And because if was Ramadan, we had to bring our own teas.
At first sight the ground, in the Gedling area of Nottingham, was not a pretty one. It was a municipal park ground, with a choice of two pitches both of which were damp as sponges and had lovely patches of bog in the outfield. The changing room was in a children's playgroup, which meant as we slipped into our whites we had the chance to enjoy posters encouraging us to read "The Dinosaur that Pooped" and other classics.
As an antidote to this, we started talking about "a house of ill repute" that was supposedly located in a former Happy Eater roadside cafe near Lowdham.
Enough of that!
So, as we began our innings, your intrepid naturalist set off to explore the park, knowing that coming in at his usual position of 9, there'd be at least twenty minutes before I was needed to bat. An area thick with ox-eye daisies had attracted my attention, and as our openers settled into fending off the local Shoaib Akthar wannabes, I plunged into your actually official council run "Wildflower Meadow".
It was utterly delightful; an urban paradise where ladybirds, hoverflies and an unfamiliar but numerous species of solitary bee fed off the flowers, and a chiff chaff sang from the trees screening the railway line from the ground. Meanwhile on the outfield itself, red tailed bumblebees were on the white clover, a species that they seem to esteem more than other bumbles.
It was difficult going for batsmen, but we really stuck at it on a wicket more suitable for testing tanks. Eventually I went in, and forged a decent partnership with our new wicket keeper. I did ok against the "mystery spinners" but as soon as one of them got bored and decided to be a fast bowler again, I lasted about three balls. As did our innings.
62 was never going to be enough even on that wicket, but we gave them a real scare with our bowling and fielding, as personified by our skipper who decided the best way to catch a cricket ball was by eating it. The resultant concussion must have been the cause of him asking me to bowl, for when I stepped up all the good work I've done at practice just seemed to dissolve...my run up was stuttery, my radar a little off, and my luck such that when I bowled good deliveries, they were hit out of the park and into the aforementioned wildflower meadow.
It's getting frustrating now. I'm desperate to be a decent cricketer, but something always goes wrong.
Never mind, there is always tomorrow.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 02.07.16
|Waiting to go in
|Not a trace of magic
|At the end of the ground
|Ox eye daisies
|7 spot ladybird
|Can never remember what this is!
|Some sort of forget me not species
|Some sort of solitary bee, possibly an Andrena species
|More ox eye daisies
|Meadow in entirety
|Beyond the meadow
|red tailed bumblebee