Friday 30 November 2018

Lights, Moon and Lights

We've had some very wild days the last few days, my to and fro bicycle commutes have been rather interesting. I have been incredibly busy at work  preparing our Christmas events.

We now have Christmas lights on in town and I have been photographing them  in relation to the moon and things.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.11.18

Sunday 25 November 2018

Winter Thrushes on the Bicycle

I'm writing this while listening to "Starless"  by King Crimson which is an awesome piece of music...

So after an exhausted day of nothing yesterday - My Black Friday duties totally wiped me out - I decided I needed to make a good go at today, cold or not.

So in the morning I made my way to  the park for a cup of tea on my trusty Rockrider, and then in the afternoon managed to get out for a sunset 25km ride, with a gentle breeze it seemed like a bloody nice thing  to  do.

And I worry I'll get very fat indeed if I don't do it.

So out I went along the cycle path with the low sun lighting up the turbines of the wind farm and reflecting off the solar panel plant. It even made the rubbish tip glow in gold. Rather oddly I thought, the gulls and crows feasting  off the rubbish were flushed by my presence from about 100 metres away, silly feathery things!

It was on this cycle path that I saw my first winter thrushes of the year, flushed from the berry laden hawthorns alongside. Trouble is, with the sun behind them they just looked like black shapes, until they flew past me and I caught a glimpse of pale bellies and grey rumps; fieldfares.

Odd that I should see fieldfare before redwing. Normally the latter are easier to come across just outside of  town in early winter.

So I kept on riding as the sun set, and re-murmarised a flock of about 50 starling who thought they were going to have a peaceful roost in a tree next to the road to Thorpe village.

It was a good ride, and I took a bit of pride in myself for  doing it.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.11.18

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Shaggy Ink Caps

It is the time of year when the shaggy ink cap grows on our campus wastelands on either side of the cycle path.

I believe also known as "Lawyer's wigs" for the appearance of the fruiting body, a sort of wavy haired effect that drips black at the end as the fungus begins to spore, these fellows are regarded as being quite  a delicacy as long as you get them before that aforementioned sporing.

Indeed, one of the reasons I've not seen so many of them in the last couple of years is that we evidently have some foragers at work who have recognised the goodies under their noses; I remember seeing a girl wandering  off in the dusk gathering armfuls of them last year.

Fair play to her. If she doesn't mind the light dusting of myxamotosis rabbit corpse that probably covers them.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.11.18

Monday 19 November 2018

Geese and Ducks in a Low Sun

I've been for a walk again today, round the lake on a crisp, cold day with an easterly wind to boot. I know I shouldn't be walking, but it is too cold to cycle, or rather too windy.

I hate being inactive, I just have visions of turning into a huge fat lump.

Anyway, it was a nice walk, a route that many others take on a daily basis. With easterly winds I'm wondering if any winter ducks might show up on town waters; velvet scoters have been reported in Collingham!

Anyway, to add to my exercise regime now I can't run, I dug out an old and very dusty eliiptical stepping machine I haven't used in years.

I did 20 minutes on it it, and now my other heel hurts too.

I feel like I'm falling apart, and the  long walks I have lined up in my mind, the running, is all going to have to stop. Yes, I worry too much!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.11.18

Sunday 18 November 2018

There are Still Flashes of Colour

The weather this weekend has  been superb, although yesterday I was too tired to enjoy it much. Today I was still tired, but was able to enjoy a  two and a half hour walkabout around the river and the park, where it got so warm in the sun I had to take my jacket off.

Colder weather, we are assured, is on the way. So that's some frosty cycling commutes for me then.

I've noticed the last few days that there are still wildflowers blooming quietly in my little garden; red dead  nettle, feverfew and some small yellow flowers I can't identify.

Life persists.

Of the garden flowers still in flower, various types of fuschia seem to be the hardiest. Ewalina next door still has lots hanging from her shed, and the council ones across the park.

Tomorrow what shall I do? My heel feels a bit better with the inserts, but I still want to be more active.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.11.18

Thursday 15 November 2018

Yet More Stunning Skies

WE have been really spoiled this autumn, skywise.

My right foot hasn't been spoiled however; with my heel still sore, the slight alteration of my walking seems to have given me a set of mighty blood blisters on the ball of self same foot. Irritating and now causing other mischief too.

I'm using cycling  and exercise bikes to stay fit but  feel very podgy.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.11.18

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Let there be More Light

Lights for a certain time of the year are appearing in town, a time I  tend not to acknowledge in my personal life until December 1st, when I put that particular Waitresses song on.

However, of  course towns must make preparations, and so they are doing here. The lights shouldn't actually be  on that, but they have to test them. This has the added benefit of driving the violent gobby kids out of town centre.

They look fabulous! They always do.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.11.18

Monday 12 November 2018

Evening Skyscapes

After my tumultuous floor mopping exploits yesterday, I was rather knackered today and knowing I was going to have a workout in the evening - 65 minutes on the exercise bike - I took it easy and ended up repeatedly falling asleep while watching Hugh Jackman in "Logan".

Eventually I went out to  sort some library books out, and enjoyed the crescent moon, joined nearby by planet Saturn as the evening darkened.

I may do some astronomy later, or carry on watching Luther boxsets.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 12.11.18

Sunday 11 November 2018

Armistice Day

I was up early today in order to watch the memorial parade (I was hoping there would be a flypast, but there wasn't), do some shopping  and try and have a bit  of a walk on my sore heel.

The memorial parade was the most attended I can remember, and indeed as it turned out it had the highest attendance ever. You couldn't get near the ceremony.

As you can see the people watching were wearing all sorts of clothes, many coats with hoods on a rainy morning. I think service veterans would rather people be there irrespective of what they were wearing.

I then went for a trot round the shops, and the river, and Rumbles cafe, and back into town, buying mops and buckets, and cushioned insoles on my travels.

Walking home, mop over my shoulder, I then found myself suddenly overtaken by the parade at the end of the ceremony as they went back to the muster point. I must have looked like some sort of Dads Army figure as I walked along like a particularly rubbish member of the Home Guard.

A police woman I know was having a right chuckle as I walked by.

The afternoon I tried out the insoles...I've walked 8 miles today and my foot isn't  any worse, but the jury is still out!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 11.11.18

Saturday 10 November 2018

Rain is Coming In

I've had an entirely restful day where I haven't done much apart from go the park for a cup of tea, listen to the radio and watch the various weather fronts come over.

I'm still resting my heel and I'm happy to report that it seems to be a bit less painful today,especially without having to traipse all over our huge work campus. My neck and shoulder are still troublesome however, so I'm having to be careful.

We will see how I feel tomorrow.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 10.11.18

Monday 5 November 2018

OK, Let's go for a Ride

So, buggered heels and blistered feet aren't affected by cycling, so I decided more or less on the spare of the moment to go out on my clunky old mountain bike, on the old favourite Cotham - Elston - Thorpe route, a hack of about 23km.

Took me just over an hour, and was highly enjoyable. I was looking for winter thrushes and didn't see a single one, but there were some nice flocks of chaffinch ransacking the berries in the hedgerows.

In the ploughed fields herring and black backed gulls hulked about, looking for whatever pickings they may. No buzzards or owls - thought I might see an early owl on the move as the light was fading.

So nothing major seen, but I was glad to be riding again.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 05.11.18

Sunday 4 November 2018

Blisters and Bruised Heels

Well, I've had two walks today for a total of about three hours outside, on a mild day with the sort of light refreshing rain I actually rather like.

I can't run at the moment due to this heel pain I've got at the moment, perhaps plantar fascitis. I thought I'd be  ok to walk though, however, I'm now pretty sore and  just to add to the irritation I'm sporting a blister on my heel.

I'm really hoping my winter training is not going to be ruined by injury, as tendonitis ruined it last winter.

Oh yep, I've been bitten on the wrist by a gnat as well, I noticed them flying around my garden in the mizzley afternoon.

Today, I just took a few photographs of what I saw as I  walked around. Nothing spectacular.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 04.11.18