Week two of November

Friday 8th November 2013

Pond & canal
DSC_8203swansSwans come and go on t’pond. Appears to be a bit of cradle snatching here.


DSC_8265KesLooks like a wooden model. Not, by any means, a good picture, kes was a long way off.


DSC_8293FlyWaspIvyAs I remarked last week, ivy is a boon to flies and wasps this late in the year.


DSC_8313SwansNearing town there was a “Whump; whump; whump” from behind and the swans from the pond flew overhead heading south over town.


DSC_8392SeagullI know they’re as common as muck but they are beautiful.


Reasons to insert a break …

Somebody (No names – no packdrill [Alison]) reminded – or was it “told” – me that the email notifications for my blog actually include the whole post. The cure for this is to put a “continue reading” marker in.

The thing to do, I suppose, is to make sure that the reader’s attention is grabbed to make them want to see what comes next.

Coming up after the fold: Monastery, mongoose and owl! and lots more:

Pics ex Wikipedia )
(never said they were anything to do with me, although I have seen one of them* up close)


Just for a change walked round the pond and down the canal to town and back.+DSC_8425Ducks
Thought these ducks looked rather sinister silhouetted against the sun. “The Black Ducks of Godfrey’s Pond”


DSC_8435RattyThought this was a vole (Arvicola amphibius), it swam and dived so quickly, until I checked the picture on t’computer. It’s a rat!


DSC_8448TinyFlowersThese flowers, as well as being quite late, are among the smallest around.


Looking down to see clouds …
DSC_8461ReflectionDSC_8467CloudsReflect… reflected in the canal.


DSC_8487FungusCan’t recall exactly where this fungus was but I’m pleased I got it.


DSC_8494GullTwo views of the same gull.


DSC_8506MorseLooking West from Morse Lock.


DSC_8520PondColours of autumn on the pond.


DSC_8533CygSwanAnother young swan visiting.


DSC_8541Kes“Our” kestrel over the canal.


DSC_8604GrebeCootYoung grebe passes by as a coot preens on the carpet in the pond.


DSC_8645GullsCouple of gulls landing and demonstrating why they’re called “Gullwing” doors.


DSC_8680Grebes“No: I’m not getting you any more fish! Time you’d left the pond, Junior.” Parent giving short shrift to one of the kids.


A comment on my last post got me googling “tease” Apparently it does come from teaseling as in “running thorns through wool or flax to separate, shred, or card the fibers” which can be traced back to Old High German “ziesen” “To tease, pick wool”. In the early 17th century the figurative sense: “vex, worry, annoy” emerged.

Teasels play a little known part in the manufacturing of many textile fabrics. The stiff needle-like bracts which form just below the flowers in the head or burr are used to raise the ‘nap’ or ‘pile’ of the cloth to produce desired finishes on specific fabrics.
The cultivated form of this plant is commonly called Fuller’s Teasel, because the gigging or napping operation in a mill is done under the supervision of the fuller, who supervises the fulling, or felting of the fabric.
Teasel occurs in Anglo-Saxon, before the English Language as we use it had evolved, and is directly related to the word ‘tease’-not in the later sense of annoying but referring to the act of disentangling fibres. http://archive.bsbi.org.uk/Proc7p377.pdf

Anyhoo: onward:


Walked up Tranker Lane and in to Tranker Wood via what I’m told was Dormer drills factory site but is now an expanse of concrete foundations. I think that Dormer was where Tom Wheen, a friend of my father’s worked in Sheffield.
On with the pics:

DSC_8697GrebeAnyone saying this blog has too many grebe pics will be banned forthwith.
1) They’re beautiful birds;
2) It was trying and failing to get pics of grebes doing their courting dance on the pond that got me interested in photography and “nature”.


DSC_8767AutumnTitled “Autumn”


DSC_8772ReflectReflection in the canal.


I went into the wood to see if I could get near to the dike that took the water from the rubbish fire to the Ryton. Failed!
DSC_8811Shroom Some ENORMOUS mushrooms in the wood. Some were over 25cm across, I’m sure.


DSC_8844TrankerWoodAny English wood could stand in for Mirkwood or Fangorn. This was almost impenetrable in some directions.


DSC_8873BuddleiaBack out on the concrete of ex-Dormer ground, there’s loads of buddleia. Have to come and look for butterflies in the summer.


DSC_8913Leaf Globules of water on a fallen oak leaf. Just an odd thing that caught my attention.


DSC_8922GullsAs far from the coast as Worksop is seagulls find us easily.


DSC_8965HawHaws against the sky;


DSC_8971bullfHad this down as a chaffinch but twitter has convinced me that it’s a bullfinch. 🙂


DSC_8980SunLakeThis I captioned thus for Twitter:

“Never”, they said, “take a picture straight into the sun”.

“Sure about that?” I asked.

Cause I think it’s not bad.


DSC_8992SeedsJust a dead seedhead – rose bay willow?


DSC_8997SparrersOne of the many sparrow trees around the pond.

November pomes

After N0! last post getting some nice comments and tweets I thought I’d dig out some more Novemberish stuff

November Night
LISTEN . . .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.

(Adelaide Crapsey (1878 – 1914))

Even Guns N’ Roses:
November Rain
“When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin’ when I hold you
Don’t you know I feel the same
‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it’s hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain.”

Some prose quotes:

“The gloomy months of November, when the people of England hang and drown themselves.” (Joseph Addison)
A friend has just done the buggerin’ off to Tenerif for a fortnight. Whether it’s to forestall impending self-destruction I know not.

Of course some, me included, like the season:
“I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colours are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and its content.” (Lin Yutang 1895 – 1976)

And some admire its necessity:
“Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky,
How beautiful it is?
All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness
There is a poem, there is a song.
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.
When the spring comes, it again fills the tree with
The music of many leaves,
Which in due season fall and are blown away.
And this is the way of life.”
(Krishnamurti 1895 – 1986)


DSC_9406IvyIvy fruit.


DSC_9420RobinRather bolshy looking robin.


DSC_9424We do the hokey cokey and we turn around. That bullfinch again.


Kestrel:DSC_9581KesDSC_9606KesHovering over the canal.


Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;



Note: t’ represents a sound that varies by context – anything from “th”,“t”, “d” to “uh”.
Spellings are guesswork.
Some of these may be national but I think they’re Sheff:
Sheffielders are known as “Dee dars” by some in surrounding areas for the (supposéd) pronunciation of “thee” (dee) and “thou” (dar) in phrases such as:
“Nah den dee, wot dar doin?” → Now then you, what (are) you doing?

Snap tin “Snap” → Lunch. Specially when taken to work in a “snap tin”. (Note the manufacturer and imagine Wile E. Coyote’d with one – it’s “Acme”) They were apparently miners’ gear as the tight push fit and handle allowed the contents to be kept clean and safe from vermin.

“Mardy” → Easily upset; with overtones of grumpy and moaning.

“Put t’wood in t’oil.” → Put the wood in the hole. → Close the door.

“Sylin’ down” → Raining (a lot (a hell of a lot (really chucking it down)))
  Also “Comin’ down in stair rods”.

“Nesh” → Unusually susceptible to cold weather. Often disparaging and implies that one is mardy about it.

“Mash” → I hadn’t realised that this was a Sheffieldism. One “mashes” tea rather than “brews” it or whatever outlandish things are done in other parts.

“Skutch” → A glancing blow to the side or top of the head using the flat of the hand. “A skutch round t’earole”

“Mimmimoke” → To imitate someone in an unflattering way. Often behind their back to amuse those in front of them.

“Lug” → A little tangle in the hair causing pain when combed.
“Lug(ole)s” → ear(hole)s.

“Togger” → Football, the game, not the object.

“Gormless” → Stupid.

“Teeming and Ladling” Pouring liquid from one vessel to another. From steelworks.

“Thee thee and tha them as thees and thas thee” → You talk uncouthly to those who speak uncouthly to you. (command, not observation)
Note) see comment by T below.


Just the usual:
DSC_9736Starlings2A mini murmuration and subsequent standing room only on an aerial.


DSC_9854WagtailA wagtail on M&S roof. Pied wagtails are quite common but we do get the occasional grey – saw one t’other day on a bobbing Lucozade bottle in Morse Lock’s bywash spill.


DSC_9852LeafThe ribs on this leaf made it look almost look like a dead animal. The photo doesn’t capture it.


DSC_9836WetGrassOften, a short while after rain or dewfall, the only thing showing traces of water are grasses.


DSC_9813Gull Another gull. This one I got against a darker background – I think it shows up better.


DSC_9802KesDidn’t realise this was a kestrel until it flew. This dead tree is a common pigeon’s resting place.


DSC_9791MolehillsDo moles cast up more molehills in colder weather? The rugger field is often invaded by them.


A couple of skyscapes:



I was a precocious reader, having consumed, among others, Alice in Wonderland before I went to school at five years old. It wasn’t, however, until fairly recently that I discovered that many (most? all?) of the poems in Alice were parodies of other “worthy” writings.

While I was googling “tease” I found:

“Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes;
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.

Which is what the duchess sings to the baby before it turns into a pig. Turns out that it’s a parody of the rather doleful:

Speak gently to the little child!
Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild;
It may not long remain.
(Sir Robert Stout)

This got me off on a google hunt:

“‘You are old, Father William,’ the young man said,
‘And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think, at your age, it is right?’

is from:

“‘You are old, father William,’ the young man cried,
‘The few locks which are left you are grey;
You are hale, father William, a hearty old man;
Now tell me the reason, I pray.’
(The old man’s comforts and how he gained them; Robert Southey)

I knew, of course, that:

“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea-tray in the sky.

Was from:

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
(The Star Jane Taylor)

You might like to check others for yourself.


Thursday 14th November

DSC_9888PondAnother of those “first” pics of the pond.


DSC_9923GrebesHaving a kip.


DSC_9961RipplesAnother of my obsessions: ripples.


DSC_9970LockLeavesLeaves held by Deep Lock’s top gate.


DSC_9979TreeSocksTrees with socks on.


DSD_0022GrassGrass on Shireoaks tip.

Tried to catch the movement of the grass.


DSD_0074TeaselTeasel against the sky.


Wind in a different grass.


DSD_0157ThornThe extreme thornyness of this rose stem impressed me.
Captioned: “Nemo me impune lacessit”.


DSD_0169AlderflowerThese are the flowers, male and female, of the alder tree.


DSD_0172LadybirdGotta be one of the last ladybirds of the year.


Of the three things the one I’ve seen is the monastery; It’s “Stift Melk” at Melk overlooking the Danube in Austria. I went there in 1960 on an exchange with Harald Schmidt. Unfortunately we didn’t get on and haven’t kept in touch. It was a bloody good month though.


8 thoughts on “Week two of November

  1. Don’t thee thee and thou me.
    Thee thee and thou them as thees and thous thee,
    And see (h)ow tha likes it.

    This presumably a relic from the time when “thee and thou” were familiar terms, like “tu” and “du”.

    Like the red grass


  2. Loved the grass and the pond and canal shots. Shireoaks is such a nice name, couldn’t it be Shireoaks field rather than tip?! I did know that about Alice, I realised it after I somehow realised How doth the little crocodile was based on How doth the little busy bee. I was just looking yesterday at the most beautiful new hardback edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and other stories, with that gilt edge thing they sometimes do. I thought about buying it but didn’t because a) books are expensive in Aus and it’s 2 days to pay day and b) I already have both Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in the house.

    Also loved the looking west over the lake. And couldn’t help but notice a gif, getting fancy 🙂 Also, what do “they” know. Damn little, it generally turns out.


  3. Pingback: November: three weeks gone already! | rojerb

    • Yes, you can find the original of most of Carrol’s doggerel if you look.

      Strange how we, I at least, anthropomorphise animals. I find myself assuming that (e.g.) long tailed tits are playing when in reality they’re food hunting.
      Robin was probably waiting for me to bugger off so it could get to some serious worm (is that what they eat?) hunting.



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