Sunday 31 December 2017

The Mud of Barnby, Claypole and Balderton

I've done a ten mile walk today, as if to reinforce the point I made yesterday about the countryside around here just being a barren wasteland.

Today, it was muddy as well.

The first part of my walk was on tarmac however, and there was plenty to see in the fields next to the road. There were goldfinches aplenty, two or three flocks of redwing, and a big buzzard being harassed by a crow. A very noisy cockerel brought his hens over for a look at me. But after Barnby church, there was nothing apart from either empty pasture fields - no problem apart from the cowpats - or empty ploughed fields. I came across several of these today, and after the recent rain within 10 metres my shoes had grown to the size of canoes and weighed 5 kilos each. .

Bloody paths! They didn't exist. Rather irrationally, I began to curse all farmers for, I don't know, not putting paved paths everywhere. The only difference was the subtly difference colours of mud I found.

It all ended up being a rather grim slog through very unscenic land, the only highlights being the occasional footbridge traverse over water before taking on another hell hole of heavy soil. Every time I came across another such field I just wanted to scream.

Well, you can see a path on the OS map, but until you walk it, you have no real idea about the nature of the route.

Eventually I found my way back to civilization and the purchase of a very large bottle of rum!

Happy New Year everyone.


Saturday 30 December 2017

The Muddy Road to Kelham

After an aborted start in the morning, I set out on a walk to Kelham just to see what I might see. And frankly, to give you people something relatively new to see.

My poor cricket club is suffering a bit from the wet weather - there are standing water pools on the outfield - and the Trent is very high making me nervous about flooding. Our ground drowns in flood conditions as the water table is so high. My route took me past the club, then over some very very boggy meadows that left my new black walking boots rather brown in colour!

I would have taken in a game of rugby if there was one in progress, but there wasn't. They were all being forced to do boring training by the looks of things.

The walk to Kelham I think highlights one of the problems of the immediate area, and Nottinghamshire in general. It is rather boring, and isn't very pretty. The land is mainly flat and boringly agricultural, and usually very muddy. The footpaths are short cuts across mud between boring things. The main stand outs in the landscape are industrial ones.

Kelham at least is an attractive village, although today I wish that cafe that seemingly used to exist did so. I took photographs, wandered around, then made a mistake by heading for home along the muddiest path imaginable. It only led to the sugar factory as well.

Birds were hiding from the wind today, but I did encounter a lovely charm of goldfinches in a hedgerow, the hazy sun making their gold wing bars really glint as they skittered along as I flushed them.

Tomorrow, another walk awaits. But where?


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.12.17

Friday 29 December 2017

Rolling Around Town

Wet weather this morning, which was fine by me as I was rather dozy this morning and didn't feel like doing a lot.

When it did stop raining - by comparison there was a lot of heavy snow not too far away - I did get out, and just ambled around, eyes always open, always looking for something. 

The trees glittered in the sun; the frost had melted and left them decked in jewels. Sadly this just didn't show up in pictures which is a pity as they looked magical. The wind was zero, so the waters were as mirrors. Even the gulls were peaceful.

I've had a good Christmas on the present front. My hints about walking and hiking I've been taken, I've got a tent, lantern, stove, flasks and water bottle now. When I add to this a sleeping bag and mat, I'm ready to go. Excitement and adventure will hopefully follow. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.12.17

Thursday 28 December 2017

A Goldcrest in Winter

It was a freezing night, and this morning the ice had formed patterns all across the ground. Memories of my smashed elbow from 2005 are still strong, and I never feel very good on the ice.

But of course, I till got a seven mile walk in today. I've been averaging 15,000 steps plus over the Christmas period, so hopefully I won't bloat out too much. Today I rocked over to Hawton through the fields, having taken a little trip through the cemetery first to see if any aconite was ready to join the earliest of the snowdrops.

There wasn't, but I saw a treecreeper low on a trunk, just beginning its spiral to the top, and on the same tree, a little goldcrest doing its best hummingbird impression among the twigs, belying its movements with the gentle twitches of the woodwork. I had no proper camera however.

The other bird to make its presence felt today was the linnet - or rather linnets. A flock of them in their winter get up scared up from the hedgerows as I walked along, always keeping about 30 metres ahead of me, apart from one chap who decided to let me have a good look at him. He had lost his red breast of course, but he was still a smart bird, proud in the sun.

Looked better than me. My old red beanie has become a very saggy number.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.12.17

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Sun Glow

Just had a two hour walk this afternoon, finding my way along both the Trent and the Devon looking for photo opps and feeling my face being savaged by a cold wind. But I timed it right for the light, which was stunning when the sun came out at about 3pm.

I'll let you judge the results.

I've ben relatively good this Christmas, by thast I mean I haven't eaten every single thing under the sun to the point of feeling ill. I've not really drunk a lot either, I hate drinking during the day, it never makes me feel good. The evenings have foubnd me having a quiet rum and coke listening to Test Match Special, which has been bearable for the first time this winter!

Enjoy it all!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.12.17

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Got to Burn a Few Calories off!

Boxing day bright and crisp. After a late night sampling rum and listening to Test Match Special, it was good to be active again, atrocious weather having kept me inside on Christmas Day itself. That, and the fact I'd eaten so much I was left like a stranded seal.

So, I was slightly slow out of the blocks this morning, but I was out, chugging along, listening to the radio and taking in the sights as I visited Beacon Hill Park for the first time in a while, clambering through some quite muddy stretches of Clay Lane fields in order to do so.

I didn't really see very much nature wise, but it was enough to be outside and active on a lovely day, a nice two hour walking making me feel slightly better after all that eating, even though I feel I've been quite good this year.

Right, press ups time! Enjoy the time of year folks!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.12.17