Thursday, 14 January 2021

Englishman Posts Obligatory Photographs of a Micron of Snow

 Actually, I must confess I was a little surprised by how long it managed to snow today, pretty much from 9am till 6pm although the heaviest stuff was over by 1pm. 

Of course, these days snow isn't a massively common sight in the UK, so in common with everyone else, I had to go out and take a few photographs before my hands turned purple and fell off. I'm very glad I didn't ride in today, or else I would have had a rather unpleasant ride home. 

I worry that tonight we will have a hard frost so all the pavements are like glass. I might have to wear my Wintertrax things on my shoes to avoid damage.

As you may notice from one photo, our work campus looks like the sort of Siberian Tundra where they dig up frozen baby mammoths.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 14.01.21

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Powering Through with a Pictorial


I managed to get out three times  over the weekend, and feel all the better for it although my Christmas sized stomach disagrees with me somewhat in this regard. 

These are such awful times, I'm glad to be able to spend time outside, albeit alone as I have spent the last ten months. I wear a snoody neck tube type thing I pull up over my face whenever I pass anyone on the path; I try and give myself ten feet of space between myself and anyone else when out and about, and alone in my office I try and avoid the other few thousand employees as much as I can by not leaving it.

I hope you are all staying as safe as you can! Enjoy these pictures of emergence, of subtle colour rather than harsh saturation, and of ice in the river reflecting the sun in a hopeless struggle to avoid destruction.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 12.01.20

Saturday, 9 January 2021

A Week of Frozen Hands

 Returning from the Christmas break has been absolutely brutal this week, because it's been below zero every morning and also I've been suffering from lockdown blues that have made it very hard to get moving in the morning.

One morning in particular was savagely cold, and initially I couldn't get my hands to grip the bars and brakes of my bike properly. Yes, the return of Raynaud's Rides, where my hands get agonised and turn purple.

I suppose however, that when you get concrete hard frosts, then you do get some very pretty photo opportunities.

I just wish it wasn't so painful to get them.


All texts and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 09.01.21

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The Kingfisher and the Goosander

 A couple of days ago was a sacred day for me, which goes to show what the standard of days have been for me - and I suspect most of us - as of late.

I managed to get my first ever kingfisher photographs, and got my first clear shots of drake goosander.

The kingfisher came first on my walk through Sconce Park along the Devon. I'm quite used to seeing kingfishers around town now, but normally as a blue blur with a neon streak down its back as it they fly somewhat like a hummingbird from where on the bank I've flushed them out. 

But this time, the kingfisher was sat on a fence post on the opposite side of the river, where I got one shot, before it flitted across first to some wire on the other side of a flooded patch where cattle often drink from. I got a shot here, then it just dropped into the water and caught a small fish, maybe a stickleback or minnow, that it ate on another fencepost. 

I admit the pictures are pretty dreadful, not even good enough to be called record shots, but best I could do at a distance. To see one catch a fish for the first time was pretty exciting, I must say.

The day wasn't done with me yet, as I extended my walk right through the cemetery to the Balderton Blue Lake. Here, on the lagoon where the giant carp mock anglers in the one part of the lake they aren't allowed to fish in, 2 drake and 6 duck goosander had gotten incredibly brave and come right up to the edge.

I was able to approach behind some plantlife, and managed to start taking photographs before they spooked and took off like torpedoes. They move so fast they can blur the shot, but I'm happy I got a couple of good ones. 

Looking forward to a good weekend of walking. I hope. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 06.01.21

Friday, 1 January 2021

The Last Walk of 2020

 You are having a post about my walk yesterday, as I got too caught up in NYE stuff to write it on time, and today I've done not a sausage other than lol about on the sofa.

I've not been to the cricket club in a while, and found that once again it has mutated into a golf course since the season ended. As I half expected to find it underwater again however, this was a relief. The grass underneath my feet was delightfully crispy and crunchy due to the frost, and eerie mist gathered at one end of the ground, rising off the drainage ditch. 

The river is part frozen, and the swans were finding it hard to make much headway. More aconite is in flower. Sp pretty, so evanescent.

So that is that wretched year over; I honestly doubt the first few months of 2021 will be much better.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 01.01.21

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Icy Golden Days

 Managed a two hour walk today, walking through puddles that had frozen hard overnight and had then been mined by passing children, carrying away glass like shards of broken ice the size of car windows. 

We haven't had snow, nor does it seems likely we will now. But it is very cold and at night the moon sports angry halos.

Sconce Park was full of robins, one which let me practically walk over it, and squirrels were running riot among the oaks. The good stuff was around Balderton Lake though - 2 drake and 6 duck goosander, 4 of which were close enough in for me to get a quarter decent shot off before they tore off  like powerboats, a kingfisher at the north end of the lake, and a lovely little watch of a goldcrest impersonating a hummingbird.

By now the sun was setting, and we had a firey rosey gold lake again. 15000 more steps.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.12.20

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

A Muddy Trek to Winthorpe Village

 Decent weather this afternoon meant I felt like taking myself out for a couple of hours, and wondered where I could walk that I haven't visited in a while, and wouldn't be a mud bath.

It was always optimistic thinking anywhere would be an easy walk today, and so it proved, although to be fair my trip to Winthorpe wasn't all that bad, and rather better than Clay Lane, say, would be at this time of the year. 

It isn't an attractive walk at all, it's rather featureless, in common with anywhere maintained for serious angling, I find. It also takes you under various road and rail bridges, and alongside a sewage works. 


However, saw some interesting birds; colourful deep pink bullfinches in the hawthorn heshes, and a lovely group of reed buntings. In Winthorpe village, there were long tailed tits and chaffinches and above isolated gulls rode the breezes. 

Not such a bad trek, occupied a couple of hours, had a nice listen to the radio, and got my 15000 steps in!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.12.20