Saturday 31 March 2018

Bark and Moss

I don't have a lot  for you today, the weather has been terrible, and I've been terribly tired again.

Normally I don't mind walking i the rain, but today a terrible lethargy was upon me again. The strange goings on around the lakes and the cycle track has also been very off putting - two men have been bailed over Friday's shooting.

No doubt things will be ok tomorrow. I had a good active day yesterday, so not all is lost. Tomorrow will be better. God, soon there must be better weather; I have a tent and all sorts of bits and bobs to test out, and that walk in Nottingham to do.

Frustrated! This weather is no good for nature  spotting!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 31.03.18

Friday 30 March 2018

The Procession

Today is Good Friday, and these days, away from my  old four on four off shift pattern, I get to have this holy day off in order to do a wide variety of not very holy things, like lying in, or shopping, or playing "World of Tanks" on my tablet.

It was an ok morning, but the rain did arrive in the end and not a  lot of insect life was about. However, as I went looking for bees in the library garden, I did come across a large group of folk outside the library entrance.

Now recently Pokemon hunting seems to have come back into fashion as folk have been going round the gardens doing Pikachu catching things after a long absence. But today they weren't after Japanese monsters, but rather a religious experience. They had a large cross with them, which made me think they had come for me at last.

It was the local Sally Army leading a Stations of the Cross musical procession around town. I recognised the leader as we had arranged a toy donation through work with him - rather young for a Captain I'd thought, and  not at all like Thora Hird.

I'm not a religious person at all, but I do like to see folk doing stuff around town. Especially when we seem to have had a mini outbreak of gang warfare - a shooting yesterday on Clay Lane park where I run as well as other unpleasant incidents - and need a bit of a reclamation of the streets.

This afternoon, I did go running but  along the trails away from Clay Lane and the cycle path where the bad stuff has been happening. 7km, in reasonable time, and nice cup of tea to finish!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.03.18

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Primrose (Four Different Ones)

With apologies to Pink Floyd for the title...

Back into my working week with a slightly soggy commute this morning and  not a whole lot to see. I've been working on a cycling project at work that will hopefully prove very beneficial. I've been doing a lot of reading and writing outside of it, despite a shot space bar on my chromebook.

My folks' garden has come to life recently, with a camellia that seems to have been flowering since Christmas and is even more rampant now, and primroses growing around the verges.

There four different colours in bloom, and very nice they look too. I can't think if pollinators are all that hot for them, but  I haven't really  had a close look yet. Hopefully we will see in the coming fortnight once get this irritating new cold spell out of the way.

Just need a bit  of warmth so we start cricket practice outside.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.03.18

Monday 26 March 2018

Ladybird Ladybird

Was trundling around the library gardens this morning, bright but again like yesterday not super mild, looking for butterflies to snap.

A small tortoiseshell did flutter by, but it didn't settle so there was no chance to get a photograph - nectar  sources not exactly numerous at the moment in the library area so the butterfly evidently thought it was best to keep moving.

However, it became quickly apparent that the whole place was full of 7 spot ladybirds trying to keep out of the wind while staying in the sun to warm themselves up. One little hedge plant was totally full of them, and not a harlequin in sight.

In general it was a little colder today, and so there weren't quite as many insects to be seen. I ran 9km in the afternoon - it was only meant to be 7 but the lady in Asda messed up my electricity key payment - and I didn't hear a chiffchaff either.

That can only be a matter of days though.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.03.18

Sunday 25 March 2018

Now, here's Springtime!

When I awoke to find that the sky was crystal blue and that mysterious yellow object was actually out,I knew it would be a good day to be out and about. I spent about three hours outside before cricket practice, and it was lovely, although not super mild.

I hadn't gone far when in the space of two minutes a small tortoiseshell and then a brilliant yellow brimstone butterfly fluttered across my path. The brimstone to me is a true signifier that spring has arrived; I hope the forecast cold Easter doesn't make a mockery of this.

In Friary Gardens, honeybees and drone flies were feeding off the glory of the snows, and a huge buff tailed bumble queen thrummed past. There were a few around today.

I was listening out for chiff chaffs, but no sign of that distinctive call in Sconce Park as I wandered through before a sit in the sun and a cup of tea. The smell of the blossom was lovely.

Really enjoyed it out there today. I hope I get to see many such days this year. Sounds a bit soppy I know, but I need days like this. Keeps my head in order.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.03.18

Saturday 24 March 2018

Exhausted Again

Well, it's been another blank SAturday,just about managed to walk into town afterIwoke up,before going back home and ending up sleeping for another 6 hours. No running, no exercise, nothing.

I didn't even dream. It was just waking up as if time hadn't passed but it had.

I think if I'm going to be like this then I need this vehicle to get around.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.03.18

Friday 23 March 2018

Pictorial Oddments

I've had a busy week at work, encompassing moving our office to another building - never fun someone who has a grouchy sciatic back from time to time - but we had a successful second day of doggy fundraising and I've managed to sort out various certificates and awards and other things.

The weather today started cold with a nasty wind, but this gave way to a pleasant afternoon which was just as well, seeing as I was back and forth across campus all day. No bees to be seen alas, but there was a very cute and not at all shy dunnock who blasted out his laser beam song at very close range, chest puffed out into the sun.

The blackbirds have been singing in my garden at dusk too, which is a very happy sound to hear. Hopefully they aren't going to get another dose of horrific weather to dampen their ardour, as some have forecast.

Just got a few random pictures from this week, hope you enjoy them.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.03.18

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Pink Footed Goose having a Stretch

The pink footed goose that has moved onto the Balderton Blue Lake was very obliging yesterday when it came to a photo opportunity. It grazed off the grass with its two companion geese, a canada and the greylag it has been inseparable from since it arrived.

As well as here, someone claims to have spotted the same bird on another water about 15 miles away, declaring it as a "feral" and therefore not a real pink footed goose you can claim to have ticked off, rather a sort of pretend bird because it lives on a farm or ornamental lake.

Well I was happy enough to see it, I've never seen one other than miles up in the air in a loudly honking echelon, and this one gave me a chance to get some half decent photographs as it had a dainty little stretch.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.03.18

Monday 19 March 2018

A Birding Run!

Well for once on a Monday my left ankle wasn't bothering me, so I took the opportunity to try out my recently delivered Decathlon  running jacket and take my bridge camera to the Blue Lake to see what birds I might find.

Also, if I did find any, to take better photographs than last time.

So, on a bright day where the chill wind blew far too strongly for it ever to be considered springlike, clad in an orange jacket that would scare away any bird that wasn't blind, I ran up to the lake and was glad to see that there was at least one egret in situ on the little island. I tried to sneak up behind a tree, got a couple of shots there trying to lean the camera on a tree. The bird then caught sight of me, then relocated, so I shuffled around and got more shots.

It's a hard bird to photograph  I think, being so damn bright!

There were female goosander around  too, but they were being very elusive. Other birds I captured will be showcased in the  next few days.

As for the jacket, I felt rather like a kumquat, but it did seem to deal with the wind quite well. Shouldn't have run the Tresspass traillies though, as I've said before  that's like running in drinks coasters.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.03.18

Sunday 18 March 2018


Last night was freezing, but beautiful.

It snowed until 2am, and as there were very few people about it lay on the ground, pure egret white, and undisturbed. It glowed in the street lights as it fell.

It was stark and wonderful.


All text and images copyright CreamCRackeredNature 18.03.18

Saturday 17 March 2018

Blizzarding Nature


It's been really wild today, if luckily not in such sustained bursts as we had during the other "Beast from the East". All day there have been half hour blizzard periods, with a hailstorm thrown in, and the fierce wind has been blowing spindrift all around the place even when the gods turned the snow off.

As I write this, rather pathetically watching Casualty on my own, it is still falling and settling.

I've been out for a couple of walks today, and my face feels rather sandblasted, but even in the cold I always enjoy it. The flowers are wearing white caps, shivering in the breeze, and the small birds are hiding away. Even a cormorant was finding that the water was too cold, and decided to merely watch the choppy surface of London Road pond rather than fish. A fleet of ducks sailed in the distance on the Blue Lake but it was so wild I couldn't tell if they were goosander or not.

The black headed gulls tried to huddle round the lee of the peninsula in the lake, to avoid their feathery decks getting swamped.

The glory of the snows now had some snow to be glorious in, but they weren't looking particularly pleased.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.03.18