Tuesday 30 April 2024

The Cemetery Bedecked

 Yesterday, before cricket practice - in itself an exercise in futility as the games will probably be rained off again - I took myself for a very gentle run to the cemetery.

It is beautiful, it is peak wildflower there, with the predominant colour being the blue of bluebell and forget me not growing right up to two hundred plus year old gravestones. Buttercup and meadow saxifrage; the last emergences of the season, are now present. and the wild garlic still pungently flowers in its ditch.

It's well worth a pause in my run, on a day that while warmer and dryer than what we'd had before, now had a strong wind that was keeping pollinators out of the air, although I did see a specked wood on the wing. 

Among the beauty, I remembered that this is the worst spring for butterflies I can remember. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.04.24

Thursday 25 April 2024

No Hirundines in Winthorpe!

 Keeping myself mobile this week, I headed out to Winthorpe village, the next village downstream on the Trent from here.

I had a very specific location in mind; the old railway station cottage at the level crossing, presumably for when the barriers weren't automatic. This cottage has perfect eaves for house martins to nest under, and if you are there at the right time of the year, several pairs of these white rumped mini-swallows will be there, feeding their little ones with bugs caught from over the river. 

The swallows also enjoy swooping for insects over the water. Alas, no-one had told them or the house martins that I was coming, so they haven't sped up on their journeys over here from Africa. 

So, I just ran back through the village, taking a few photographs on the way.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.04.24

Monday 22 April 2024

Running to Farndon Church

 It's the time of the year when I knew there ought to flowers filling up Farndon Churchyard, so I figured it was time to go out there and have a look.

How would I get there? By running of course. 

Very slowly as it turned out; my legs felt rather heavy and the roads felt very hard under my worn out running shoes - note to self, buy a new pair - and rare sun was making me boil up inside my Aldi running jacket. 

It was worth it though, as the church grounds were full of forget me not, bluebells and even some lungwort. Sadly, it was a bit chilly and so there weren't any pollinators on the wing. But in the end, I had got a good run in of just short of 10km, although it got very muddy where horses has churned up the bridleways. 

No sign of swallows or martens either, I am keeping an eye out for them, and the swifts too of course. 

They can't be far away. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.04.24

Thursday 18 April 2024

A Day in Lincoln

 A train ride to Lincoln then, for my sister to retrieve her bag from a nightclub, and then for a spot of lunch and a mooch around. 

Bag rescued, we headed to the Arboretum, where a community cafe staffed by trainees served up some excellent food for a mere fiver while we enjoyed looking at their extensive painted rock collection, before we walked round the park itself. 

I've been before, but on a dull September day when there wasn't much life around, but on this visit, the spurge plants were alive with various bee species, a pond had ducklings on it, and a fountain water feature was full of tadpoles. An overlooking song thrush sang its repetitive song for us while we poked around in the plants. 

Well I did, my sister has more dignity than that. I on the other hand, probably spend a lot of time looking strange to other people while I'm staring at dandelions.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 18.04.24

Monday 8 April 2024

Solitary Bees in the Library Garden

 Just back from a little stroll to the library garden, the one saved by the "Stop the Chop" campaign back in 2022. It has become a lovely little space, with a wildlife pond currently under construction, and with a spot of sun in the late afternoon, it is a wonderful place to spot pollinators.

Recently it has become busy with solitary bee species. 

In the last few days I have seen early mining bees, nomad cuckoo bees (too hard to photograph!), the characterful and also hard to photograph hairy footed flower bees, and also grey patched mining bees, a species I've never seen before but suddenly seem to be everywhere. 

"Have you lost something?" asked a passing Polish woman, as I rummaged around in the long grass looking at dandelions and forget me not. 

I do look strange sometimes, I suppose!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 08.04.24

Thursday 4 April 2024

Spring Finally Sprung

 It's taken a long time, with endless wet weather and only occasional fine days that were however rather windy. Poliinators have been slow to take to the wing, and butterflies have been in very low numbers for the time of year - I've barely seen a brimstone up, which I normally consider to be a true sign of spring.

Hence, my first butterfly photo of spring was of a green veined white, which is a first for me. 

That being said, this past few days has seen the emergence of worker bumblebees, various species of solitary bee, lots of lady birds, and of course, the loud singing of chiff chaffs in wooded areas.

Photographing a grey patched mining bee and a two coloured mining bee - or maybe an early mining bee - are both firsts for me. Not seen by me is the remarkable sighting of a black kite at RSPB Langford Lowfields. I wonder if I should cycle out and try and find it. 

I hope you have seen such sights and heard such sounds. I intend to fully enjoy the spring as much as I can. And I hope, show them to you. I'm disappointed to not have had a lot to show you in recent times; this will change. 


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 04.04.24