Tuesday 29 May 2018


On my way home from work, I paused on our cycle path to see what was about in the rough field that lies North of our main campus buildings.

A little later in the year, there will be 5 spot burnet moths everywhere, forming huge mothy clumps on the flowering teasel. Meadow browns and ringlets also love this area.

At the moment, random clumps of iris have grown, and there are plenty of these emerald green insects on the various flowers. Like little jewels glinting in  the sun.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.05.18

Monday 28 May 2018

All Sorts of Bees

I thought the weather might have broken before today, but no, it's been very hot today. After the weekend's cricket exertions, I didn't really feel like doing anything strenuous - I must be getting even older - and just pottered about.

Walk into town, shopping...

Gardening, grass cutting, plant watering, shirt off like Henry Ramsey in Neighbours (the classic era)...

Walk down to the river...

Lol about in garden listening to "Infinite Monkey Cage" podcast...

Long bath watching Blakes 7 final "Blake" episode...

Unconstructive, but nice.

Pictures are of various bees I met today - bumble, honey, and solitary species. The one on ragwort might be a mason.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.05.18

Sunday 27 May 2018

Away Game in Sri Lanka

Off we went, the brave adventurers of the Newark R and M Sunday team, the team that gets the hardest games in the most far away locations no matter what we do.

Today we were off to beyond Nottingham to play Notts Arnold Amateur 3rd team at faraway Goosedale Lane, my fourth visit to this venue and last year where I went for 73 runs in 8 overs.

When we got to  the ground, we found that our opponents to a man came from Sri Lanka - they were wearing Sri Lanka jumpers, Sri Lanka hats, Sri Lanka badges and one of them looked just like Muttuah Muralitharan.

They were a nice bunch of guys, but their names were a little hard for our score to make out when shouted from the middle on a day when the wind was getting up and we were expecting thunderstorms later on.

We batted first, and with me at 10, I figured I'd have time to relax and explore the surroundings a little. But I ended up having to umpire from square leg,which at least gave me a chance to watch our openers do really well against some decent pace bowling. By "pace" by the way, I mean "too quick for me" which in practice is anyone who bowls off more than a 6 pace run. Having said that these guys, one of whom was a massive bloke with dreadlocks down his back, were genuinely very good bowlers.

After my umpiring stint, things started going a little wrong, and I thought I'd get some nature spotting done. Worth it too, as I found my first soldier beetles of the year, had a close encounter with a cinnabar moth, and came across a blue tailed damselfly.

Every so often geese came over, looking for targets to bomb.

We fought and fought, but it was hard and I came in at 97 for 8. I lasted two balls, being yorked by a good ball, to be fair. Very soon after this, it was 97 all out.

As I keep saying, I hate fielding second as it means I can't eat about three teas and eat three more while waiting to bat. Grrrrr. The sacrifice was worth it, as I ended up opening the bowling.

I thought I'd be so stiff I wouldn't be able to move, but with the wind behind me it felt so easy. I bowled their opening bat after about three balls, and their left handed number 3 failed to lay a bat on me for my first three overs. I just wish I could bottle the rhythym, pace and movement I had in my first 4 overs, although not the 2 catches I had dropped off me. I think I bowled a bit better than 1-29 off 7. But once good bats get in, they take you on.

Our off spinner was better prepared for bowling at good bats, and he took two good wickets, before a pugnacious little chap, and the dreadlocked giant blasted them to victory. But we made them work a lot harder than they thought, nice chaps though they were.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.05.18

Saturday 26 May 2018

Thurgarton Manor, for the Third Time

So, a cricket ground where I used to take my first ever girlfriend for a walk back when I was 17 and skinny as a rake. The ground, beautiful on hot day with its ancient trees inside the boundary ropes, hasn't changed much probably since the club was founded in 1874, but I have.

We were a bit of a scratch side today, but still as it turned out a good one, but luck wasn't with us right from the off as our leading quick bowler knocked over their opening bat, only to rip an arm muscle soon after.

Meanwhile Fiskerton and Thurgarton had a cancelled game, and so a couple of their second teamers were playing for them. I, opening the bowling for the first time this year for the third team, had to do a fair bit of bowling at two of them and, ruined as my body is with legs so stiff I can barely run, I did ok after a shaky start. They were very good though, and I had to cope with being spanked for the odd four.

I did get one of them, bowling him  with an inswinging delivery not long after the skipper, who is claiming to be semi-retired, dropped a catch off me.

Seeing as he then took a far harder catch off one of our excellent juniors a little while later, who is in his fantasy team unlike myself - I am in nobody's fantasy team - I am beginning to get a whiff of corruption. Ten overs I bowled, and it was tiringly hot out there.

The bad news continued when our young keeper injured a finger, and we were down to ten in the field, one of whom was our injured bowler who had to resort to shot putting the ball in like a more attractive version of an 80s Soviet female putter. Luckily his girlfriend, drafted into the side today, fielded well enough for three of us. I felt old and creaky.

The skipper also forgot his retirement long enough to bowl as well, and for a while we were back in the game and getting on top, before another of their experienced batsman, helped take them over 200. I felt I had earned the massive tea I then ate.

Chicken tikka sandwiches for the win.

I rather regretted the decision to eat a lot when the skipper decided I should bat at 5 while he lay on his back and relaxed. It's apparently a form choice. I was flattered, but I'm a little high at 5. Didn't do too badly, got 15 and was annoyed to get myself out LBW when I felt I could have got a fair few more. Other bats did well, others less so. The wicket was so slow by this point you needed a spade to get at the ball off their canny old spinner.

We fell for 104. Still a lovely game though, at a ground through which the Brimstones flew, and swallows skimmed.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.05.18

Friday 25 May 2018

Nottingham City "Airport"

I love airports. I love airliners. I love aircraft. I love airlines.

But small ones. Does Heathrow have any charm? No, it's just a huge people shifting factory distinguished for probably having the greatest concentration of multi coloured cocktail cigarettes in the known universe. The planes are large, white, sleek and characterless, while the airlines are megacorps spouting advertising designed to make flying seem a joy rather than several hours trapped in stale air within a metal death tube.

Today I was at a rather different sort of place.

Nottingham City Airport is actually Tollerton airfield, a large expanse of land with a few mid size business units around it. I was there today for work reasons, but there was time to take a few photos for myself.

The centrepiece of the place is the rather rustic and tired looking control tower, not a busy place as not a plane was flying due to the terrible weather. Underneath this was the "Chocks Away" cafe, which despite being at a small airfield in the middle of nowhere, was absolutely rammed. Apparently the local mums like to bring their kids there to watch the planes.

Speaking of which, most of the aircraft seemed to be low wing Piper types, used by private clubs and flying schools. Wind socks were horizontal in the cold wind.

Oh yeah, I wore a gold suit. I do that sometimes.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.05.18

Thursday 24 May 2018

A Bee Moth

Came across this attractive character fluttering about the Prince Rupert before having a little rest on the wall.

I photographed so few moths last year, and I've barely seen any this year yet. So nice to see this attractive moth, a new one to me, having a little rest.

Probably waiting for an abandoned pint to sup on.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.05.18

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Red Sun Run

Well, I think that my fitness level at cricket has been lacking a little bit. Not the basic endurance, but the speed endurance for sprinting between the wickets, and chasing after the ball in the field.

I therefore thought it would be good to get a midweek run in, one with a fair few short sprints in it to increase endurance. But even today after my cricket weekend, my legs are so stiff that running at all was really really hard, and  made me feel really really old.

Still, I did 7km, and got to see many baby rabbits on the nature reserve, and a red sun sinking and scraping the rooftops, as my knees and hips scraped as I ran.

Time for a cup of tea,


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.05.18

Monday 21 May 2018

Mr and Mrs Goose

So, a day off from sporting activity and sheesh does my body need it - I am absolutely achey and stiff after two days cricket. So today has been about enjoying the good weather, and having a walk to see what was out in it.

I trotted around the cemetery, looking at how everything looks lovely in its last coating of wildflowers before the cut is made; buttercup and meadow saxifrage are the dominant species at the moment, the last flowers to lord it over the city of the dead.

The yellow flowers whose name I can't remember are out. The alternative name is "Herb Somebody or Other" but I can't remember the moniker concerned. Rubbish.

Ragged robin has now emerged, those frail looking flowers are so hard to focus on and photograph! But to get to them, I had to get past Mr and Mrs Goose on the cycle path.

Mr and Mrs Goose have three goslings, and instead of being in the water, are next to the cycle path and giving anyone who wants to get past a jolly good hissing at, as well as being lunged at.

They reminded me of cousin Robert's savage Muscovy of my childhood.

However, unlike my grandfather, I got past without having my leg mauled.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.05.18