Winterfylleð continues

Winterfylleð* was the Old English name for the month which became October. It apparently means winter filling or possibly winter full moon. It was nicked by J.R.R. Tolkien for use in Lord of the Rings.
*ð was pronounced very like ‘th’ so it was winterfilth
Tolkien‘s biography, for the interested.
I read a lot of books, not so many now – t’internet takes up an awful lot of my attention. I recall waaaaay back in Sheffield Central Library picking a book and being scorned by my father: “What do you want that for? Elves and dwarves are kids stuff.” It was, of course, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. That probably marks the beginning of my lifelong fascination with science fiction and especially with fantasy.
‡or is it dwarfs?
More on my reading matter later.

Meanwhile to carry on in October in this two thousand and sixteenth year of the Common Era:

Sunday 9th October 2016

I love skies so here’s a couple. The first is a view of the pond with a patch of blue above. In the second there’s rather more sky but considerably less blue; it’s taken looking almost due south from ‘Lady Lee Bridge’ on the canal.
Did I mention the alder beetle? Once thought to be extinct in UK, plentiful round here.
Trees on Shireoaks Woodlands are really turning on the autumn colour.
Given the hour and clear sky I always try to get a shot of the moon. Continue reading

Into May

Still playing catchup
Some old-English dates to liven things up.


Continue reading

The Wazzock’s Back

All the way from China!

All the way from China!

After a while off line – computer refused to acknowledge the existence of the internet for reasons best known to itself, I is back! My pictures are taken on camera (not phone) and are up to ten megabytes and more each so there’s no way I could upload them via the phone. For the last month I’ve been loading and editing them on the computer and downloading them to a terabyte external drive. Now I’ve got a new computer and, after pratting about with de-windozing it (i.e downloading Ubuntu Linux from the net and installing it) and putting Gimp, Shotwell, Chrome etc. etc. … on it, I’m ready to put some pics on t’net again. I thought I’d ordered a machine with Ubuntu already installed but apparently not. Continue reading

Fifth of March – to Pudding Dyke

Saturday 5th March – walked to Pudding Dyke on the summit pound of the Chesterfield canal.
Here’slink the annotated ‘Google Maps’ of the walk.

The walk

Screengrab of the Walk

Don’t forget to click the pics to see ’em bigger.
Pictures on Flickrlink.

Yup! Another pano of the pond – sorry. (not really)
Dunnocks is nice wee birds.
Ubiquitous but not easy to get close to – crow.
Jelly ear fungus. aka Jew’s ear, Judas ear. They preferentially, though not exclusively, grow on elder trees which was the tree on which Judas hanged himself – it ses here. They can look and feel like ears. Oh yes, they’re edible – but bland.


Highground bridge, next to Deep Lock at the Lock Keeper pub. There are deep grooveslink from the horse’s towing ropes in the stones of the bridge.
The hedge between Deep Lock and Wood End (Haggonfields) has quite a lot of Lichen – most of it the yellow/green stuff as here.
Just beyond Tylden Road bridge is the site of several disappeared houses. There’s still the remains of a set of ‘outside lavs’ – I am always reminded of the phrase “he (or she) was built like a brick shithouse” as I pass.


Two views from the same point: forward to Duke’s Bridge and Cinderhill; backward to Boundary Lock and the aqueduct over the River Ryton. Trip boat Hugh Henshall was in Boundary Lock – they were on a training session.
Weather was less than congenial I made half-hearted return journey starts before travelling on.
The chaffinch and robin looked as if they were deliberately ignoring each other – which I suppose they were.
Along the path to Brancliffe Grange farm there’s loads of lichen – I rather liked this elder sending new shoots through it.
Fence posts in the moist atmosphere of the north side of the railway embankment grow some lovely mosses.


Brancliffe Grange Farm. A pano from the footpath next to the rail line, the farm and the road with a line of trees.
There were a couple of buzzards overhead for a while. Couldn’t focus fast enough or well enough to get a better pic.
On the road the trees stand against the sky.
A couple more panoramas, one of the farm itself and the other of the small wood at the top of the hill. No idea why the wood is called ‘Moses Seat’ but ‘In a symbolic sense, sitting in Moses’ seat means teaching from the books of Moses, the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible’ from herelink Make of that what you will.


The canal feeder stream passes under the footpath at the far side of Moses’ Seat.
It separates from the Ryton at the weir below Lindrick Golf course.
The golf course is greatly gorsed.
In Lindrick Dale Anston Brook meets Pudding Dyke to form the River Ryton.
Beyond Lindrick Dale the old Rail Bridge is sprinkled with tiny ferns.


The footpath crosses Fan Field Farm to the railway.
The notice at the crossing point exhorts one to ‘Beware of trains’.
The weather wasn’t the best and some of the pathways underfoot were a tad muddy
A couple of great tits in the undergrowth.


The overflow that carries Pudding Dyke across the canal was flowing really full.
Tried a panorama shot to get all the overflow in focus.
There’s a Dept’ of Environment box at the side of the overflow – the cover seems to have fallen off.
The weather was on a bit of a negative swing at the time.
Tiny ‘shrooms on a tree stump.

Down the Locks to Turnerwood:

Three views of Thorpe Top Treble: from the bridge; from the corner on the summit pound and from below through Thorpe Locks Bridge. This lock was the first to be built on the canal.
Then there’s Middle Lock in the distance above Bottom Lock and Lime House Lock with Bottom above.
The weather was by now vile but blue sky was visible to the North, which was where the wind was blowing from. A couple were sheltering under the bridge – I imparted the foregoing wisdom to them (about the blue sky and wind etc.) and later, when the sky cleared and the sun came out, realised that I must have sounded like one of the local yokels being knowledgeable about country matters. Heh! Me, a true townie if ever there was one.


Milestone Lock is so called because it’s adjacent to the 17 mile stone visible in the centre of the first picture.
At Milestone lock in the lessening rain an angler was walking up trailing his bait in the water.
Brickyard Double Lock was so named because the field at the side once hosted brick making kilns using the clay from t’other side of the canal.
I’ve no idea who Brown was or why he gave his name to a lock.
Turnerwood double is usually counted as the first of the Thorpe flight rather that what seems more intuitive – the last of the Turnerwood flight.


By the time I was down towards Cinderhill the weather was glorious, it is March after all, the view across the canal was worth a picture. That’s a field of growing crops – not a manicured meadow.
The cloud in the distance attracted my notice. I have mentioned my liking for clouds, haven’t I?
Daisies blush when they’re young but lose the habit with age – just like people really.


A Long Tailed Tit doin’ the buggerin’ off. The wings are amazing.
You’ll have to take my word for it that this is a goldcrest. I did see it and its crest better but was unable to get a decent snap.
The magpie was on a multi-thousand volt cable high above the canal.
You can see where they got colours for paints way back can’t you? Don’t know whether this is a fungus or a lichen but I’ve plumped for fungus.


Treated myself at M&S at Journey’s End:



Some more of February

Catching up slowly.
Click pics to see ’em bigger. Or you can click the ‘Flickr’ links.

Wednesday 10th


Lone goosander – the flocks of a dozen or more seem to have ceased, leaving the odd singleton or couple to visit.
Not very often a magpie’ll tolerate this close an approach.
Bluetits bobble about all over. Often in the company of long tailed tits.
Accidental catch of a robin’s spread wing.

  Continue reading



Whurdling through etymology

  • No: negative reply, early 13c., from Old English na (adv.) “no, never, not at all”, from ne “not, no” + a “ever”.
  • Not: negative particle, mid-13c., unstressed variant of noht, naht “in no way”.
  • Nothing: Old English naþing, naðinc, from nan “not one” + þing “thing”. Meaning “insignificant thing” is from c. 1600. As an adverb from c. 1200. As an adjective from 1961.
  • Nowhere: Old English nahwær “nowhere, not at all;”. Similar constructions were attempted with nowhat (1520s) and nowhen (1764), but they failed to take hold and remain nonce words.
  • Nonce: abstracted from phrase for þe naness (c. 1200) “for a special occasion, for a particular purpose,” itself a misdivision of for þan anes “for the once,” in reference to a particular occasion or purpose, the þan being from Middle English dative definite article þam.

Thorn or þorn (Þ, þ). Pronounced as ‘th’ in thick. The letter originated from the rune ᚦ in the Elder Fuþark. Eth (Ð, ð; also spelled edh or eð). Pronounced similarly to the th in English “the”, but it never appears as the first letter of a word, where þ (Thorn) is used in its place.
More to come; now there’s a threat
Note: to “whurdle” is to wander through a book or website without any guidance other than whim. Yup; I made it up.

Really: click on the pics to see ’em as big as poss – it’s worthwhile.

Wednesday the First

Apparently – don’t remember myself but judging by the pictures – a HOT day:

The thistle head is one of several big (Scottish?) thistles which have appeared on the north side of the pond. Butterflies becoming more obvious in the sun. Blackbirds and, unusually(?), a robin basking in the heat.

The palest of purple flowers and common blue damselflies mating in the canal.
Onward to Shireoaks Woodlands where the scarlet pimpernels are very much in evidence. The cinnabar moths aren’t so common but teasels are ubiquitous. I love the almost architectural appearance of teasels. Small pink flowers (what? Common storksbill?) are scattered about. The ant’s aphid farm was back down near home again.

Thursday the Second

A very butterflyish day.

Skippers – there’s large and small – can never be sure which is which until I see both at the same time.

Meadow browns and ringlets are fairly similar and it sometimes takes two looks to distinguish them.

First place I’ve seen marbled whites and cinnabar moths. Well the first place I’ve known what I was seeing, anyway.

Ladybird and a ladybird larva(?). Spider with a mating damselfly about to provide dinner and a spider going for a walk.

A juvenile moorhen about to dive into the canal. Sloes not yet ripe and a little grove of bee orchids. I’ve been told what the dandelionish seed head is of but have forgotten it. Why the bird’s foot trefoil is so called.

Moer nats, nets, nits and nots

  • gnat Old English gnæt “gnat, midge, small flying insect,”
  • net: Old English net “netting, network, spider web, mesh used for capturing,” also figuratively, “moral or mental snare or trap,”
    net: “remaining after deductions,” 1510s, from earlier sense of “trim, elegant, clean, neat” (c. 1300)
    net: “to gain as a net sum,” 1758.
    net: “to capture in a net,” early 15c.
  • Knit: Old English cnyttan “to tie with a knot, bind, fasten”.
  • Knot: Old English cnotta “intertwining of ropes, cords, etc.”.
  • nut: “hard seed,” Old English hnutu
  • Narwhal: 1650s, from Danish and Norwegian narhval, probably a metathesis of Old Norse nahvalr, literally “corpse-whale,” from na “corpse” + hvalr “whale”. So called from resemblance of its whitish colour to that of dead bodies.

Friday the Third


Bee on blackberry flower, an unidentified moth and a ladybird(?)larva.

Grebes with the kids and a blackbird on a bench.

Small(?) skipper, five spot burnet moth, you can see why they’re confused with the cinnabar, by me at least, and a red soldier beetle.

All butterflies like knapweed but marbled whites seem to really love the flowers. The moth is a “Silver Y”, searching the ‘net tells me.

The HUGE ‘plane was a Ukranian Antonov heading for Doncaster airport. (According to “planefinder

Saturday Fourth

Butterflies: a gatekeeper and a couple of skippers. There’s a small patch of meadow with lots of grasshoppers in the season.

Shireoaks Carnival:

Bees in a portable mini-hive. The queen has been ‘spotted’ to aid identification. New/old Dawn Rose was moored adjacent to the show at the Social Club. The topiarised (is that a word? – ’tis now) shrub in a Shireoaks garden caught my eye. The band and procession processed from the level crossing to the showground. The bee tent was probably the most popular (entirely personal opinion). Narrowboat Calvert was passing as I left.

Back at the pond mum grebe was with all three kids and there was a ringlet above the pond.

Monday Sixth

Once again the grebes are out and about, there’s the whole family here. I think the bird’s a greenfinch, open to correction though. Thistles are interesting flowers, no? Rabbits are rarely seen in full daylight although quit common at dawn and dusk. The reed is a flower I’m sure I’ve mentioned before

A few yesish words for balance

  • Yes: Old English gise, gese “so be it!”, probably from gea, ge “so” + si “be it!,” third person imperative of beon “to be”. Originally stronger than simple yea.
  • Yester-: Old English geostran “yesterday”.
  • Yea: Old English gea (West Saxon), ge (Anglian) “so, yes,”
  • Year: Old English gear (West Saxon), ger (Anglian) “year”.

Interestingly (or not?):
Y: a late-developing letter in English. Called ipsilon in German, upsilon in Greek, the English name is of obscure origin. The sound at the beginning of yard, yes, yield, etc. is from Old English words with initial g- as in got and y- as in yet, which were considered the same sound and often transcribed as Ȝ, known as yogh. The system was altered by French scribes, who brought over the continental use of -g- and from the early 1200s used -y- and sometimes -gh- to replace Ȝ.

Tuesday the seventh

The thistles are showing really well. A ringlet and three views of a skipper.
Spider guarding the kids

Spider guarding the kids

The spider is Tibellus oblongus Google tells me — eventually.

Loads o’ butterflies: meadow browns, tortoiseshells, skippers and a comma.

Grebes out en famille. The bird’s prolly a chiffchaff but I ain’t no orthinologist. A ringlet, a blue sky and some swallows complete the day.


Roger: masculine proper name, from Old French Rogier, from Old High German Hrotger, literally “famous with the spear“. As a generic name for “a person,” attested from 1630s. Slang meaning “penis” was popular c. 1650-c. 1870; hence the slang verb sense of “to copulate with (a woman),” attested from 1711.
The use of the word in radio communication to mean “yes, I understand” an abbreviation for “received.” Said to have been used by the R.A.F. since 1938.
The Jolly Roger pirate flag is first attested 1723, of unknown origin; jolly here has its otherwise obsolete Middle English sense “high-hearted, gallant.”
Roger de Coverley, once a favourite English country dance, is so called from 1685, in reference to Addison’s character in the “Spectator.”