Tuesday 26 February 2019

More Spring in the Workplace

An even milder day today, one that made me feel like ripping my shirt off and running  round the campus looking for an ice cream van. The fact that I didn't probably made 3000 colleagues sigh with relief. I had a busy day in any case, so I didn't have time for topless parading.

Saw two butterflies on the wing today; a small tortoiseshell and a flutter of orange indicating a comma flyby at eye level. In the little garden area, honeybees were feeding off, er, blue stuff while blue tits waited for me to stop trying to photograph the buzzers and clear off away from the feeders.

Sunset was, yet again, spectacular.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.02.19

Sunday 24 February 2019

Let's Go Fly a Kite

A very different start to the day today; the sun only burnt the mist away latish in the afternoon and so most of the day we were blanketed in a cold, grey fog.

It was in this chilly setting that the Midlands Kite Flyers brought their aerial contraptions down to a still busy Sconce Park for a public flying session. It was a really very still day, so there was more of kites propped on car doors than your actual kite flying.

There was a beautiful purple-blue and very large bird kite, but when it did finally get airborne all it did was slowly and gracefully back to earth again, leaving its owner to roll the string back up with a defeated air.

A much smaller kite did manage to get skyward and hover high above the park-goers.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.02.19

Saturday 23 February 2019

Let the Buzzing Commence!

And first up in the "no shit Sherlock" news headlines, today has been a pretty glorious early spring day for me, and probably much of the country. At Rumbles cafe today, the park was wonderfully full of families having fun, and some of the trees were in blossom.

I was even able to sit outside in a T-Shirt, which I can't remember doing in February ever. However, there were no butterflies on the wing as I was hoping for - it had the feeling of being a brimstone day.

There were no butterflies when I walking through the cemetery amidst the purple and white carpets of crocus, and initially, nothing else on the wing either. But halfway along the tree lined central avenue, a twitching crocus revealed the presence of a very large buff tailed bumblebee queen, feeding richly off the early pollen.

She really was a beauty; freshly painted and with a buzz like a zeppelin. The flowers could barely take her weight when she fed. She knows little of what she is, the signifier of an advancing, growing year, warmer days and the renewal of life.

But I did.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.02.19

Friday 22 February 2019

"Spring" at Work

There's all sorts going on,  bees and butterflies flying past  my office  window, the rookery getting active, three kestrels flying by one after another, and today blackbirds decided to take to the lamp-posts and start singing.

Midges are now flying around by any water, green bottle fly too.

Not everyone is awake yet however. A little 7 spotter slept in a gorse bush, while a honeybee's buzzing failed to rouse it.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.02.19

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Look at these Skies!

The most magical light is when a low sun peaks out from the back of a weather front and lights up a world that is mostly under dark, rainy clouds.

Tonight was such an evening, and we had a rainbow thrown in too under the brassy sky.

It was a wonderful view.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.02.19

Monday 18 February 2019

Transition Time

I feel rather sad, as ever, because it is the time the season when our first spring flowers are now very much on the turn, with the snowdrops and aconite beginning to look rather second hand.

It's the necessary nature of things, but for just one year I wish that the wildflowers would be added to as the year went on, with nothing going to seed. The colour and beauty would just be laid on top, layer after layer, so everything would end up being a lush paradise for birds, butterflies, bees and humans!

Imagine it - snowdrop, aconite, crocus, daffodil, primrose, forget-me-not, saxifrage, buttercup and all the other flowers just blooming in a riot in all the parks and gardens!

Oh well...

So, I mentioned transition, and now we have grape hyacinth and glory of the snows making an appearance, white and yellow giving way to blue.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.02.19

Sunday 17 February 2019

Wow! Someone has Woken Up

As I sit here typing this on my chromebook with the dodgy space bar, my foot is really sore after cricket practice, and I'm going to have to have another session rolling on the tennis ball.

But today has been good. Not only did I bat better in the nets - thank god - but I had a delightful long walk through the cemetery and across Grange Road fields to the park. Although there was a fair amount of cloud around, when the sun deigned to make an appearance it got really quite mild.

Spring is way ahead of last year, I think. As I entered the cemetery for the first time in a week, I was stunned to see how fast the full crocus emergence has taken place; the graves are surrounded by a beautiful purple and white carpet.

I'd have to check through my records to see how advanced (or not!) this is compared to other years, but it feels early.

But mere purple and white flowers, no matter how lovely, were not the main reason to get excited today. Because I, and it seems a fair few other nature watchers on my social media feeds, saw the first 2019 honeybee today.

It caught my eye straightaway, as there really isn't much flying around at the moment. It was feeding off the crocuses and judging by its full orange saddlebags,  it was having a successful day, which was how I felt as soon as I saw it.

It was the only buzzer or flutter I saw today, with the temperature forecast to rise still further, I don't think it will be long before others appear.

Crazy isn't it, for something that happens every year to be greeted with so much joy.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.02.19