Monday 30 January 2023

Lakeside Bimbling

 A day where pictures speak louder than words, where the sun shone and a butterfly flew over my garden.

Many more flowers are out - blooming crocuses, lesser celandine in a place where photographing it would have meant falling in a lake, and balkan anemones in the cemetery.

Crows gathered for a social chat in the tree tops, and a fat squirrel ran away from me in surprise, and probably, horror. 

The lake was beautifully lit by a low sun, silhouetting waterfowl as they went quietly about their aquatic business. 

Me, I walked around and through it all, as Paul Gambaccini asked questions about Bruckner on Radio 4.

Very pleasant. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.01.23

Monday 23 January 2023

Colour in the Garden

 Sadly not my garden, although things are growing in my planters again, but instead our old family home where my stepfather lives.

This camellia has been growing for many years in the garden, it always gave much joy to my mother for being in flower so much! It only takes a couple of months off every year before coming into bloom again. 

There are no primroses growing in that garden yet, but I'm sure they will soon, they always emerge early there.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.01.23

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Winter Walks

 As I said in my last post, ankle or not I need to be getting mobile again without getting too crazy and hurting myself. The weather just is not condusive to pleasure cycling - now that the temperatures have dropped again cycling to work is quite enough thank you! - and I've really missed just walking around listening to Radio 4.

So, as "Counterpoint" with Paul Gambaccini gently quizzing away in my ears, I've wandered the cemetery and the park, photographing flowers, trying to get a photo of the Blue Lake goosander that doesn't make them look like little black dots, and remembering the therapeutic power of walking in nature. 

I intend to continue as the days lengthen. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.01.23

Monday 16 January 2023

Aconite is Out!

 Yes, it is my annual - "Oh look, aconite!" post, this one for 2023!

As ever, the first place they emerged was in Friary Gardens, the small park through the town centre overlooked by historic buildings and featuring the mightiest tree in the town, a huge london plane tree with a warty trunk like a huge elephant's foot. 

I'm trying to be more active now and get some more walking done, although a stomach upset this week has hindered things a little. I've been enjoying setting out, Radio 4 in my ear as I used to, and just seeing what is out there. 

I feel much better for it, although my ankle is grumbling a little tonight!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 16.01.23

Friday 6 January 2023

Who is First to Bloom in 2023?

 At the weekend, I took myself out on my bike and on foot  - if it wasn't far! - to see if anything was in bloom, especially after that brutal spell of cold weather that although hadn't dropped any snow on the ground, there had been some very hard frosts. 

Of course, there's one location that always seems to have the first flowers emerging, and when I rode off down there on my bike, in the same little patch of ground as ever, snowdrops were out. 

I swear it's always the same bulb that comes up first every year, the first of the little white flowers always seems to be in exactly the same place by the Polish Air Bridge memorial in the cemetery.

I wonder how many years this has been the case - I'm sure I've been finding them in that spot for over ten years or more!

The other place I like to look is in The Friary Gardens, where the aconite grows. I've been down a couple of times, and haven't spotted any little yellow spots of colour under the trees yet. However, they've been beaten into flower by red dead nettle. 

I think it might be a bit early for them yet. 

At work, we have some rather sorry looking daises poking up, but the most vivid sight is not a flower at all. It is the vivid pink coral berries, where a mere couple of months ago there were bees feeding off the bright coral berry flowers 

I will keep you posted - we also seem to be a bit ahead of the rest of you here!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 06.01.23

Sunday 1 January 2023

The Cheddar Gorge Outing

 While visiting my sister in Bristol with my stepfather for Christmas, we decided to finally escape the endless eating - by me, mostly - and escape into the countryside, where while it was still raining heavily as it did all trip, we would have a change of scene from wet Bristol pavements. 

The beach not appealing on a day when the sea and the land were virtually the same thing, we headed inland for Cheddar Gorge, a famous natural formation to the south of the city comprising of a narrow road surrounded by towering crags and the site of the earliest complete human skeleton found in the UK.

Despite the appalling weather, it was amazing how many waterproofed figures were walking up and down the gorge. There were cyclists too, serious types of expensive road bikes grinding their way up the climb through the gorge as the rain hosed them down. 

Evidence of human activity was everywhere - rubbish and more disgustingly human waste at the various stopping points. My sister and stepfather collected a box of the the former and thankfully not the latter. 

It's really upsetting that supposedly outdoor loving types would do this. 

The gorge indeed is spectacular, looming cliffs of slate and limestone, where apparently peregrines and ravens fly, although they were too smart to be doing it on such a rotten day and were probably laughing at the brightly coloured humans scurrying about from their lofty eyries. 

The village is surface pretty, but as with so many similar places it's largely filled with tourist tat  - genuine cheddar cheese on sale, no doubt at about £5 per gram. We couldn't find a cafe open to shelter from the weather in as we trundled up and down the village. 

Still, it was a fun little jaunt, and I'd like to come again in warmer months when there might be some flora and fauna to see. I'd love to see a raven for the first time!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 01.01.23