Tuesday 31 January 2017

Pigeon Convocation

I wonder what they are up to...holding an anti Trump rally to which they had forgotten to bring their placards? Southern Rail picket line? Simulating Nottingham Forest's home attendance in 5 years time?

Today they wouldn't have been perched in their trees, there has been light, but stinging, rain all day today, which would have affected my Vitamin D levels even if I had been outside all day which I haven't.

We had a session with our work physio today who suggested we were all suffering from Vitamin D deficiency in that environment, many of us going days at a time without seeing any natural light with our shift patterns.

I thought as an outdoorsy type I might be alright, but alas this vitamin can't be stored over time, apparently.

The local Holland and Barrets might find us storming the aisles.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 31.01.17

Sunday 29 January 2017

Now what could you Possibly be Doing up there?

A very grey and rainy day today prompted me to go out running wearing my sexy neon kag, which I know everyone thinks is the sexiest garment alive.

As it turned out I ended up wearing far too many layers for the conditions, sweated like a pig and because the sexy kag isn't very breathable ended up wetter than I would have if I hadn't worn it.

I never learn, but then, walking the rain versus temperature tightrope is a tricky task. It's easier when I'm cycling to work in winter, as I don't get so hot.

Anyway, as I went out I noticed that my bird feeder had an interested onlooker. Now I've only recently put the thing back up, so either the feeder has had a few visitors to attract this attention, or the onlooker knows in general what bird feeders are, and what visits them...

...crunchily tasty small feathered flying objects.

Unlike most of the local cats, this one stayed its ground as I approached, and only backed away a little bit when I got really close.

It was clearly a hungry feline!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.01.17 

Saturday 28 January 2017

So that's what was Going on

I went running up the cycle path today to see what was going on at the Cotham Flash birdwatching area, an area I was unpleasantly chased off by its new owner a few months ago despite the fact it has been used as a byway by lots of people for years.

There was speculation in town; a waste dumping site perhaps, but you can now see the purpose of the land quite a long way off now.

Three massive wind turbines have gone up. Now we know. Someone has decided to take advantage of the subsidy to put them up before the May government ends them, would be my guess.

But oh! Bonus rainbow!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.01.17

Friday 27 January 2017

Hello Queenie

I had just returned from a 7km run in the wind, dark and drizzle, and was just settling in to do some research on hybrid bicycles - if we get a cycle to work scheme I rather fancy one rather than my good but slow Decathlon MTB for road rides - when I heard a rather out of place buzzing, and the familiar sound of an insect headbutting a lightbulb.

I looked up, and rather than the moth I was somehow expecting, I saw a large wasp orbiting the hot light source for as long as it could, before plummeting to the carpet.

It must have followed me in from outside.

For a wasp to be alive this time of year, it must surely be a queen, the size also suggested that this was no mere drone. I photographed its lightly furry body, then turned the light off to still it, before trapping it and releasing outside in the hope it would go back to sleep again once it found a suitable spot.

Bad night for a buzzer, I'm afraid.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.01.17

Thursday 26 January 2017

I Love these Two Chaps

The tufted duck in the background seems to be flashing a rather annoyed expression at the handsome, irridescent drake at front with the thick, drooping crest.

There's an inadequate quacker alright i this photograph, I think!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.01.17

Tuesday 24 January 2017

A World in Stasis

Everything seems to move more slowly in a fog.

It's like watching something falling into a black hole - so Brian Cox tells me I've never watched it happen myself and I suspect nor has he - the further into the fog objects are, the slower they seem to move.

Everything becomes lethargic, the damp air expertly conducting heat out of any source. The tufted duck are all but motionless, drifting a little on the lake currents, and barely visible in the fog a flotilla of canada geese are not moving at all.

No birds are singing. I feel like I'm the only thing expanding any energy at all, wasting it with this useless running, as the fauna must be thinking.

Why was I running? To get about, getting wonderfully atmospheric views such as these.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.01.17

Sunday 22 January 2017

The Redwing have come to Town!

You may remember that recently I posted that the conotoneaster trees on the little local park near where I live hadn't been getting any avian visitors at all, and were still absolutely shining with berries.

Well, that's changed.

The local feather faces have more or less cleaned out every other berry laden tree in town, and now those berries they were ignoring a couple of weeks ago are now getting snaffled up.

Among the visitors are small flocks of redwing, who presumably driven out of the countryside by the recent cold spells, have decided to move into town in search of easier pickings. Over the last few days, flocks of about 15-20 birds have appeared in the park, perching not with the berries but high up in the other trees, before making occasional low level raids to feed.

Usually, every time I go to fetch my camera they fly off, but not today. Only a few birds today, but this time, they co-operated, if not closely.

No waxwing yet though.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.01.17

Saturday 21 January 2017

Turning a Run into a Walk

I've got an idea for another day out for folk at work, taking them on a little walk around the nature reserves of Farndon, the River Trent and back to Newark again.

Rather like the charity cycle ride I did, but without the hassles of asking folk to get sponsorship or anything like that. I just want it to be a nice day out, involving a pub stop and cups of tea in the cafe at the beginning in the end. Whoever wants to come, will come.

I'm looking to arrange it for April, when the spring flowers are out, the birds are singing a little more, AND THERE IS A LOT LESS MUD ON THE TRACKS.

Because it was really muddy out there today, through the Willow Holt and along the wonderfully named "Baggarley Rack" section of the river. Luckily my traillies can just about handle it.

I'm hoping I've found a nice little 10km route for them away from main roads, past attractive bodies of water where today I saw a kingfisher flying and a cormorant sitting in a tree. There was waterfowl on the water and in people's gardens along the bank, the skies were grey but there were plenty of folk out walking and enjoying themselves.

And a lot of dogs that won't be allowed to go into the lounge until they've had a bath.

I ended up going 13km in the end, enjoying a cup of tea at Rumbles and wondering how well I might be able to persuade my colleagues to take in the route...


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.01.17

Friday 20 January 2017

More Rupertian Signs

As promised, I've moved into the pub interior to catch their metallic beauty and catchy slogans from a time where liver failure and cancer were concepts either totally unknown, or totally covered up.

Also they illustrate the innate conservatism of the country, the fact that Craven A cigarettes "Never vary" is seen as a positive thing, even though their major inertia is due to them never varying in their ability to clog up lungs.

There's a lot of money on these walls, that's for sure. Some of these signs would go for a fair whack to collectors, appreciative of their vivid colours that you just don't seem to get on modern signage.

Bit like bicycles I suppose. Steel carries colour better than aluminium for some reason.

This morning was freezing but beautiful as I rode into work. A waxing half moon looked down on a ground hugging mist, through which the teasels prortuded like fossilised trees. Lovely.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.01.17