More Jan

An apology

I know I’ve said this before but: “I don’t remember people.” It’s not ’cause I don’t like particular people; it’s not ’cause particular people aren’t memorable; it’s not ’cause I can’t talk to particular people.
I just don’t remember people.
Folk I meet while walking, anglers, dog walkers or other walkers, often greet me as if they recognise me, they probably do. In order to not appear totally oafish I tend to meet everyone with a nod, a smile and a cheery “Hi”, as if I know them.
Folk I’ve known and spoken with for yonken are the exception* and possession of a dog also ups your chances of recognition. Names: that’s another of my many failings.
*Not invariably – as related elsewhere, I once blanked my brother.

Apropos nothing at all

Aside: Why is ‘I’ the only pronoun that’s always capitalised in English? Indeed it’s the only non-proper noun that is; correct me if I’m wrong.

Mondegreen: A mondegreen is a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning (wiki).
The word comes from an American author, Sylvia Wright, who, as a child misheard the words “laid him on the green” from “The Bonny Earl of Murray[sic] as “Lady Mondegreen”. She’s now dead but that’s not a bad memorial, methinks.
Some more mondegreens:
“Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.” → “Gladly The Cross I’d Bear.” Traditional Hymn
“There’s a bathroom on the right.” → “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater
“Excuse me while I kiss this guy.” → “Excuse me while I kiss the sky.” Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix

There’s loads of ’em.

On with the walks – don’t forget you can see the pictures bigger by clicking (or tapping on a touch screen, I suppose) on ’em. Headers are linked to the appropriate Flickr albums.

Tuesday 3rd Jan ’17

With Molly

West along the canal to Shireoaks Woodlands and back.Crows are bugger to photograph, unless you can get ’em against a more neutral background, they are just black all over.
Some planes passing over Worksop already have wheels down ready for landing at Doncaster.
Alder trees, like hazel, have catkins, the male flowers, out ready to pollinate the females.

Gulls strut about on the frozen pond totally unworried by the solid water underfoot. I turned this pic on its side just for fun.
Mallards generally get along but occasionally one male will encroach on another’s female too much and arouse the combative instincts.
There’s lots of freshwater mussels in the canal – this one I found in a molehill on the rugby field at least a hundred feet away.

Wednesday 4th

With Molly:

Up the canal again, this time to Cinderhill where the footpath to Brancliffe turns off to the right. Followed the feeder to Turnerwood and back along the canal.
Molly hurtling along with ears flapping is a sight worth seeing.
At the western edge of the pond is a hawthorn with a rather large floppy lichen. (I like lichen)
The robin was fluffed up, presumably to defend against the cold.
The red berries look very appetising but they’re the toxic fruit of woody nightshade.


The bluetit was on the other side of the canal in the same place for ages.
The kestrel was initially on a streetlight outside a factory but flew off to take up observation from a conifer.
This is different kestrel, it flew from the blackthorn hedge between rugby field and canal to perch on top of one of the rugby posts.
The moon was up in the daytime – the first picture has an out of focus mallard below it.

Thursday 5th


Went t’ other way for a change. Through the town and joined the canal at Bracebridge. Walked east as far as Manton Turnover Bridge. Then back via ‘Elizabeth II Playing Field’ and The Canch.
My first picture of every camera walk: the pond between the poplars.
Sparrow: there’s loads round here, chattering in bramble bushes and hopping around hawthorn.
The red head of a female goosander.
The swan was still here then.


Wren, again I note: often seen, rarely still long enough to photograph.
Robins seem to intentionally pose for the camera.
Bluetit flocks seem to be breaking up into pairs.


On down the canal
A small, tiny almost, spider landed on my finger.
The three bridges, footbridge, railbridge and, newest of all, the ‘sewage farm’ roadbridge.
Back up towards Kilton Lock there’s a pretty good view of the pumping station and its chimney.

On the pond again, a female hazel flower out to catch windblown pollen from the male catkins.
Starlings are underrated for their looks.
A few blackthorn are blooming already.

 A daytime moon to finish the day.

Friday 6th

Train to Sheffield after walking round the pond.

It was a cold, wet, miserable day so not many photographs
The duck was demonstrating why the phrase “like water off a duck’s back” rings so true. This female, after dunking in a post coital wash, had water flowing over her without wetting her feathers.
A male goosander stretching after a dive.
Another gull reflected in the ice.
The canopy of Worksop railway station. The work that went into such mundane things in our past entrances me.

 On top of Sheffield Town hall is a representation of Vulcan The Roman god of fire and metalworking.

† Ye Hielands and ye Lowlands,
O, whaur hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray,
And laid him on the green.
He was a braw gallant,
And he rade at the ring,
And the bonny Earl o’ Moray,
He might hae been a king.
O lang will his lady
Lok frae the Castle Doune
Ere she see the Earl o’ Moray
Come soundin’ through the toun.


Now wae be to ye, Huntly,
And wherefore did ye sea?
I bade ye bring him wi’ ye,
And forbade ye him to slay.
He was a braw gallant,
And he played at the glove;
And the bonny Earl o’ Moray,
He was the Queen’s true love.
O lang will his lady
Lok frae the Castle Doune
Ere she see the Earl o’ Moray
Come soundin’ through the toun.


Back soon

4 thoughts on “More Jan

  1. Blackthorn flowers?
    Hazel catkins and flowers?
    It’s still deep midwinter in this neck of the woods.
    That Molly looks a good dog. Bet she doesn’t wake her owner at 4 in the morning to complain about the wind.
    Oh and – I’m sorry to be the one that tells you – not remembering people is down to old fucking age.
    I like to read. I only really need one book because by the time I have finished I have no idea of the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup! it’s still midwinter here. That particular blackthorn had flowers early last year. No sloes on that one, presumably there weren’t enough insects around in the cold. Hazel catkins are always out in winter but it’s the first time I’ve noticed the little red flowers at this time of year
      ‘Tain’t old age; I’ve always had a crap facial recognition ability.
      I reread books ’cause there’s always something I’ve missed in the middle of the story on account of reading too fast.


  2. ‘He who shall hurt the little wren, shall never be beloved by men’. Love the wren photo. They’re very susceptible to the cold weather on account of being insectivorous, while the ubiquitous robin appears to be omnivorous! We’ve actually had some snow here – a rare occurrence. Not like the proper snow we had when we were young and went sledging in Graves Park.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glimpses of wrens are frequent but one staying in one place for long enough to photograph! Wrens are one of the few things that I’ll stay still for, hoping to see them when they move. Usually in vain.
      I have memories of sledging on Lismore Road, Barbers’ Field and, of course, Graves Park.
      Lismore road had only one car on it then, Barbers’ Field has been built on and the sledge track in the park has been allowed to overgrow with saplings.
      Time is a bugger!

      Liked by 1 person

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