Saturday 30 September 2017

The Dragonfly at the Park

It's been Sconce Fest today, where there has been some stalls, horse box coffee shops, and assorted caterwaulings by some kind of "Frozen" type entertainer and a reggae band featuring a very angry girlfriend of the drummer.

It also featured me running through it very very slowly indeed; after a good quick 6km last night, I did a rubbishly stodgy one today, my shoulder still isn;t right and keeps waking me up in the night, although it seems to be gradually improving.

This is of no concern to the female common darter I came across, which although having 4 shoulders (and 6 legs) didn't seem to be having any trouble with any of them. Instead it allowed itself to be filmed sitting on a post, although it didn't allow a shot to be taking of the time it spent sitting on my arms.

I've never had much on my arm; a dragonfly there was a mega bonus.


All text and images copyright CreamCRackeredNature 30.09.17

Friday 29 September 2017

A Rainbow in Every Sky

It's been the McMillan Coffee Morning today, an event we always throw ourselves into at work. At 8am this morning we were terrified that no-one was going to bring any cakes in; at 6pm I was sorting out sales of the enormous trolley load of cakes that we had left over.

I worked in a canteen with my Tourette colleague, as we sat setting each other off - it's so odd, his tics are mostly verbal ("MIDGETS!") and mine are physical. If I start flapping about he has to turn round so I don't set him off....when he says something my arm or my foot always jerks.

It did indeed go really well, although our particular stall was the worst of them, there not being a lot of "footfall" in our area, but we were able to sell some very nice home made cake to people - I was good, I never ate any - and some posh coffee as well.

It rained outside, but a rainbow rose above the car park, framing a hovering kestrel at one point. Nice people bought very gooey chocolate and tofeefee gateau thing. Someone's head got shaved, not mine thankfully. Money was raised. Calories piled on.

I've had a run tonight, the really painful shoulder blade I've had not stopping me doing 6km reasonably friskily. Damn shoulder, it's been keeping me awake.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.09.17

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Shaggy Ink Caps

Our campus at work is winding down, but a few honey bees and common carder bumbles feed off whatever blooms are left.

In the skies, a kestrel was chased out of the air by crows. Further round, a buzzard was chased out of the air by crows, only it keened sadly as it did so. A way off, two more buzzards gained the thermals unmolested; they must have paid the crows off.

Autumn is here, the sun has now given up trying to save itself from drowning against the celestial equator. As a stark reminder of this, the spongy looking protuberances of shaggy ink caps are above the ground. Decaying the moment they break forth, some are still white but others are already dripping away their spores in a drizzle of blackness.

As soon as they are born they are dying, just like us, just like everything. Apart from a rock.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.09.17

Monday 25 September 2017

The Weir and the River

Been struggling today with a strange pain in my back in the vicinity of my right shoulderblade. Every so often when I'm lying down, I'll turn to the side and get a polite reminder in the form of a stabbing pain deep in the muscle somewhere.

I think the damage has done by violent stimming / ticcing. I'm always ricking, pulling, tearing and tweaking parts of my body in that fashion.

So, I had a walk this afternoon, on a day that was a very peculiar grey colour all day, with occasional this washes of blue beyond as the low level cover thinned in localised areas. Occasionally there were spots of rain, but nothing drastic. It was rather mild as well, so it ended up being a T-Shirt sort of afternoon, as I walked the park and the sides of the River Trent, looking for things of interest.

Eventually I took myself onto what is known as "Bob's Island" or "Pelham Island", a well known fishery by Millgate Bridge where part of the river falls down a weir. Often it is locked up, especially when a well known pair of swans used to nest there, but today you could walk around and look at the old backs of buildings and the various little drops and backwaters that make up the "coast".

It is a loud place, with three weirs making the water roar like a mythical beast. AS I've noticed by the weir at the north end of town, there is a chemical, slightly toxic taint to the air even though the river is supposed to be cleaner than it has been in hundreds of years.

Nothing has dissolved, so I seem to be ok.

Himalayan balsam still blooms, but is tired now, and the blackberries have mostly long gone apart from a few in the dog wee zone. Such is the season. What shall I do over winter to stay active.


Sunday 24 September 2017

The Last Gasp of Summer

Today was the nicest day we've had for a little while; warm T-Shirt weather, fair skies, no wind, and no smell of sugar factory because of aforesaid lack of wind.

I've been out a fair bit today, although crucially I missed the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight going over the cemetery to commemorate the Warsaw airlift; a Lancaster and a Hurricane 2C. They flew over my house 3 times but I couldn't get a shot of them because of the trees.

Luckily the butterflies were a bit more forthcoming, especially a lovely speckled wood I found in the old oak wood at the park on my morning walk. I manoevered my fat ugly shadow as not to fall onto the little flutterer, and I was able to get some rather nice pictures - I always find the little eyes and faces of butterflies hilarious for some reason.

What butterflies think of my giant distorted face looming towards them is not recorded.

There was an ivy bush busy and buzzy with hoverflies and a couple of languidly flapping red admirals. Again, they co-operated.

"Co-operated" - makes me sound like I've been interrogating them or something. "Give me a photograph or I'll pull your wings off!"

I'm not that cruel.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.09.17

Friday 22 September 2017

A Ten Mile Odyssey

Today I fancied taking a walk out along the Trent Valley Way as far as my little legs would carry me, out to Collingham and possibly beyond, a real all dayer, a big adventure, using my online OS map on my phone to see me safely on my way, to listen to clever radio all day, and return tired but improved.

I of course always fail to remember my impatience.

I cannot do anything slowly; walking steadily somewhere seems alien, it takes too long out of the day, it doesn't burn enough calories. I had barely taken a step out of my front door when I immediately began to make a trot, and then a jog.

A jog was all it was going to be, I'm not running with any freedom at all at the moment - not like I'm an Allyson Felix like gazelle of an athlete at the best of times - and I soon started feeling a bit sore. I kept on going, dodging the stretch of river now claimed by scrap dealing fishermen, and ran under the bypass into Winthorpe and beyond.

The Trent Valley Way starts as an off track route just out of Winthorpe, and follows what I'm guessing is a disused railway embankment along the side of the Trent. Being worn grassland it is a lot easier on the body to run on, but there are some muddy bits to catch you unawares and send you sprawling disgracefully down the bank. If you are unlucky this will involve sliding through dog mess as well.

I stayed on my feet today, but I knew I wasn't going to get any further than Holme Village, especially as my path was becoming strewn with more and more cowpats. Joy joy joy. Saving the long trip for another day, I turned off the route onto a footpath that led me into Holme.

Holme is a small village of less than 200 people and no facilities - no pub means no Si ever living there - but it is pretty enough. The church of St Giles is probably the most impressive small church in the area, with it's impressive fascia above the door, turret, and steeple.

Corn marigold is growing round the walls, and speedwell is out again on the pathway.

I returned by a slightly different route that took me around Winthorpe fishing lake. The concrete barge is a legendary fixture, now part of the landscape to the extent it has trees growing in it. But again, it is a sterile place, for for fishing but not much else, with only a solitary gull out on the water.

I was getting very creaky, and my trot back to town was very laboured. I ended up doing 10 miles.

I felt I had earned my Aldi Sunny Delight!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.09.17

Thursday 21 September 2017

Befriending a Cat

This little set of pictures perfectly tells the story of how a visiting cat made friends with me today. Little more needs to be said.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.07.17

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Two Wheels not Two Legs

Two Wheels Good, Two Legs Bad.

The Animal Farm version of today.

So, Wednesday's exercise consisted of me riding the route of the charity bike ride I arranged for work last year, around the local South Notts villages of Cotham, Sibthorpe, Hawksworth, Scarrington, Car Colston, Screveton and FLintham before making a fast (ha ha) ride home.

Just like the charity ride last year, it was a rotten headwind all the way out, to the extent that my second 20km home was twice as fast as the outward bound journey. It was good to get a long 40km ride in however, to try and get the calories burning and the legs spinning in time for the dread winter commute.

I also saw some autumn cyclamen, Which I've been hoping to come across for a while. It wasn't really a sightseeing day however, it was just a little grey and gloomy, and I could see distant rainclouds I didn't want to get caught in. Metaphor for life! I stopped for the churches, for they had flowers growing and in Scarrington's case Cockerel's strutting, and the Screveton giants are always worth a viewing, especially as swallows and house martins feed themselves up around them.

Next day or two, they are gone for warmer climes, as I wish I could be.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.09.17

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Never Mind the Injuries, Just Run

Well, remember me telling you how sore I was yesterday and how stupid I was for running. Well today I'm going to do exactly the same.

I was supposed to walk or cycle today, no runnng at all with my sore back and groin strain, but as it turned out I had a sudden bad feeling about cycling, and walking seemed to be far too slow, so I ended up very gently running towards Farndon with no expectation of going very far, and ended up doing 11.2km.

Well it was such a nice afternoon I didn't want to waste it.

There ended up being plenty to see as well, my camera took some great dragonfly shots!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.09.17