Sunday 31 January 2021

Primrose Emergence

 Just a little pottle around the two lakes today, including a walk through the cemetery to see if there was anything new in bloom. 

Indeed there was. By the drainage ditch, where they always grow, the first yellow primroses are out. Not in any great numbers, they aren't carpeting that little area in yellow yet, but they are there. 

The purple and white, and purple AND white, cemetery crocuses are also present in increasing numbers, but their peak won't be for another month or so. 

Only two female goosander on the lake today, but by gosh they are feeding a lot closer in than they ever used to, with their funny little heads that remind me of daleks.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 31.01.20

Saturday 30 January 2021

We have reached Peak Aconite

 As ever, the last days of January are when the aconites of Friary Gardens reach their beautiful bright yellow peak in Friary Gardens.

They are always at their best actually before the flowers fully open, they tend to look a little tatty after they do, and under the trees on the bank they form little ovoid carpets of colour.

That colour was certainly needed on a grey day where the sun never shone, and the river ran over the banks again, an evil chocolate colour with all the soil washed off the land. 

My stepfather has now booked his vaccination slots; there are rays of light not emitting from the sun.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.01.21

Thursday 28 January 2021

Now Crocuses have Emerged

 I've saved a lot of photos for you from my weekend walks, and this set is more floral.

The crocuses are now emerging in their usual places, in their usual colours. Orange ones in the castle grounds under the trees, while in the cemetery the purple ones always show their heads first. 

It has been ever thus since I started monitoring their appearance. Next up, lesser celandine along the cycle path, and primrose by the cemetery ditch. Nature's calendar, annual clockwork.

Another week is nearly done, another week of trying to avoid "doomscrolling" - the word of 2021 has already emerged like the crocuses - my social media feeds and maintain some sort of perspective and optimism.

Can be hard though, can't it?


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.01.21

Wednesday 27 January 2021

More Wateriness

 Sunday saw me taking a long hike out to Hawton and then across to Farndon, looking for winter thrushes along the Hawton-Farndon road.

In the past I've seen a lot of fieldfare in the fields along this lane, but not a sausage. Not seen a single winter thrush yet, but I'm rather more urban in this flat than I used to be. 

Willow Holt was, as expected, very boggy looking, boggy in the sense of being completely underwater in places. No way through here! But hey, it was a two hour walk in the open air, and I enjoyed it.

I'm recapturing the enjoyment of trundling along listening to Radio 4. When the plays are good, and the programmes interesting, I take such joy in it!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.01.21

Sunday 24 January 2021


 I've had an active weekend, lots of pics I'll show you over the next few days.

This is despite the fact that some of my normal walking routes have been blocked off by the flooding from the Rivers Trent and Devon. They went high with snow melt from the Derbyshire hills initially, and then the heavy rains of the end of last week sent them well over the banks.

Riverside Park opposite the castle was flooded, most of the land beyond Mill Lane bridge is a lake, and finally our poor cricket ground finds itself completely underwater again. 

I really hope that the water clears quickly and the new grass we had after last years flood isn't destroyed. 

It's been a horrible week. More virulent and deadlier strains of covid got me down rather; it all felt endless again. 

Just got to hang on in.


Monday 18 January 2021

More Friary Gardens Aconite

 Yesterday, ended up doing my "Two Lakes" walk backwards, having to negotiate rather a lot of folk on the cycle path who did not seem to be from the same household, gossiping away in groups of five or six. 

This meant a lot of "mask up, mask down" fiddling as I pottled along, watched by a lot of robins and dunnock in the hedgerows. Wrens too, hard to see in the twilight. 

The Friary Gardens aconites are growing well, little yellow spots of colour among the fallen leaves. They are nowhere near their full display yet though.

Spotted one drake goosander on the Blue Lake, accompanied by a harem of 6 ducks. The drake was restless, and kept taking off and landing again, before finally leaving the lake after about 15 minutes. Lots of tufted duck, as ever looking like immaculately painted models. 

I hope you are all keeping well and safe, and able to get outside. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.01.21

Thursday 14 January 2021

Englishman Posts Obligatory Photographs of a Micron of Snow

 Actually, I must confess I was a little surprised by how long it managed to snow today, pretty much from 9am till 6pm although the heaviest stuff was over by 1pm. 

Of course, these days snow isn't a massively common sight in the UK, so in common with everyone else, I had to go out and take a few photographs before my hands turned purple and fell off. I'm very glad I didn't ride in today, or else I would have had a rather unpleasant ride home. 

I worry that tonight we will have a hard frost so all the pavements are like glass. I might have to wear my Wintertrax things on my shoes to avoid damage.

As you may notice from one photo, our work campus looks like the sort of Siberian Tundra where they dig up frozen baby mammoths.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 14.01.21

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Powering Through with a Pictorial


I managed to get out three times  over the weekend, and feel all the better for it although my Christmas sized stomach disagrees with me somewhat in this regard. 

These are such awful times, I'm glad to be able to spend time outside, albeit alone as I have spent the last ten months. I wear a snoody neck tube type thing I pull up over my face whenever I pass anyone on the path; I try and give myself ten feet of space between myself and anyone else when out and about, and alone in my office I try and avoid the other few thousand employees as much as I can by not leaving it.

I hope you are all staying as safe as you can! Enjoy these pictures of emergence, of subtle colour rather than harsh saturation, and of ice in the river reflecting the sun in a hopeless struggle to avoid destruction.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 12.01.20

Saturday 9 January 2021

A Week of Frozen Hands

 Returning from the Christmas break has been absolutely brutal this week, because it's been below zero every morning and also I've been suffering from lockdown blues that have made it very hard to get moving in the morning.

One morning in particular was savagely cold, and initially I couldn't get my hands to grip the bars and brakes of my bike properly. Yes, the return of Raynaud's Rides, where my hands get agonised and turn purple.

I suppose however, that when you get concrete hard frosts, then you do get some very pretty photo opportunities.

I just wish it wasn't so painful to get them.


All texts and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 09.01.21