Tuesday 28 February 2017

The Changing of the Guard

This picture shows the ephemeral and rapidly changing nature of the season.

This little patch of aconite in the cemetery has only been in flower for less that two weeks, conditions being obviously more favourable in Friary Gardens for them.

However, they are on the way out, always the saddest loss for me, as I fond these little yellow blooms very attractive. Now the rather more plebeian daffodils are stomping all over them as they fade away for another year.

Rather insensitive. But I doubt flowers do empathy.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.02.17

Monday 27 February 2017

And it was all Violet

More walking today, so I'm keeping at least physically and mentally active as I wait for my leg to sort itself out. After the rather tepid weather of the last few days, we now have cold and a probable frost with us again, so back to having painful hands on my bike ride to work.

However this has not dissuaded common violet from sticking its head up in the last couple of days - I found these fellows next to Balderton Lake. They remind me of "The Black Flowers" of Gaia legend, that crop up at the end of the must-be-watched-by-all 80s TV thriller "The Edge of Darkness".

Didn't see any coltsfoot though, which is supposed to be the "February Flower"!


Sunday 26 February 2017

Just Keeping Tabs on the World

A pleasant pair of walks out today, one to the park for tea and walk around, then another up to the Beacon Hill reserve. The wind was blowing hard, and the birds were having a struggle making any headway into the breeze, the trees were rustling noisily.

I enjoyed it. When walking instead of running, you miss less, and have more time to just observe the world. Like notice the first grape hyacinth and spanish bluebell.

12 or so km walked in all. Not bad at all.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.02.17

Saturday 25 February 2017

The Next Wave of Emergence

So, a good few hours outside today, walking around, buying some more bits and pieces for my bicycle - including cleaning products far more expensive than ever Id spend on my flat, and taking note of the new wave of Spring emergences.

I do posts like this every year I know, well so what, it's my favourite time of the year, I love every new thing I see coming out in the parks and gardens I walk around.

Pretty aconite is now well over its sell by date here, and some snowdrops are getting a little tired too. The crocuses are now at their peak, and now the first lesser celandine and squill is showing up, with a burst of primrose and few dwarf daffodils as well.

Things, as ever, are moving along, the same as they have done every year of my life.


All images and text copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.02.17

Friday 24 February 2017

Love Birds

Came across these two sheltering in the Rupert Beer garden from the pouring rain and high winds of two nights ago! They were huddled quite close, and unlike the pigeon that crashed down my chimney a few years ago, they weren't startled by the flash.

Good news. After turning over the idea in my mind for a while, I finally decided to formally propose my idea of creating a wildflower meadow  on our huge site has been accepted. Me and an enthusiastic gardener are going to do a survey and cost it out next week, and then look into getting some seeds and looking for volunteer labour.

It may not work, but we'll see. I'm feeling quite pleased this idea took the fancy of the powers that be!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.02.17

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Still Life Sketching over a Pint

Not exactly Doctor Sketchy stuff, but I like doing it.

For some daft reason drawing, as opposed to photgraphy or writing, makes me feel a more cultured person. Pure snobbery on my part. Why does the ability to wield a pencil make you better?

Familial envy is another issue - everyone in my my family has a higher art qualification apart from me, be it graphic or fine.

Heaven knows what my talentless genes are a throwback to!


Monday 20 February 2017

Spring now Welcomes Irises

The dwarf irises have now appeared in their customary little row in the library gardens, there to greet the sun that made an appearance early morning, before hiding away again until it re-appeared in the late afternoon.

I love their yellow tongues, they almost look like a landing strip for bees. Not that there were any bees about today.

Today, I was able to get away with wearing a T-Shirt and a quilted shirt on top. My sister was sweltering in a vest top in London, where she had more sun than I did.

It meant, that as I spent a couple of hours walking around this afternoon, I found myself wondering if I would hear the song of a chiff chaff, or see a brimstone butterfly, but not that warm!

Two weeks, I reckon.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.02.17

Sunday 19 February 2017

Snowdrop Hall

Today the weather was pleasant enough for me to take to my bike for a spin today, first 20km plus one in a while.

I wanted to go and see if the snowdrop display at Kelham Hall was out yet - as you can see below, it was! - and just get some miles into my legs. The sun was already going in when I set out at 12, but as I headed into town I got a brief glimpse of something fluttering overhead, a black butterfy-flutterly shape that I'm guessing was probably a hardy red admiral.

Something else black I noticed was by the bypass roundabout, where in a little rubbish strewn dell next to this insanely busy junction, was a tent where someone had decided to live rough in a black tent. The milk and orange juice outside the tent flap was a nice homely touch, I thought.

And I thought there were only rough sleepers off the cycle path.

Kelham Hall was indeed white with little flowers, although it seems to be not as amazing as it was three or so years ago. Lots of other folk were out looking too, and amazingly there were campers and caravanners on site. Still a little chill for that, I would have said.

From there I cycled through Little Carllon and Bathley, quiet posh villages, on quiet roads, before heading over to North Muskham to have a look. Here I was delighted to see a beautiful drake goldeneye swimming about with a fleet of tufted duck.

They really are handsome!

Then, back into town for cafe stop and tea, as lots of folk on expensive Bianchi and Colnago racers flew past me!


All text and images copyright CreamCRackeredNature 19.02.17

Saturday 18 February 2017

Bees Again

The sun came out this afternoon, after muggins had been out this morning dressed for rather warmer weather than we actually got - far too cold for only 2 layers today!

Learned the lesson and donned rather more when I went out in the afternoon to have a long walk, resting my sore calf rather than make it totally unuseable. The crocuses are now going great guns in the cemetery, and again there were insects about when the sun came out - a rather sluggish honeybee hovering around a flower before having to have a rest on a blade of grass!

Another drone fly was feeding off aconite too, but didn't want to pose.

Had a bit of a faff at Harrods, I have vouchers which I want to use on giving my bike to some TLC, but after getting a gear cassette and chain, apparently a wheel costing less than I paid for the bike was too much of an ask.

Decathlon online then!

Bit of cycling tomorrow I fancy, perhaps the snowdrops at Kelham Hall.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.02.17

Thursday 16 February 2017

Trompe l'Oeil

Well it's not really a "Fool the Eye" job, but this mural has graced Appletongate in the town for as long as I can remember. I've always loved the low level fauna, the scurrying cat, the ducks in the river...it does have a rather dated feel to it I admit, and it's not going to make the owner of the house it's on rich like a Banksy, but it is a Pokemon stop.

I think.

Such are our cultural aspirations in this town.