Tuesday 27 February 2024

Behold the Crocus Carpet!

 For one week only, the cemetery crocus carpet made its glorious annual re-appearance, decorating the houses of the dead with luxurious splashes of purple and white, and giving a haven for early season pollinators.

They barely seem to last now, made even more ephemeral by the rain falling like an anvil on them just as they reach their peak, a modern day feature of local winters that results in a a chaos of savaged petals and broken stems after a few scant days of glory.

But while they are there, they are stunning.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.02.24

Sunday 18 February 2024


 The weather this late winter, as we all know, has been generally horrid, with endless rain and swollen rivers flooding everywhere. 

However, this weekend we have seen very mild temperatures with the occasional absence of showers, so with plenty of flowers now in bloom in the parks and the cemetery, I knew it would be a good time to go bee hunting.

I was rewarded by my first honeybee and bumblebee close encounters in consecutive days. 

It was the castle crocuses the honeybees were enjoying on Saturday, on the wing as the grounds were being archaeologically excavated by the gateway. They looked so fresh and new, and very hungry as they went from flower to flower drinking up the nectar for minutes at a time. 

Today, it was a walk through the cemetery, now carpeted in crocuses as it is - stunningly - every year. As soon as I looked down, a stonking great buff tailed bumblebee queen was working through the flowers, tail as buff as it could be.

It's days like this I wait for from the beginning of October, and to cap it off I was able to enjoy an 8km run. There's life in me yet!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.02.24

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Gosh, a Brimstone!

 A couple of days ago at work, on a very mild day, I was taking a breaktime stroll when I was surprised - to say the least - to see a familiar bright yellow form fluttering around the bushes.

A male Brimstone, up about five weeks earlier than I've ever seen one before, and in beautiful condition.

I think it had perhaps realised it had awoken rather too early, as it was settling much more than brimstones normally do, and seemed very keen to get back into cover perhaps to go back to sleep. 

Judging by my feeds on Instagram and Threads, I'm far from the only person to have come across one!

Have you seen any butterflies out of bed when they shouldn't be?


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 07.02.24