Wednesday 28 February 2018

Cycling on the Edge of my Nerves

Yesterday wasn't particularly a problem here, but by heaven, today was. There wasn't much snow around first thing, but the moment I got to the end of my drive, a blizzard started that was full in my face and making it impossible for me to see all the way into work. But at least the roads and tracks weren't too bad.

However, after a morning of near continuous snow and falling temperatures going home was even more fun. I could barely ride for a large chunk of the journey, although some of my European colleagues were happy enough to go barrelling down a snowy hill, and when I finally found some clear road, a bunch of rough kids tried to chuck snowballs at me as I rode along with buses, lorries and all the white van men in Christendom driving along behind me.

My displeasure was very vocal.

Still, I've made it home, and another day looms. Hopefully I'll be able to find some kind of reasonable route.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.02.18

Monday 26 February 2018

The Gentle Snowfall

The "Beast from the East" has arrived but at the moment it is only rehearsing - we have had numerous snow flurries all throughout the day of a peculiar dry and almost hail-ly looking snow, but nothing that has really stuck.

That will change tomorrow morning, although god only knows at what time. Will it be before I ride to work, during, or after? How horrendous will the roads be? Will my hands turn purple and drop off?

Who knows. Chances are if it is really bad I will walk.

I saw my first lesser celandine in flower today as I walked around Beacon Hill, having decided to see what was in the nature reserve today. Not a lot, to be fair, but a big buzzard flapped by the sacred tree, and the world had a haunted look about it, as though it knew what was coming.

Brace yourselves.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.02.18

Sunday 25 February 2018

Weekend Odds and Sods

Today consisted of a walk round the park to the cafe, where everyone seemed rather rude today and I couldn't get a seat because "Oh, that one's taken" as they reserved every place for their families and their dogs and invisible friends.

I ended up walking my tea around town, at least my hands were warm as the rest of me was shredded by the bitter easterlies.

In the afternoon I slept when I didn't mean to, while some dimwitted sci fi film played on my DVD player, before I cycled down to cricket practice where the first teamers took the piss as usual, although I saw off their fast bowling when I was batting quite easily and didn't disgrace myself with the ball either.

Lots of flowers and brightness this weekend, but with no warmth in the air I haven't seen any insects at all. This week we will become a white snowy world, we are told, and my commute will be an agony of ice and cold.

Hopefully this will be the last spasm of winter.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.02.18

Saturday 24 February 2018

At Last - Goosander Shots!

I knew they'd be on the lake today, freezing weather always brings the more interesting ducks to the town waters. So it proved today, although as ever my photography is terribly "record shot" and everything is soft looking that isn't totally out of focus.

My hands are so shaky, it is impossible to for me to take steady hand held shots. I know it's only a bottom end bridge camera, but I should be able to get better pictures than these.

That being said, freezing my hands off on a bright cold day with a spine slicing wind blowing across the water, I've got a few shots where you can just about see what is going on.

The egrets are a bonus. Never been seen before on the Blue Lake, but we now seem to have three that have settled in for the winter, either squabbling or actually attempting to breed today. Again ,my shots of these were terrible.

Still, I will keep trying. Just being outside is nice enough!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.02.18

Wednesday 21 February 2018

A Bed in the Moss

You often read fantasy type novels - well maybe you do frankly I have no idea - where creatures are regarded as falling asleep on top of a soft bed of moss probably just next to a softy neighing unicorn and a spotted hobablop or something else.

Arthur C. Clarke made it a place of "adult" encounters as well. I think this was in "The Songs of Distant Earth", a wonderful book despite this cringy scene.

I've been taking a close up look at moss and frankly I wouldn't recommend going to sleep on it, fantasy creature or not. It is lush, green, and damp as hell. The only thing you'd catch would not be starlight from an elven maiden, but pneumonia.

It glistens, soft and moist and very green, and makes a rewarding subject for close up photographs. But I'm not going to sleep on it.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.02.18

Tuesday 20 February 2018

And Now, the Honeybees

Over the weekend, we have a had a new wave of emergences in the public gardens around town - I've seen my pretend squill friend glory-of-the-snows, grape hyacinth, star of bethlehem and the first two daffodils.

But when things emerge, it means other things are dying off. Snowdrops are still atrong, but as soon as they open fully, my beloved aconite begins to die which I always find a really sad time of the year; these are the only source of bright colour in the early spring.

But as they open, it at least means they can be pollinated. And yesterday, I came across a couple of slightly sluggish honeybees in action in the yellow flowers!

It's nearly March. The bees are about. When might I hear a chiff chaff.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.02.18

Sunday 18 February 2018

A Bright Day's Fishing

As you may have picked up over the years in this blog, I am very ambivalent about fishing. I don't like the damage waste can cause to wildlife, nor do I like how angling clubs obtain waters and make them inaccessible to the public, and / or make them very sterile for nature.

However, it does fascinate me because it is an outdoor past-time and I enjoy watching videos on youtube of anglers behaving in a responsible manner while enjoying their hobby. I also love fish, I love the way that as I walk by the River Devon they are cruising unseen beneath the waters.

Today a couple of anglers were struggling to tempt any from the river on what was actually a really pleasant day outside, a day where the great tits were singing their two tone song like fire engines and long tailed tits flitted in the orchard, really quite close to me.

Why are the smallest birds so unafraid?

So I had a cup of tea outside in the sun, and wandered some more, and finished the day off at cricket practice, bowling at the first teamers and hoping they didn't smash the ball back into my face.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.02.18