Tuesday 30 July 2019

The Pennyroyal Factory

We've got so much pennyroyal growing at work at the moment we could practically open a factory for the stuff at the moment.

Kurt Cobain would be over the moon, he sang about the stuff and its more sinister purposes.

This summer has gone far too fast, as did the spring. I don't want the months of growth and colour to go, especially when we have had so little of a summer this year. How I can keep finding nature in the dread dead autumn?

Well I will do my best to be active in those months. It will be three months until January, and colour returns. In the meantime, I will make the most of things.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.07.19

Monday 29 July 2019

Some Beautiful Flutterers about Today

I've noticed this year that I've barely seen a peacock butterfly all year.

Well that all changed today, for with a bit of sun after the dire weekend weather. I've been outside for several hours today, with three walks and a short run, and every buddleia bush I came across had several of these gorgeous creatures sat nectaring on the pink, purple and white flowers.

The second flight has obviously come through very late, and come through strong. It's a pity it's hard to get them to spread their wings for the camera though.

Also present in numbers were painted ladies, not seen many of these for a good five or so years. Obviously the big migration talked about has made it up as far as Nottinghamshire!

Saw a lovely comma as well, and this one too allowed me to get a good photo. So it has been a very colourful day.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.07.19

Saturday 27 July 2019

Butterflies and Boats

Today's cricket has been utterly rained off, and it is still raining now. My tears have not been raining down though, much as I hate losing games of cricket, because my exhausted body decided I should sleep all afternoon.

My plants don't need watering; my sunflower's leaves are rather wilted looking though - as they have had a good old drink today. I'm going to look for some later flowering pot plants for pollinators, I'm told sativa "hot lips" is good for those purposes. The only hot lips I'm liable to have round my flat any time soon.

I have some nice pictures from the riverbank from the hot weather in the week. My new flat is ideal for such riverside mooching, which I enjoy greatly.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.07.19

Wednesday 24 July 2019

My Little Little Garden

So, I mentioned yesterday my little plant collection is now starting to attract its first common carder bee visitors.

So here is part of my dinky, not very expensive collection that adds a tiny bit of colour to my flint gravel garden.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.07.19

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Nature in the Heat

I'd have thought that the world would have been full of butterflies today and other insects that buzz, but perhaps it was too hot even for them or the flowers they feed off.

They only really appeared later on, when the heat of the day had lost a little of its fury - i.e. dropped below 30 - and a few small skippers appeared in the undergrowth. Later on, as I walked the riverbank when I got home, the large whites were out in force.

There were a few fishermen burning themselves alive for little reward along the river; I'd have thought any fish they would have caught would have been already poached.

At home, I'm glad to see my little pollinator friendly pot plants are now getting customers - common carder bumblebees seem to be a fan of my little salvia, which is very gratifying.

I'm glad they've been able to even find it, tucked away down here as I am!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.07.19

Monday 22 July 2019

Fooling a Grasshopper

It has been very hot this afternoon, but a breeze made its welcome presence felt at time and I was happy to spend three hours outside this afternoon, and a further walk this evening. Not sure how bearable that will be tomorrow and days thereafter, but I'll be at work anyway.

I've told my mother she needs to stay cool.

Lots of bright flowers are out at the moment, and the butterflies on view tend to be the various whites, and the second flight red admirals around the maintained gardens, with meadow brown and gatekeeper around the Sconce park grasslands.

I then decided to have a cup of tea at Rumbles cafe, and as I was sat on a wicker chair in the sun, I noticed some rapid movement among the tables. A grasshopper.

It then made the most ridiculous jump, indeed as if it was flying rather than jumping. It ended up on a toy kite on display on the Rumbles window, then it seemed to notice an illustration of flowers on a sign and, seemingly fooled, jumped onto the flowers.

To see a grasshopper on a vertical service is fairly unusual, to see it jumping on to a  picture of flowers is even odder.

I ended up walking two large circuits around town, and came across a pretty banded demoiselle in the castle gardens.

As if there are any ugly banded demoiselles.


Sunday 21 July 2019

Bee Rescue at the Cricket

Home match today, against Southwell, who no doubt in response to our awesome reputation - ! - had packed out their team with 4 first team batsmen from their Division C side, a standard 1 league higher than our first time.

I didn't know this, but when we were asked to bowl first, myself and my young opening partner had sent them all back to the hutch in 8 overs with 7 runs on the board.

It was he who started, splaying the opening batsmen's stumps, then having a red bandana wearing sportsman caught at mid wicket off a horrendous slog. I them had the other two batsmen caught at gully.

After a word from their skipper, saying that they only had young kids left, our captain showed mercy and I made the traditional "I'm not bowling any more skip" gesture of vigorously miming slitting my own throat with my hand.

I felt like doing it for real yesterday after my last over went for 15 runs. But today, I wanted to let others have a go while I preserved my bowing figures of 4 overs, 4 maidens, 2 wickets for no runs. Very egotistical I know.

Our other bowlers relished the job of getting stuck in, and clinically bowled Southwell out for a mere 50. Good job tea was ready early so we could all tuck in with great relish.

I had absolutely no expectation of having to bat, and having been a clubman yesterday said I wasn't goingt o do square leg umpiring on account of 1) having done loads of umpiring yesterday and 2) being on tea money collection duties. Having done my fiscal duty, I then took myself off to take some photographs, which I did.

In the course of this expedition I found a lovely common carder bumblebee queen in a very tired state on a compost bag. Not wanting to leave it, I managed to coax it on to my hand and then showed it to some frankly alarmed first team players. "OH MY GOD ITS STINGER IS OUT IT'LL STING YOU" they yelled as it harmlessly wandered around on my hand while I attempted to get it to drink some Lucozade.

Eventually my warm hands and some salt from my skin were good enough, as it then took off strongly and flew off to find some nectar.

I then had to rescue a white tailed bumblebee that had fallen into my opening partner's glass of J2O. I saved it from a very sticky drowning.

Meanwhile, we were busy winning the mtach by 7 wickets with no alarms whatsoever. A very good win for our team!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.07.19