Tuesday 29 October 2019

Autumn Skies

The first frosts are now upon us, and my rather daft looking neck tube snood thingy has now been broken out. The winter gloves will have to be worn tomorrow, my hands were cold in the ordinary ones.

We've had a day of occasional showers and broken rainbows, and in work I've been printing out posters of two metre high zombies. Don't ask. I was out in the rain, and finding it quite refreshing actually, my aforementioned new jacket is pretty warm.

I should have been running tonight, but I had too much pasta for tea and so I've been geeking out on Star Trek Voyager instead while waiting for Autumnwatch, where Chris Packham has an enviable bright green padded jacket.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.10.19

Monday 28 October 2019

The Levee has Broken

Although we have had a couple of days without rain, the hills were The Trent rises are still saturated, and the run off has still continued to cause the river in town to rise further. And rather inevitably this has led to our cricket ground getting flooded again.

The message came through this afternoon that help was needed at the ground to move equipment and other material into a safe location as apparently the water was rising fast. So, I biked down, noticing that in town the river was over its banks at the barge pub, and a few inches of going over into Riverside Park.

The flood defence rises about two metres next to the ground, which is on the far side of it, and when I crossed it, I realised that a boat was needed to get me to the pavilion. The lane was blocked by about 20cm of water, the ground was completely underwater, and the water was about to enter the pavilion.

Without wellies or waders, which I don't have, I was completely hopeless. Luckily our groundsman, made of much tougher material than I, was already down there surreally driving tractor mowers through the water and up onto the top of the defences in trackies and a pair of trainers. Another stalwart with wellies arrived to help, and I decided the only thing I could do was keep on eye on the mowers until they finished in the pavilion.

I suppose it is better it happens at this time of year than in Spring, although our club fireworks display and bonfire look like they might be needed to be held on a raft.

If I went to music festivals I would have had wellies I suppose.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.10.19

Sunday 27 October 2019

The Power of the River

Today has actually been a pleasant enough day, warm enough in the sun once it had got high enough to take the morning chill out of the air; and it was cold this morning. I've been out and about of course, sat having tea in the park in my woolly hat, my walking route blocked by a flooded River Devon.

The Trent is well over its banks by the marina, and large numbers of waterfowl are loving this on the flooded fields on the other side.

The castle stretch is still about a metre below the edge, but the power of the water flowing  along the reach is formidable. A couple of folk in kayaks were labouring against it today, as large bits of tree were swept past them. Anyone falling in would have had no chance without a life jacket, and not a good chance with one I reckon.

They would have been brained against the bridge!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.10.19

Saturday 26 October 2019


Today has been a filthy wet cold day, one during which anyone sane should have stayed in all day and re-arranged their sock drawers or whatever it is people do when they are inside.

To be fair, I spent most of it inside too, tired after the working week, but I still went out for a couple of hours, stupidly not wearing a hat so I ended up with a cold, dripping head. And an Aldi cycling jersey I can use for winter running as well.

Walking along the far side of the river I wondered why there was a few people just standing by a large puddle in the path. It turned out that the town's swan family, presumably not liking the flooded fast flowing river, had moved onto dry land and where harassing folk with shopping bags, presumably associating these with bread carrying swan feeders.

Very gallantly, a chap ahead of me walked them across the obstruction, keeping himself between the swans and the walkers. Me, I carefully followed them, getting hissed at by a cygnet who thought my new top might have been a loaf of stale Hovis.

After this, I had a nice hour in the gaming cafe reading the nerdy magazines and drinking tea. Not too bad a day really.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.10.19

Friday 25 October 2019

Random Flowers Random Skies

The weather has been wet as hell the last few days, and really there's no reason to do anything other than hide from it. Apart from outdoor lovers like me who wait for gaps in the nearly endless matte grey clouds to go outside and have a look at what's out there.

There's still wasps around in the brighter interludes, but not much of anything else. Even the workplace cat has disappeared, and the rats aren't showing either. You'd think minus cat, we would be plus rats, but no.

As I type this I'm listening to LCD Soundsystem and trying to be electronically cool at the age of 47. I'm going to get back to my sketching and cartooning, if I can get the enthusiasm together. It requires a bit more effort than running and walking, strangely. I'm also doing plenty of reading, I avergage maybe 25 books a year.

I also want to see if I can pick up a basic small telescope to some more detailed astro observations than with my binoculars and try and do some photography with it.

Feel rather bloated!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.10.19

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Cold Sunrises

The weather has turned decidely chilly at night recently, which has prompted me to buy a Chris Packham on Autumnwatch type quilted jacket. Obviously it's not a flash North Face one like he has, but a synthetic down variant reduced to £20 in Millets, but hopefully it will keep me warm in the hard winter we are reckoned to have in store for us.

The consequence of the cold mornings is that we've had some lovely sunrises, the view from the railway bridge was spectacular this morning but tricky to photograph from a moving bike without breaking all your limbs. So you will have to make do with the photo I've taken.

Watched some kind of raptor do a night-time flyover a couple of nights ago, a ghostly pale sight in the streetlight glow of town. It glided strongly with only of beats of its wings. No idea what it was, peregrine maybe.

No idea they flew at night either.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.10.19

Sunday 20 October 2019

At Last Back Around the Blue Lake

Feeling a little bit more vigorous today, so took myself on the longer walk I've been promising myself (and you lot!). It started with a trip to the park for a cup of tea, where a helicopter circled overhead a few times, and then took me along the road to the back of the cemetery and hence on to the Blue Lake.

I can't think of when I last went around here, probably back in May when I was still at my old flat. Well, there's been a change or two.

They have out up a beautiful little illustrated board up at the southern end of the lake, showing the lake and the birds and plants that can be found there. The goosander who come every winter made it on, but not the tufted ducks that are permanent resident. Nor that rats, who were busy today, and also a coot with a bad foot.

A coot with a bad foot. It rhymes! Sort of.

There was a returning visitor in the form of the stunning mandarin drake who was around last winter, only he didn't want to get very close to the camera sadly.

Kids were feeding the waterfowl bread, which no-one seems to know whether you should be doing or not any more.

After the lake, I walked back into town through the cemetery, and finished off a three hour afternoon with a cup of tea in a board game cafe. Which was nice, but rather pointless as I had no-one to play any with.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.10.19

Saturday 19 October 2019

Proof there are Still Bees About

I know I was full of intentions good, but the reality was today I felt I should have been out running or walking, or walking AND running, but I just didn't want to do anything and felt really guilty about it.

To be fair, I was out for two hours this afternoon, walking around, drinking tea in cafes and walking along the river where I thought I might find late season pollinators on the ivy flowers.

Unfortunately the ivy flowers have gone over, but there is still some himalayan blossom in bloom, and it was amongst these invaders that I came across a common carder bee at work tunnelling deep into the flowers.

These lovely little characters are very furry, and thus seem to last longer into the colder months than other bumble species, and I was very happy to see them as well as the other flashes of colour I came across.

Also of note - a picture of a spacecraft using a laser beam on my home town.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.10.19

Friday 18 October 2019

There's Still Bees

The hedgerows at work have suddenly been lively when we've had the sun out on these past couple of days. They have produced these little pinky-red flowers since about April, and the pollinators love them.

The flowers are tiny, so the bees and wasps never stay on them long enough to photograph, but they are there. And the moment the sun goes in, they disappear, sucked seemingly instantaneously away into another bee based dimension.

Sunny weather is promised this weekend so I may try to get to Langford Lowfields, or have a very long walk and start getting really active again, as opposed to just achingly active.

I am not kind enough to myself, everyone tells me that!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.10.19