Saturday, 22 September 2018

Tarty Grapes

Remember the post I made a few weeks ago about the grapes on the vine out back?

Well they have now ripened to the extent that I was able to taste a few; the nip at night hasn't been sufficient to kill off their development, they have darkened to a deep purple - red.

But how would they taste?

Well, I think it's safe to say that we aren't going to be calling up the juice man from Del Monte, assuming he isn't dead. They were distinctly sharp. But we've never had them grow to any kind of edible condition before.

The first thing I've ever eaten from that garden.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.09.18

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

A Silver Y

Turned the light on in what I laughably refer to as "The Study" and all hell broke loose, in a small sense of the word, as a fluttering object erupted out from a corner of a bookshelf and started battering itself against a lightshade.

I had a good idea of what it was, but only after it eventually settled back into its little corner and allowed me to get a camera shot. A lovely silver y moth, in great condition.

They do seem to last late on into the season, I've seen them in October in Scotland.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.09.18

Monday, 17 September 2018

A Comma in the Sunshine

I got in another run today, a little quicker but also a little shorter - 7.3km.

I wasn't in time to get to Rumbles for a cup of tea, so I had to go into town for a different treat - a can of Rubicon guava drink, quite simply the best single canned drink there is in my view. Bloody zingy and refreshing.

Of the run itself, one little highlight presented  itself. I'd gone along the cycle path along the railway line to see if the various still flowering budleia bushes were attracting anything in the sun.

And indeed they were, for on one of the larger bushes just by the bridge where the older drinkers go at night; the teenage dope smokers use the bridges nearer the pond. It was a lovely comma, wings with those peculiar leafy points, the grammatical symbol that gives the butterfly its name clear on the underwing.

There's been so few of these late season second flighters this year - barely a peacock or red admiral to be seen either. This strange year seems to have done for them, while others like meadow brown, small copper and holly blue have done well.

2018. Crazy.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.09.18

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Back on the Running Game

So, no cricket, a nice day, and feeling a bit more energetic.

It must be time to go running.

So, off I went to get into my too tight running leggings and gilet with the  pocket with the broken zip, and out I went, through the cemetery, past the new sports village where the running track is springing up at incredible speed, and then across the fields to Hawton church.

I felt like I was going  quite well, but Strava later told me otherwise. Sodding gadget! Nevertheless, it felt good, running along the bit of the middle beck they haven't yet started building boxy little houses on. Common darters and migrant hawkers were on patrol, and a solitary green veined white was feeding off occasional bramble flowers.

There is still a bit of valerian at the house at Valerian Corner, and carder bumbles fed on whatever they could in Hawton churchyard. And then there was woman's football on the park, before I drank a well earned tea at Rumbles.

9.2km in all, and who cares if it was very slow.


All text and images copyright 16.09.18

Saturday, 15 September 2018

A Small Copper in the Park

No cricket, but boy did I waste the day with a four hour afternoon sleep.

Yes cricket or not it was another of those exhausted days  - well I did do 4 work outs Tuesday to Friday so I probably am that knackered. But it is disappointing to miss free time likethat.

I did go to the  park again this morning  for a cup of tea, and was lucky enough  to spot this slightly ragged but still lovely small copper, not massively active on a dull and  breezy day.

I've seen a few this year, more than the last couple. As for peacocks and commas, forget it.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.09.18

Thursday, 13 September 2018

They Destroyed the Passion!

I noticed yesterday evening that there was a magnificent passion flower bush just up the road from here and resolved to wander up tonight and take some photographs of it.

When I did so, I found that they had cropped the bloody thing right back and hacked off virtually every flower on it. So rather than have another blank posting day, I'd just snap a few of the gardens around it.

Don't blame me, blame the aesthetically challenged folk from up the road.

So my Tourette's has been a bit less problematic the last few days but I'm still quite hyper and restless. I have an entire free weekend upcoming and I intend to be a bit more productive than I am now - I am currently watching "Moonraker" on ITV4.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.09.18

Monday, 10 September 2018

Nothing but Flowers

So, I've done very little today, apart from have a short wander around to the garden that's always full of flowers just down  the  road, and other gardens too, and South Parade Park, and Ewalina's garden next door.

That's too many "ands" I know.

The ivy down my drive is just coming into flower and the wasps are starting to investigate. Normally at its peak, there aren't any bees around to feed off it and  it is left to grumpy wasps and flies.

I've been to the doctor's today for a meds related check-up. Doctor thinks a higher dose may help me but I will hang fire for now. My blood pressure is good, my heart rate of 64 indicating I'm in good shape for my age. Tourettes aside, lol.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 10.09.18

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Waving my Arms in the Air

That's the name of a Syd Barrett song, and it is significant relating to what I did today. A bit.

So, the now traditional season closer at Upton cricket club took place today, as usual the wind was blowing a hoolie at this quite elevated ground, and it was a bit colder and mizzlier than the weather  forecast would have indicated.

We fielded first, and entrusted with the new ball despite the fact I'm pretty underbowled and rusty having spent most of my last few games playing in the 2nds and (once) the firsts was hoping to ease my way back into things.

Instead I encountered the suave batsman who has played for us a bit, and a mutant 7 foot tall left handed batsman with a very thick bat. Very different in appearance, they both had the same intention - to hit me over the hedges that ringed the ground.  This they proceeded to so with some ease, despite me producing my usual edge beating swingers amidst the carnage. I did manage to get Mr Suave out eventually, but the real damage was done by the left hander, who was able to hit any ball I bowled over the boundary at will.

He wasn't doing it just to me by the way, I just got the worst of it. I always theorise that in the team my job is to get hammered by the power hitters so it doesn't happen to the juniors. It was our best junior bowler on the day who got him out in the end, after I'd been banished to field for being rubbish.

Still, it doesn't bother me, I love bowling in any circumstances. It also gave me a chance to watch the twirping house martins and swallows feeding themselves up above the match, with the traditional tower of haystacks overlooking one end.

After what seemed like a long 35 overs, Upton had made 227-7 or thereabouts.

Tea was an excellent spread - hello roast beef and actual half sandwiches - and I ate rather a lot of it safe in the knowledge that despite being in decent form I'd be batting at 11  as usual. However, it did turn out I'd be needed to umpire, and rather than die of boredom at square leg I decided to umpire an end properly.

This gave me the excuse to wave my Touretty arms around for a legitimate purpose, which was rather fun. As our reliable 3rd team opener belted an excellent 50 I was able to do some excellent arm waving signalling 4s, legbyes, a no ball, and some other thing. Dead ball, that was it.

We were never really in touch with the run rate, and I was disappointed not to bat as we scored 157-3. Our young opener batted right through for 20 odd not out, which is a major achevement and  augurs well for next year.

Me I'm sad to put my whites away.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 09.09.18

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Just Playing with the Splash Filter

I thought this kind of effect could only be achieved with a lot of fiddling with two layers in pixlr - it turns out my phone will do it quite happy at the press of a button and a swoosh of the finger.

The reappearance of rain has brought the return of a few wildflowers to the unmown verges at work, including a very vivid marigold looking creation that seems to have been blown in on the winds from somewhere.

"Blown in on the winds" is how I've been feeling, Tourettes having been quite wild the last few days, which has been entertaining for the office staff at any rate. All that energy being expired at work has been leading to me feeling rather low in the evenings however.

But such is the way of things. I really could not imagine living life any other way.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 06.09.18

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Garden Micro-adventure

Sunday night, a little fed up and bored and with it being a warm starry night, I thought "Bugger it, stars are out, I'm going to sleep under them!"

Such ideas are best acted upon on impulse, before you have a chance to think about them.

I quickly grabbed and unwrapped my as yet unused sleeping bag and mat, and took them outside onto my little patch of front garden. I had on my fleece and tracksuit bottom, and my little wind up lantern added to the sense of (very low level) adventure.

I pitched up, got in, rested my head upon the old cushion laid out on the ground, looked up at the stars and failed to fall asleep.

I failed to fall asleep for a fair while actually, as although the silver mat kept me well insulated from the ground, it didn't provide much in the way of cushioning  and it wasn't massively comfortable. And then when I did, I was woken up by Falco from next door and his owners looking in and wondering what the hell was going on. They work nights you see, and  although we are up  a secluded drive, we have front gardens rather than rear ones.

They thought I was mad, probably.

Indeed, so mad that Ewalina came out a little later in her dressing gown and explained she couldn't sleep for worrying I had lost my house keys. I explained that I was fine and I wanted to test out my camping gear on a nice dry evening. Surprisingly she agreed with us, saying she loved the outdoors as well.

A  surreal conversation at 4am.

Next up, I was woken at 530 by the dawn chorus and in particular the angry football rattle sound of a couple of squabbling magpies amidst the usual chirps and whistles. The thing that became apparent was how different the air felt on my face, how fresh and calming it was.

I then slept through until 9am, when the other goggle eyed neighbour appeared to hear my daft  explanation. Ah well. Those nearest to me think I'm insane, and I don't care.

It was practice for further adventures.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 04.09.18

Monday, 3 September 2018

Along the Cycle Path

After a little micro adventure where I slept in my garden last night, I felt really lethargic again today. But I did manage to beat it enough to have a rather stiff 5km run along the cycle path.

It's still a good place to run and look for nature, but I could do without the snotty dope smoking teenagers you occasionally find on it. There's still flowers about - buddleia, the two sorts of willow herb, plenty of toadflax to attract pollinators - but the birds aren't back from their post breeding season holidays yet. The ducks aren't coming out of eclipse yet either.

I'm wondering how best to stay active this winter, and how I can cycle, run and maybe even camp. THere's a lot of life I need to start living.


All  text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 03.09.18