Monday 30 September 2019

The Power of Water

I ventured down to the weir today, while the weather was still good and heavy rain hadn't put an end to my plans to run tonight.

The noise it makes, the ferocity of it, is something I always find quite awe inspiring at close quarters. If you get trapped in it, I always feel you've had it, but then I have seen folk practicing their canoeing in it, and even scene folk walking across the top of it when you would think that one slip would mean certain death.

Admittedly today, the high water levels you can see in the photographs would have added to its primal power.

There's plenty of himalayan balsam growing down there to add colour, and ivy is now in flower providing feeding stations for late season pollinators. The best think I saw today though, was something I haven't seen in town for a while.

Grey wagtails used to nest under the castle wall a few years ago, but I haven't seen one of these lovely colourful birds since. However, today I came across one on the calm waters the other side of the river wall from the weir.

Typically it flew off before I could get a photo!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.09.19

Sunday 29 September 2019

A Very Murky Run

The filthy weather of the weekend continued today, and I have spent it doing pretty much the same as I did yesterday - enjoying a gruelling looking world cycling road race, and the more rapidly evolving drama of the athletics.

I have got out for a run today, a very slow trot for 6km wearing my bright orange rain jacket that ends up sweltering you so much you are wetter than you would have been if you hadn't worn it.

Slow though I may be, the fact that I'm out there is the key. It has been national get outside day today, and get outside I did, and after plodding around in the murk I found myself being greeted by a little watery sunshine over the sconce cannon.

Hopefully I will another run in tomorrow, although the forecast is awful again. I might also patrol the second hand shops, bought a "new" jacket from one the other day, a rather good one called The White Rose.

It doesn't even have second hand shop smell.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.09.19

Saturday 28 September 2019

In Rainbows

I have had a very busy week at work and it has rained virtually every day, so I have very little nature wise to show you.

I do have a gorgeously vivid double rainbow that dazzled above the unromantic setting of the car park for you however. I apologise for this being a shot through a window, bizarrely I ran outside and it had already faded markedly in the space of about 20 seconds!

Nature is a very ephemeral thing, you have to be so fast! My phone isn't fast enough these days.

Neither is my running, although tonight I felt a little better as I plodded about town on an evening as gloomy as the lowest deck on HMS Victory. 5km in 32 minutes, which seems to be about the average at the moment. I was wearing my tight leggings, but no admiring glances from anyone, sadly.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.09.19

Monday 23 September 2019

Big Fat Furry Catpuss

All of a sudden, the feral tom cat who resides on campus who previously spawned the kittens we had to get rescued a few years ago, has gone from being a wary sod who wouldn't let anyone get within 20 metres of him, to being a super sweet boy who lets the smokers rub his tummy by their shelter and gets titbits from anyone who has any.

I've suddenly had loads of e-mails about him, to the extent that people are wondering if it is even the same cat. People want him rescued, castrated, rescued and castrated, scanned and rehomed. A busy car park is not the safest place for a cat after all.

Today I managed to get a little pet with him, and he let me take a picture of him. The suspicion is that he lives on an adjoining farm; he's certainly in good condition.

Not sure what to do for the best!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.09.19

Sunday 22 September 2019

And a Bit More Running

Managed 5km  today in 34 minutes, again it was a bit of a haul and a struggle, but this is the first time I've run on two successive days in about a year and a half, so I'm quite pleased.

I had to wait a while to go out because it's been raining most of the day, and I've also been pretty tired today, so it's been a pretty inactive day.

And what do I do on such days? What is my home life, when I'm not outside finding things for you to look at, or playing cricket?

WEll, I geek out mainly. I watch RPG videos of a Star Trek spin off called "Shield of Tomorrow". I play World of Tanks Blitz on my tablet. I sit on my exercise bike and watch Blakes 7 videos, or watch the over enthusiastic Aisian-American angler, or a man who hunts lobsters under rocks in Guernsey.

I write too, about science fiction, music, my own memories of strange things.

I love my sci fi most of all.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.09.19

Saturday 21 September 2019

Dragonflies in Love

I've been suffering from terrible toothache recently, waiting for my next dentist appointment in a couple of weeks to have it filled. Hurting like hell tonight though, and painkillers are only just taking the edge off it.

Still managed to have a nice walk today, and get a 9km run in. The run was horribly slow though, not due to puff as I've said before but due to my legs feeling incredibly heavy. It's been a lovely day, and being slow didn't bother me.

Today's star attraction was found by the River Devon on the park, the little reserve area known as Devon Pastures. Out of the corner of the eye I spotted a pair of mating dragonflies on the wing, and tried to track them down.

They didn't settle long at the first spot, but I was able to then follow them when they next sat down, and was able to see that they were common darters, and that they were very much in love.

Soon the female will lay her eggs into the river, and ensure that we will have more of these vivid red dragonflies in the future, to go with the marauding migrant hawkers that are still also on the wing.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.09.19

Thursday 19 September 2019

Tuesday 17 September 2019

A Circumzenithal Arc

Had a chance encounter with a meteorological phenomenon tonight as I was riding home - well I suppose all manifestations of this kind are - in the form of a nice circumzenithal arc where the sun's light was scattered by icy high altitude clouds to form a sort of tiny rainbow.

It seems to be the season for them, East Midlands weather had a nice photo of one the other day; perhaps a low sun makes for optimal conditions for these arcs.

I've been running again, a 5km in an unspectacular but decent 31.50. I've got the puff, but my legs feel very heavy and my feel and knee is a little sore, so as I have said before I'm not sure serious distances would be wise. I tend to forget my age when it comes to sport!

It does feel good, mentally to get back out on the road, but I will have to be careful.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.09.19

Sunday 15 September 2019

Dragon Boat Racing Spectacular

I had planned to visit this event for a while, but this morning it was only the distant sound of pounding drums coming from the river that reminded me it was happening.

We've had dragon boat racing come to Newark before, but not on the scale we had today. I think there were around 24 teams, racing in three heats of three each, all based in their own little gazebo on the riverside park, while musicians played, ice creams were sold, the inevitable facepainters did their thing and photos were taken of the various crews dressed in their assortment of Mexican, superhero, and er, builders in hi vizzes, as they prepared to race.

The park was packed with spectators, and it wasn't even standing room only along the riverbank.

I watched for about 3 hours in total, and at no point had no real idea who was winning, only that there was a lot of noise; those drums on the boats really do resonate along the castle walls. One poor crew got a drenching when their boat deposited them into the water; luckily there were plenty of rescue boats to save folk from the dread of Davy Jones' Locker.

It looked a lot of fun and I felt rather envious of those taking part. They were certainly getting a good day out for their sponsorship money.

Maybe next year.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.09.19