Friday 11 September 2015

Serendipity and Cycling

Serendipity is the term describing what happens when you are searching to discover something, fail, but discover something else amazing instead. It derives from a story where three princes of Serendip - Sri Lanka in modern parlance - embark on your usual sort of alchemy efforts to turn base metal into gold, or somesuch thing, fail abysmally, but in the process make many other amazing discoveries.

It was thus a serendipitous sort of day for me on my bicycle.

This morning, after some much needed tinkering with my brakes, I set off with the intention of riding the 12 or so kilometres to the Hill Holt Eco park to look round the wonderful buildings there, enjoy the woodland, and perhaps get a tour.

It didn't really work out like that. I think I missed a turn somewhere, and ended up heading through Norton Disney towards Swinderby. Sure I found Hill Holt wood sales, but I think this was the back door, not the front.

It was here I spotted lots of dazzlingly scarlet common darters, which for once were happy to be photographed even though I could see their huge globular eyes following me warily. Even using my mobile phone I was able to get fabulous shots.

Would have missed this if I'd found the front door. Serendipity.

So, I carried on going now, cycling further then I've ever cycled in my life - 40km in the end - and when I reached Collingham and stopped off for a quick Barr's Raspberryade (please sponsor my blog!) I figured that it would be rude not to drop in on RSPB Langford Lowfield on my way home along the Sustrans 64.

This I did, and although I saw many big migrant and brown hawkers, bird life was pretty scant. Even worse, I was looking the other way when a bittern broke cover briefly. Woman next to me spotted it. But when I was cycling back up the track, I saw a fellow taking photographs of something low down. It turned out to be a small vole of some kind, I think, and not a doormouse as the chap had suggested.

It was probably not too well as it kept trembling and was making no effort to go for cover. But, if I hadn't missed the front door of Hill Holt, I would never have ridden to Langford and been able to get its picture.

Serendipity. Again.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 11.09.15

Norton Disney turbine power

Woodland road

Slightly alarming sign

A nicer one

Female common darter

A very vivid male common darter. Look at the eyes!

Back end.

Eco buildings and water butt!

Now to Langford

A field of fluffy thistle heads

As ever, love the Langford bike stands

The reed bed

Geese on the move

The beach hut

Hello vole!

Was worried about it on the path

But it wouldn't go and hide


  1. That's a great way to spend a day, Simon! And, any settled dragonfly is a real bonus ;o).

  2. Thank you for dropping by! I once got a migrant hawker close up, that was amazing!

  3. Nice Dragons, impressed with the 40K

  4. Lovely post Simon - love the photos of the field full of seedheads (will be good for finches!) and the Dragon photos.

  5. Thanks Ragged and Merlin, it was a long old trip! One of the better exploration days I've been able to have all year.