Finishing August

Today’s header pic is a hypercute long tailed tit picking insects off a hawthorn.

Just did that thing — I hit the Publish button instead of Preview so my ‘followers’ will have got an email. Scrubbed that title so they won’t find it. Sorry!


When walking on barely trodden ground should you use existing tracks (rabbit tracks?) and thereby make them more defined or use unmarked ground and spread the damage? Which is more wildlife friendly – given that I’m gonna go AB whatever?


Sometime in the last week I was reminded of an old pome:

There was a little girl,
      Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
      When she was good,
       She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

Hadn’t realised it was by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (That’s the yank wot wrote The Song of Hiawathalink)
(I also thought it was “She was very, very good”)


Things you see on Twitter: t’other day there was this:
put the word “only” at any point in the following sentence:

She told him that she loved him.

It makes sense, admittedly possibly different sense, wherever it’s placed. In similar vein I have long known of this line from Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray:

The ploughman homeward plods his weary way

You can move the “weary” to any position in this line and it’ll still make sense, although you might need some extra punctuation.


A saying that I recall from childhood, presumably it reached South Yorkshire from areas where weaving was the local industry, is “She got wed while she were waiting for a weft”. The weft, as you, gentle reader, doubtless know, is the thread that is carried across the warp threads by the flying shuttle. It doesn’t take long! I can’t really remember what the implication of the sentence was but I seem to have heard (female?) adults using it slightly disparagingly of acquaintances.
(does the “gentle reader” raise any hackles? Apparently it was introduced in Victorian novels as a way of ‘breaching the third wall’ – talking to the reader as if the narrative were a diary written after the events. Not seen nowadays, it’s usage being seen as pretentious – hee! “Pretentious? Moi?”)


Click pics to embiggen.
Mouse over to see (some) captions.

Sat 23rd August

There’s a cricket pitch between canal and river near the centre of Worksop. Considering the amount of time spent caring for it, it doesn’t seem to get much use. This guy was adjudged ‘OUT LBW’ apparently.
DSC_4186Out LBW


Narrowboats heading up, a plane heading down and a tufted duck stretching. The sky’s just hanging about.


25th September

This little guy (a chiffchaff is twitter consensus) was over the river near Stubbing Lane.
(Yes – I am getting a bit arty-farty with my picture editing!)


Grebes are still on the pond. The heron has almost taken up residence in the reaped rapeseed where he is occasionally joined by one or more of the pheasants that lived in it. There’s almost always a robin somewhere near Morse Lock. Pigeons do a really good job of looking miserable in inclement weather.



The pond looking pleasant on a Tuesday


The orange legged beast is, I believe, an ichneumon wasp – probably a male. The drab butterfly is a gatekeeper. Cuteness in motion exemplified by the long tailed tit. Narrowboats Umnyama (Xhosa: Rainbow) and Mr. Blue Sky (ELO 1977YouTube link). There are several places round the pond & on the towpath where St. Anne’s church makes a pretty picture. Pigeons look quite supercilious sometimes. Here’s mum (or dad?) grebe with two of the young.



Up to Shireoaks Woodlands (as the “tip” shall henceforth be known).
Goldfinches were flocking over the trees – a lot were youngsters. They are very common birds – at least around here. (A click on this is highly recommended)DSC_4919A host of goldfinches


Mallards are randy beasts. Speckled woods are often the only butterflies left as the days grow cooler. Dragonflies become more common though, basking in the sun.


Nb Parvathi passed upstream as the heron did the buggerin’ off.


Tiny wasp (or hoverfly?) on a dandelionesque flower. The butterfly I can’t ID for certain – it’s either a Common Blue female or an Argus. One of the goldfinch flock was taking a breather. Swallows insect hunting above. How many tiny insects do they consume to keep the flight going? The moorhen had (at least) four chicks – don’t think any have survived. This canal’s lethal for small birds – there’s minklink, pikelink and of course herons.


28th Aug

One of Lady Lee’s swans. The cygnetslink seem to have vanished
DSC_5210Lady Lee Swan


Damselflies are making the next generation all over. Now that was one bloody big acorn. Vandals have ripped up shrubs and dumped them in the bottom! Why? The dreaded “blue-green algae” windblown to the west end of the pond.


30th August

Dunno if there’s more (or bigger?) spiders around in the autumn but they seem to be much more noticeable. How long do spiders live, anyway? Here’s a composite pic of three.
DSC_5345SpidersThere’s at least 38,000 species of spider in the world (and probably the same number again undocumented).
You’re probably within six feet of at least one and possibly loads more spiders right now.
Spiders are not nearly as common in heavily managed, monoculture habitats e.g., turf grass, golf courses, some urban greenspaces.
Spiders are not as common in buildings as in natural habitats, although they are there.
In Northern climates, spiders are not active in the winter months- so although you could still be close to them (i.e, they are under the snow, somewhere…), it’s quite a different context.


Angler on t’ pond caught a pike. A speckled wood sitting there speckled.


31st Aug ’14

Up to Shireoaks Woodlands again — it’s rapidly becoming a regular walk.
Two views of a comma butterfly, the ‘comma’ marking is clearly visible on the underside, white against the (nearly) black.


Right in the middle of blackberry season. The heron’s still in the reaped rape. There’s a surprising number of canoeists travelling the length of the canal.

Things that fly and things that hop: a large white butterfly, a dragonfly and a grasshopper.


These are common blues — even the brown ones.

Speckled woods aren’t monochrome — from some angles you can see loads o’ colours. There’s a plane passing between those clouds. Why the EFF do people dump rubbish — this lot was about 250yards from a council household dump.
Another stretching tufted duck to finish with.

Getting up to date slowly – only 12 days to go.

2 thoughts on “Finishing August

  1. Miranda Hart the comedian uses the affectation of breaching the third wall extensively in her television comedies and her autobiography. I don’t mind it (having been brought up on Jane Eyre (reader I married him), Frankie Howerd and etc but know loads of people who find it annoying. I’m presuming that ‘she got wed while waiting for a weft’ means that she had to marry in extreme haste. Wonderful wildlife picture as always.


    • I quite like the third wall breach – don’t know why. The actual phrasing of the weft thingwas “she got wed while wetting for a weft. ” don’t know if that makes any difference.

      The pics are just what I see. 🙂



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