Thursday, 2 July 2020

An Early Gatekeeper

We are back to wet grey weather today, but that has not stopped me being active, entirely the opposite!

I hate mentioning the weather all the time, but that seems to be so intrinsic to everything you see in the natural world, it's hard not to. I hope that doesn't make me a lazy writer, but it is true. For example, it meant that our cricket ground has had a major outbreak of fungi growing  down the damp end of the ground. 

It meant that the flowering clover was glistening in a way that made me want ice cream.

It mean that the first gatekeeper butterfly of the year stayed still, and allowed me to get a photograph. They are normally such an active species they are hard to get a good shot of. This one looked like it had got up early, and then wished it hadn't bothered, huddling away in the long grass.

I then flushed a very noisy family of wrens from a bramble bush into the hawthorn. The young ones looked fully grown, but you could still see the gape. 

I've had another walk and run day, which was pleasing. This evening I ran out to see the alpacas, which like me are in dire need of a haircut. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 02.07.20

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Treading New Ground

A run to Winthorpe today, a much closer and more stifling one than I had expected as I headed out along the river to the railway cottage at the edge of the village, before coming back through the houses.

As I reached Winthorpe Road estate, I found myself curious about the back streets there, streets I've never set foot on before. I ran past the modern rebuilt Bishops Alexander school, and behind that found that there was a sort of long narrow urban nature reserve along a path where the buddleia were growing wild.

Taking a break from running, I photographed the pollinators on the cloyingly sweet smelling flowers.

I then followed the path along the backs of the houses before emerging by the railway workers club.

It is always interesting for me to break new ground, to find a little bit of urban green space on an estate where a bit of nature can flourish.

Especially at a time like this.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 01.07.20

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

A Butterfly Walk to Kelham

I had a terribly lazy day yesterday, brought on by grey windy weather, but I did manage to get out for a good late run when it was too dark to show you anything.

Today, therefore, was marked by a long walk on a much nicer day to see what I could find you. So I headed out to Kelham again.

The thing that struck me the most was how overgrown the verges were, full of corncockle, ox eye daisy, wild carrot, groundsel, thistle and in particular knapweed. Long may the council not bother to mow them.

This in turn attracted many species of butterfly. On wk walk today I saw:

Red admiral
Meadow brown
Small skipper
Small tortoiseshell
Large white
Small white
Green veined white

A decent haul, I'm sure you'll agree.

Another beautiful, if very sad sight, was a dead yellowhammer on the pavement, possibly after being hit by a vehicle.

I feel that today has been a much better day!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.06.20

Sunday, 28 June 2020

All the Geese

I have made it three running days on the bounce, which is something I haven't managed for years. It has gotten noticeably cool, and blustery, but I missed the showers, which earlier on had got my kitchen wet when I had a nap with the door open.

So, I wasn't intending to take photographs tonight, I was just out there running, wanting to stay in a rhythm, but I literally had to stop when I came across a huge mixed flock of canada and greylag geese blocking my path round the Blue Lake.

I think someone comes and puts food out for the birds there; I have seen the remnants of what looks like seed there before. I'm guessing someone must have put out a treat tonight for there to be so many honkers there tonight!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.06.20

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Two Very Different Runs

I don't usually manage two runs in two consecutive days, but yesterday and today I managed 7km runs, but oh boy, they were completed in very different circumstances.

Today, I was a bit stiff and sore, but managed 7km up and down the river fairly easily. The pace was slow, but there was a strong headwind for a big chunk of the route, and that took the pace down a lot.

Yesterday, oh boy that was a very different story. We never had the arrival of rain and thunderstorms to breakdown the heat, although a couple of black clouds did rumble over. By the time I set off on my run at 7pm it was still warm, but I thought I bearable.

I was wrong. After a km the sun came out, and the heat and humidity was blistering. Despite this, I ran 4km in good time, across the Middlebrook fields, but as soon as I hit a rough incline up where the poppies have stopped blooming, I suddenly felt totally drained and my legs nearly went out from under me and I could only stumble up the rest of the hill, before half walking half jogging home.

I was ok in the end, but it taught me a lesson not to be so daft.

Town town today has been the liveliest I've seen it in weeks - there was even a band playing with couples dancing.

I don't think things are as normal as that, not by a long way.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.06.20

Thursday, 25 June 2020

An Avian Murder

Off to the cricket ground for a walk, and a talk with our groundsman about the prospects for cricket, and how we might be able to play. Lots of gloves and ball sanitiser seems to be the general consensus with only local friendly fixtures played.

Hopefully I will field where the ball never comes, although I will have to bowl!

The ground had a large area of sad down feathers, as well as a wing primary belonging to a pigeon. There was no body though.

I wonder who the culprit could be - cat? fox? sparrowhawk? Or had their been an initial predation, and then the body had been carried off by the nesting buzzards that live at the back of the ground, and I could hear keening?

At any rate, one less pigeon to eat the grass seed we've had to reseed the ground with because of the floods.

It has been incredibly hot, but I have sat in the garden, and had a two hour walk.

No run today, as I am not utterly insane.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.06.20

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Another Poppy Field

Just back in from a sharp 5km run in the deep twilight, and it is still bloody warm out there!

It was even hotter this afternoon when I walked out to Farndon to take in the sights. Down the lane, I encountered another poppy field, not as vivid as the other one I showed you, but still a nice sight, vivid on a bright day.

I visited Cottage Lane nature reserve in search of dragonflies, and was not disappointed! Big hawkers were flying around, and over the ponds, 4 spotted chasers were launching patrols from their watching posts on the reeds. However, the presence of a courting couple prevented me from trying to take photographs.

In the lane itself, a big migrant or southern hawker checked me out, flying around me in circles. Wonderful creatures are these, purposeful, menacing flyers. The wind ruined my photo of a scarlet tiger moth.

Another meadow, and lots of meadow browns and small skippers amongst the purple knapweed, while a flock of house martins hunted over the overgrown grasses. The swan family were on the river, passed by the odd sight of a working tug towing a wrecked cruiser alongside.

Speaking of wrecked, I am not, and I have the flashes of an ocular migraine before my eyes!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.06.20