Thirteenth of February and beyond


Thirteen is, to Westerners at least, an unlucky number.Let me google that for you I always thought that the only reason was the presence, as the thirteenth to arrive, of Judas Iscariot at the ‘last supper’. Like so many things bible related though this turns out to be only part of the story. A lot of the reasoning lies with the idea, prevalent from Babylonian times at least, that twelve was a ‘perfect’ number. Think of twelve months in a year and twice twelve hours in a day – inherited from the Babylonians. So adding one to perfection could only mar it.
Apparently there was a similar thirteenth visitor at a Norse God’s feast: Loki the trickster.
Apollo 13 – say no more!
Fear of the number thirteen has its own name: Triskaidekaphobia.
Friday 13th is a whole other kettle of fish.

On with the pics. Please click on ’em or visit the linked Flickr page to see ’em bigger.

Saturday 13th Feb ’16

Not the best of days.

There’s three panoramas of the pond here and not much else. The two guys are incomers – Eastern European – possibly Polish – we seem to have a hell of a lot in Worksop; they mostly seem genial enough. They’re better than a lot of our locally bred lowlife.
Silver birch catkins are really hard – I’ll have to keep looking at them to see if they soften up.
I pass the burdock burrs almost every day without really noticing them.

Velcro is the brainchild of Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral who in 1941 went for a walk in the woods and wondered if the burrs that clung to his trousers — and dog — could be turned into something useful.
The original patented hook and loop fastener was invented in 1948 by de Mestral, who patented it in 1955 and subsequently refined and developed its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.

(Listening to Tracy Chapman – Fast Carlink. Excellent!)


Monday 15th

(The back was playing up on Sunday – didn’t go out)

Mallards, both sexes, often do a full stretch after a scratch or wash but especially after mating. The only possible reason for the male doing it is to brag!
Chaffinches are one of Britain’s commonest birds but, until recently, I haven’t see many.
Tits though, both blue and great are all over the place. They flock with finches and other tits – particularly their long tailed relatives.
Lichen does add colour to winter.
Molly, my little occasional walking companion, likes sticks. Why do dogs like sticks?
The crows were in one of their favourite roosting places – the trees next to Stret Lock.
Jelly ear fungus – also known as Jew’s ear and Judas’ ear ’cause it preferentially infests elder trees – the alleged tree on which Judas hung himself.




There’s the odd tiny clump of snowdrops at the side of the canal.
The moon in the afternoon again, this time over the canal and St John’s spire.
The blackthorns on Shireoaks Woodlands are blooming beautifully.
An Emirates plane passing by West to East.
All overseen by the gibbous(lovely word!) daytime moon.

Lichen whether Orange/yellow or gray/green is choosy – infesting one tree in several hundred and totally ignoring the rest.
Molly knows no fear of temperature, she’ll break ice quite unconcernedly to walk through and drink from puddles.
More female hazel flowers. They are really small – less than three millimetres across (my estimate).
Yes, my dulcet tones calling the hound. She really is that obedient.


Wednesday 17th


A trio of goosander pairs – more than I’ve seen for a week.
The great crested pic is worth looking at bigger! (IMnsHO)
The Narrowboat Balthamos had been stuck in Morse Lock – the solo pilot/crew had to cut off or otherwise remove fenders to get through. (Balthamos is an angel in Philip Pullman’s ‘Amber Spyglass’ book; the third of the ‘His Dark Materials’ series)
More of those towpath snowdrops – different patch this time.
An attempt at an ‘anigif’ of a GCG. Not triffic I’m afraid but wot the hell!


Thursday 18th


The coot was chasing off an interloper and then returning to its territory.
‘Twas a nice sunny day so several panoramas were done. Sorry!
Just sitting on the water, one eye open, gently spinning round and round. That’s what passes for an afternoon nap for a grebe.
Pigeons can look quite sinister perching on tree tops.
Another pano – t’other end o’ the lake this time.
Moon over t’pond. This is half a mile or less from the centre of scruffy old Worksop and, if it weren’t for dog walkers and a few anglers, it’d be totally deserted (during the daytime that is, I wouldn’t go there after dark).

No matter how battered an elder tree looks, there’s a good chance that new shoots will grow. The moss is an added bonus.
The moon in the afternoon again, this time over the canal and St John’s spire.
I think the small flock was mostly greenfinches but they might have been siskins, I couldn’t get any closer.
The thrush was singing fit to burst.
I’ve accentuated the tree against the sunset a little bit. It’s my favourite winter tree and this time of year the sun sets just right.
There can be spectacular sunsets over he pond.

Another Sunset pic.
Three of a heron that I almost stood on as it hunted its supper.
No the easiest thing to see – a mini-murmuration of starlings against the clouds.
More moon a little easier with the sun going beyond the horizon.


For some reason I’d got the idea that “Anchorage” was by Sheryl Crow – not so, it’s Michelle My listening habits are weird(?) (Seems that she (M Shocked) is a ‘born again christian’ who don’t like the gays – sad. Religion really messes things up for some folk, dunnit?)


2 thoughts on “Thirteenth of February and beyond

  1. Herons…
    I’ve been reconciling myself to the fact that herons are rather squat birds, without the long neck that I’d thought they had, when you show a picture of a heron with a long graceful neck.
    I’ll just have to keep looking.
    And you must know which trees are plum, and which blackthorn/sloe because I can’t tell the difference in the flowers.


    • Herons have beautiful, long, flexible necks and some surprising plumage patterns.
      The difference between plum & blackthorn? Very little as they’re quite closely related, both prunus species. I do know the trees in question. If given a picture of the blossom, I’m afraid I’d be stumped for identification. Our blackthorn, by the way, have few or zero thorns – strange.



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