Onward Goeth November

Once upon a time there was a card game called patience, it was probably the first card game after snap that anyone learned. For reasons unknown it was changed to solitaire. WTAA*?

My earliest childhood memory is of walking to ‘the shops’ clutching my mother’s hand along a channel cut through snow that was above my head. This must have been the winter of ’47 when I was about 2¾. The shops were at Heeley Green and still are. The grocers was ‘Flears’ (sp?) who delivered on Thursday afternoon.

Monday the Sixteenth of November

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




How do you pronounce lichen? For years I said it to rhyme with kitchen until a teacher* laughed at my pronunciation, apparently it should sound like liken. To this day I have to think before saying it and it still has a ‘-itchen’ sound in my head. I put this down to my being an omnivorous reader from an early age. For the same reason I thought of misled as ‘mizzled’ and was very late connecting the written and spoken words.

*The teacher, I think – memory’s not what it was, was a Mr Ridley – chemistry teacher at High Storrs Grammar – might have the name wrong though. (might have been Smith?)
The same guy had a saying (our half of the school was boys only) about the last drop being held in the nozzle of a pipette or burette:
No matter how much you shake your peg,
The last few drops run down your leg

The above is immaterial though; you’ll see many lichen pics in this blog, especially now that many insects, spiders and such are noticeably absent with the onset of winter, leaving less of interest to photograph.

The ubiquity of lichen on hawthorn.

The myriad shapes and patterns of bark, this is hawthorn, are quite interesting if you really look. Miniature landscapes with valleys cutting through the uplands.

What though is the green? It’s all over, on fence posts and trees. Is it lichen that’s not matured yet? Or is it lichen without its fungal component (alga)? Or what …?

More lichen. Brilliant yellow – the source of pigments in days of yore*.

*Yore: Old English “of yore, formerly, in former times,” literally “of years,”

“Many Lichens contain highly coloured pigments and have been used for dying fabric throughout the ages. Mauve, purple, beetroot red, cyan, fawn, lilac, yellow, cream, and various shades of brown are readily achievable, given the right mordant. However, lichens are getting scarcer and many are now protected from being harvested for dyestuffs even assuming that it is still economical to do so.”
From here.

Every time I pass a certain point on my usual daily walk I take a picture of Saint John’s church spire reflected in the canal. Why I know not but it’s become a habit. Here the overwhelming yellow-orange of autumn is apparent.

More pics (please click ’em to embiggen ’em): first there’s a couple of the more colourful small birds, a goldfinch and a bluetit; then a feast of long tailed tits – they flit along hedgerows and bushes in flocks of a dozen or more; a fence’s mossy surface; the bark of a tree well colonised by lichen;and a branch or twig totally covered in brilliant yellow and orange lichen.

There’s a bridge that I’ve commented on before, it’s surprisingly well made for the traffic it now carries: almost exclusively walkers, with or without dogs. Presumably at some time past it had more significant users.

It crosses the Ryton and leads to Shireoaks Hall.
Approximately here.

Just across the bridge are a couple of fields, one of which has been newly ploughed.Here’s a 360° pano:

The bridge is behind the gate to the right of centre.

To the right of the footway there’s both ivy and lichen

No surprises with the lichen which is feasting on a hawthorn hedge.
Before you scroll on take a look at the single ivy flower; there’s a wasp rootling around taking nectar and inadvertently exchanging pollen.
Ivy demonstrates the power of nature, slowly enveloping the corrugated barn.

After passing the fishing ponds between Shireoaks Hall and the Hewett Arms Saint Luke’s Church and graveyard is at the South West end of Shireoaks Row. In the graveyard there is allegedly a gravestone dated February 30th but I’ve not seen it – not that I’ve really looked.

Here‘s the Northern end of the church yard with the gravestone somewhere in there.

Down the canal there’s a bridge over the entry to the marina from which you can look over the farm fields complete with beasts. This day it was horses but there are quite often cattle in the field.

This picture is the result of merging two: one of the ground; the other the sky with what appeared to be a glowing Eye of Sauron.

Crows are omnipresent despite being frequently scolded off by seagulls near the pond.
Robins are emblematic of winter – there are not a lot of seasonal migrants although they do seem to be much more visible.
The fallen leaf is just that, but it’s almost perfect.

Thursday the Nineteenth of November

As usual after walking round the pond it’s off up the canal.

Fairly distant great crested grebe stretching a leg. It’s nice to see one still on the pond.

When the gorse is out of bloom, kissing’s out of fashion” the idea behind the saying is that gorse is always in flower somewhere. The saying is recorded from the mid 19th century.
From The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

This is true even in so small an area as the surrounds of Godfrey’s Pond: there seems to be always a splash of yellow somewhere.

With no wind or rain the canal is mirror smooth and reflects the far bank and its bare trees perfectly.

Looking up the canal with Worksop RU field on the left.

There’s a newly expanded, five or six years ago, wire rope manufacturers across the canal with tall trees providing nesting sites for crows and squirrels.

Another panorama – this one to show off the cloud formation. (I like clouds)

The sun was low enough to cast my shadow, and that of the Lock Keeper pub’s gate, on the far side of the pound. From here.

Above Deep Lock’s top gate there’s a multicoloured floating blanket of leaves.

Between Deep lock and Wood End there’s a small copse and a settling pond on the left – there’s plenty of stuff to snap.

There’s the mossy stones that form the canal’s wall, likewise moss covered fences and posts; there’s trees eating wire fences and a sea of teasels through the hedge.

The view is somewhat ruined at Wood End by the A57 Worksop bypass thundering by above but judicious editing provides a pretty canalscape.

The inset bottom left shows the whole view. From here.

A little bit of doggerel from my childhood:

My face I don’t mind it,
For I am behind it,
It is those in front get the jar.

I didn’t know until now that this is a (mis)quote from a short poem by US president Woodrow Wilson.

Another cloud pic. (I like clouds)

A long tailed tit departing at speed,

At half past three of the afternoon a crescent moon peeping through the thin clouds.

Back in the middle of town there’s always pied wagtails.

The moon was much more visible at five o’clock:

*WTAA – What’s That All About!

Published by Roger

5 thoughts on “Onward Goeth November

  1. I play some solitaire on the computer when I need a break from other nonsense I do. But playing on the computer is not nearly as satisfying as holding that deck of cards in my palm and actually moving the cards physically around. Even if the deck is decades old and grimy.
    The computer game will notify me that the game is unsolvable and I can back up and do another move. I can even click to get hints to help me. And I eventually will win …. usually.

    I am sure my old deck of cards will outlast my computer and probably outlast me too.

    I have spoken!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got a book…
    The computer “Solitaire” is called Klondike. The other one I learnt at your house is caled “Demon” and needs real cards. There must be a hundred others.
    Solitaire was a game with pegs. Mine / my Dad’s was a red circular plastic case with blue pegs. They had to be hopped over an adjacent peg into a space. That peg was removed and you’d won if the last peg was in the middle.
    Long tailed tits – none of them here yet. But I might not be looking at them right. Greenfinches don’t come to the feeders until they’re brown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey: I’ve got a book!
      Not about Solitaire though.😀
      The one with pegs now often, I think, with marbles or ball bearings.
      Not noticed GREENfinches – GOLDfinches on t’other hand …
      LTTs flock around all over the pond and canal. They’re magic wee beasties.



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