn't make my foot any worse. The recovery is so slow it is driving me mad - to help counter this I've just ordered an exercise bike online so I can train inside my flat as the approaching cold weather makes cycling outside not an option.

So, I trundled 6.2km today, with my big camera too in case the goosander were in range; they weren't and the wind and choppy waters would have made getting a decent shot very difficult.

So, I had to restrict myself to wildflower shots - the aconite has really shot up since last week, with the trademark carpets starting to appear in the usual places.

I am pleased!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.01.19

Friday, 11 January 2019

The Weather Vane

Again, our dear Sugar Factory.

We have northerly winds today. I know that for two reasons.

The first is that you can smell the sugar factory, the rich, organic and earthy sweet smell of roasting / refining / whatever the hell it is they do sugar beet. It lies to the north of the town, on The Great North Road, a retro looking mass of belching pipes and chimneys, and when you can smell it, you know the wind is from degree zero.

The second is that as I sit at work, watching the twilight behind the dark clouds of smoke it emits as I plan my journey home, I use it as a weather vane. When the smoke blows to the left, it means it is indeed a northerly wind, usually a cold one although not today, and will not be into my face.

Every day in autumn and  winter I check it, until the campaign ends in March, when warmer weather means I fear the wind less.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 11.01.19

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Go to Bed Hoggy!

Having a little look around while doing a bit of late night naked eye astronomy, when across the road I noticed a dark snuffling shape over on the little park across the road where during the day the first redwing had arrived to have a crack at the cotoneaster.

Of course I knew what it was, but what was Tiggywinkles doing out on a January night?

It was reasonably mild, and wet ground probably meant it was a good night for hunting. But hoggies should be in their beds this time of year!

It wasn't a small hedgehog, and it appeared healthy and I have absolutely no means of doing a rescue, so I left it where it was. Apparently I perhaps should have contacted a rescue, but I will keep an eye out. It's a favourite spot for hedgehogs, that little park.

I hope my prickly friend is well and can get to sleep.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 09.01.19

Monday, 7 January 2019

On Risking a Run

Finally I cracked, the inactivity had become far too much for  me, it was too windy to cycle and walking takes too long.

I thought I'd stuff gel insoles into my running shoes, and have a gentle trot round the two lakes.

Gentle is what it was, as it took me 40 plus minutes to do 6km. After 5km it got a bit sore too in my left heel, but my right is ok.

Certainly it doesn't feel any worse now than it did, so although I won't run again for a bit, short runs on easy ground might be ok. It's the one form of exercise that gets my heart-rate up high enough, and the sweat to come quicker.

Oh what a lovely thought for you all!

Today, there was a drake and duck goosander on the lake. The rafts of black headed gulls that bob about in large numbers seem to like mobbing them; presumably they hang about near them in the hope of stealing fish or frogs.

There are new emergences too, although not strictly wildflowers. The green hellebore in the library gardens is now flowering, as well as some small white flowers but no dwarf iris yet.

Got to keep moving!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 07.01.19

Sunday, 6 January 2019

OK, the Exhaustion Hit me Today

Yep, today was my sleep all day day, I guess every weekend has to have to have one!

I have still gone to the park to look at the sun and think about things to do this year, and wonder how far off a gentle, short run I am. I'm thinking that my foot might end up being a pain management rather than clear up thing - it is a lot better now, but it doesn't want to clear up totally.

We will see.

I'm hoping to do more sketching, and I've also started attempting to make a little electronic music onmy computer. Rather difficult, it's taken me a lot of fiddling to get two bars of anything that sounds reasonable!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 06.01.19