Sunday 17 January 2016

What is this thing "Winter"?

Found it snowing on me when I headed down to the Prince Rupert for a quiet pint and a read last night. So many tweets saying "OH MY GOD IT'S SNOWING" as if the appearance of solid rain initiates a quantum effect that simultaneously reduces everyone to the age of 7.

Me I dread snow. Not for my outside life, but for the effect it has on my commute to work i.e. makes it bloody dangerous. 2010-12 we had winters that featured heavy snow followed by a long freeze; the resulting ice made it really tricky to cycle. My hands also suffer terribly in freezing weather when I cycle, no glove on earth prevents severe pain in my hands.

I think this is what they call Reynaud's Syndrome.

Anyway, this is the calamitous result of the wintry showers last night.

Winter what winter?! I love having my cocktails outside while seeing if the stars are going to come out to play. Pina Coladas are the best, I find.

So today I got out for a run late, with the skies far too dark for photography. However, around Balderton Blue Lake, where the tufted ducks swim like immaculately painted battleship flotillas, I startled out another kingfisher from a waterside tree!

This is about 2km from where I usually spot a kingfisher on the cycle path, so no idea if it's the same bird. It may be, as ice has formed on the drain down there, and it might have had to move in order to fish.

It was almost dark, but the bird's blue back was still starlight bright as it flew off with those typical hummingbird fast wingbeats and stunted tail. Such a joy to spot it in the gloom.

I may have had no camera, but at least I have a memory.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.01.16


  1. I have Raynaud's and it can be intensely painful; numb white fingers (who knew numb HURT?), then purple and still numb, then finally red puffy and throbbing in the recovery stage. That is one reason we moved from Minnesota to Belize. You are right - there are no gloves that prevent it. I did find some help from small chemical heat packs tucked into mittens and boots.
    Kingfishers are amazing.

  2. I like snow but I hate ice and slush

    alwayswonderful to see a kingfisher

  3. We no longer cycle when it's icy after OH fell twice on his commute to work on black ice two winters ago and broke his wrist badly (google FOOSH and you'll see what I mean). The possibility of permanently losing the use of that hand was enough for him to take it seriously from then on (and this is a man who doesn't stop doing things easily), so do be careful, Si.

  4. My husband got his "Fat bike " out as soon as it snowed made a change from riding it in mud, the streets were empty due to the amount of snow that came down that night, so he went of and played !
    Amanda xx

  5. Interesting Si. I suppose before the invention of the camera people only had the memory of a sighting like that - and I sometimes wonder if it is better.

  6. Yes, snow and ice are beautiful but they can make our lives much more difficult and dangerous.
    Take care!

  7. Thank you all, believe me I'm very careful, smashed my elbow slipping on black ice on my driveway a few years ago. I'm going to head out with my camera shortly and see if I can snap Mr Kingfisher, or any goosander or pochard that may be about.

  8. Memories last forever Si! A kingfisher is always a delight to see. I hope you managed to see Mr Kingfisher again today on your walk.

  9. SAdly no Pam, but found a nice immature grebe posing happily for a few shots.

  10. How amazing to see your kingfisher again. They are such secretive birds.

    Sympathies with the Reynaud`s fingers. I have it too and being outside feeding animals in freezing weather is no fun.

    Take care on your bike!

  11. I love seeing kingfishers! Magic!