Friday 31 March 2017

A Refreshing Blast of Colour

I saw plenty of that on the sunny days last weekend, while tonight I've been under a clear sky having a gentle evening walk for an hour, enjoying the church lit up, and a thin crescent moon occasionally gauzing itself in thin cloud.

The apparition of Venus is over, it is now at conjunction. Jupiter is more or less at opposition however, and dominates the night sky, with Spica, the blue star that leads Virgo, in close attendance.

Me, I've got some cycling and walking to do tomorrow, before I lead a 10km walk with folk from work who probably won't show up.

We'll see!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 31.03.17

Thursday 30 March 2017

Quackers not Quakers

The River Devon mallards are looking at their finest, and acting at their feistiest. There's a fair bit of scrapping, mating, and very angry swimming going on, the high speed head down variety.

They don't take it as far as the coots though. I've watched a coot take off and fly 50 plus metres in order to attack another bird minding its own business elsewhere!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.03.17

Monday 27 March 2017

Super-Duper Butterflies and Bees

I've been neglectful of my bridge camera photography lately, so recently I've been trying to remedy that, especially now that with better weather there is more to photograph.

The bees and butterflies in the park have certainly proved a rewarding, if frustrating occupation; to get a shot of a resting brimstone is an absolute miracle and even the small tortoiseshells who sometimes give you a chance, have been fast moving, presumably not finding a lot to guzzle on in each lesser celandine.

Likewise that female tawny mining bee. These things have been hurtling around everywhere there is accessible dry ground to burrow in, so to catch one at rest was pretty amazing!



All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.03.17

Sunday 26 March 2017

Andrena Bees-A-Go-Go

Today, as well as the ever present fast moving hairy footed flower bees, I've seen other little bees on the go, little solitary bees, possibly relatives of the tawny mining bees (Andrena Fulva) that are also hurtling around everywhere.

Indeed Andrena. This is the generic name for the mining bee family, and this specimen is possibly denticulata looking at the guides I've seen. It was enjoying the last blossoming tree in the park orchard, while brimstones, small torts and a comma butterflies around on this most gorgeous day of the year so far.

Enjoy the sun!


All text and images copyright CreamCRackeredNature 26.03.17

Saturday 25 March 2017

Celandine World

They really are flowering en masse around here at the moment, even in gardens. Today, small tortoiseshells were using them to nectar off on this staggeringly beautiful spring day. It really has been wonderful, but still no chiff chaff song! Have usually heard them by now, the dainty but elusive little sods!

9km of running today, which is good I'd say, the shorts have even reappeared for these purposes, which is scary but as you may have seen I do have good legs you know!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.03.17

Friday 24 March 2017

A Daffodil by Night

I've not been doing much running lately, thinking it had given me a calf strain that was affecting my bowling.

I've learned this week that the actuality is the other way round. I've run 6km tonight with no pain. On Wednesday I bowled one ball before my calf went. I think the issue has been proved!

So, that's a rest from cricket for a couple of weeks before outdoor training starts in April. Meanwhile, I can do some more careful running, with some walking and cycling, and hopefully shift a little weight I've put on.

I've been busy trying to get my wildlife garden plans through at work, all seems good there but I've had to write to the local councils and highway agency about litter picking, and yes, for H and S reasons I've had to contact our insurers.

It's not all that bad, I thought we'd hit trouble over attracting bees in case anyone complained about allergic reaction risk. Not an issue at all!

Tonight's run took me along the edge of the cemetery, and even at night, the daffodils are looking bright and cheery.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.03.17

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Miscellaneous Miscellania

Spawn, newts, and heaven knows what else I'll find when I open up my photos folder immediately after this...


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.03.17

Monday 20 March 2017

Magnolia Town

It's that time of the year when all the magnolia trees shed their little furry cases they've been sporting since February, and their magnificent flowers erupt into view, the most beautiful blooms sported by any tree.

Beautiful yes, but useless, I tend not to see any pollinators on these flowers. But at the moment they are making the town look stunning.

This at a time when the crocuses have suddenly gone, and the glory of the snows is on the way out too. Another time of change. The spanish bluebells have started appearing in sporadic locations, and the various white flowers I can never identify are appearing too - by the library where the flower bees feed off them, a few in Friary Gardens.

Soon saxifrage will be rampant in the cemetery. Everything is very ephemeral during spring.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.03.17