It’s still September

If I’m not careful I’ll catch up with myself, blogging at this rate.

Tuesday 20th September ’16

A “Grade ‘A’, grey day”* on the pond. What’s the correct spelling of GREY (or GRAY) anyhow? Apparently gray is used more in the U.S of A. but grey elsewhere although either is OK wherever you are. see herelink.
Ivy flowers have pollen covered stamens to coat wasps, bees, flies and hoverflies when they come for the nectar.
The seeds of the sycamore spiral slowly down helicoptering as they go. The low speed of descent allows the wind to carry them far afield. I hate sycamores. They spring up any- and every-where and grow so fast that other trees have little chance to compete. Continue reading

September – first week

On again. Don’t forget you can click the pics to see ’em bigger.

Thursday September First 2016

More of the same, or at least similar.

There’s one south facing grassy slope that has grasshoppers skulking in warm weather.
Spiders build webs in the brambles alongside the paths around the pond.
There’s aircraft overhead most of the day. This is one of the small ones.
Usually its the coots that fight but here they’re looking on while a couple of female (or juvenile?) mallards have at it.
This has got to be the prickliest plant around. Continue reading

August back end

Thought I’d better do some bloggin’ or folk’ll think I’ve snuffed it. Starting from t’ end of August.
Here goes (click the pics to see ’em bigger)(All pics are on Flickrlink, where they’re bigger than here)

Wednesday 31st August ’16

Wednesday: Wodnesdæg: Woden’s day
“When gorse is out of bloom, kissing’s out of fashion.” As I was told some short time ago.
It’s the start of spider season. At least the fat bodied ones that create webs in the brambles. Speaking of which, there’s more and more blackberries; “mellow fruitfulness”† indeed. Continue reading

Second week of September

I either read or was told some years ago that oak trees are the single plant that supports more other species than any other. A bit of googling leads me to “up to 284 species of insect” and 324 varieties of lichens on any one tree. The number of insects feeds a population of birds. Jays, pigeons, pheasants, ducks, squirrels, mice, badgers, deer and pigs feast on acorns in the autumn. Something I didn’t know: Acorns are not produced until the tree is at least 40 years old. (from here)link“.

Cats and flying insects have a common ability: they have access to “warp drive”.
Many a time I have left my bedroom, with a cat sound asleep on the covers, to arrive in the kitchen to find the cat already waiting at his food dish without detectably passing me en route. Similarly a butterfly or dragonfly can jump from where you were watching it closely to appear seemingly instantly several yards away in the length of time it takes to raise a camera to the eye and focus.

September was Haligmonað – holy month or Hærfestmonað – harvest festival month to the “Old English”. I’m not sure when these “Old English” folk flourished – rootling round the web gives me 450CE to 1100CE
Ð(cap) or ð(lower) [eth] is pronounced like “th” in “the”; apparently it’s a “voiced fricative”.
Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

First week of November

Friday the First of November 2013

Two of my four cats have decided to establish strange places as their primary residences.

DSC_6343SqueakSqueak, a 95% black female, has commandeered a spot on top of the kitchen cupboards …


DSC_6344Kipper… while Kipper, 100%black male, is vertically below her on top of the microwave.


Meanwhile there’s not a lot going on outside.

DSC_6359LongTailedTitLong tailed tits are really, I mean really, cute.


Continue reading

Last week of October

Done very little:

Friday 25 October 2013

The grebes are still plodding around the pond. I’m sure that the constant “chweep; chweep; …”* of the youngsters would be enough to drive a human parent mad.Grebe chick speeding to parent


Most amusing is to see the chicks speeding towards a newly surfaced adult who hopefully has a fish. Their double footed swimming action leaves a considerable wake.
*(Translates as: “gimme fish; gimme fish; …”)

Up the canal towards Sandy Lane bridge there’s a weir. Not obvious to the casual walker when the vegetation is high, there’s a paddle raising gear to the side of the towpath. I don’t know what this controls …Paddle lifting gear at Sandy Lane Weir


… but it must be connected with the culvert that joins the bottom of the weir.DSC_3837culvert


As the mechanism is apparently rusted shut any guesses must be just that – guesses. My own opinion is that it’s to drain the Stret lock to Morse lock pound – for maintaining the bridge?

A short while ago there was a fire which lasted a week and more in the “reclamation centre” (aka “tip”) just west of Sandy Lane. Coincidentally fish died in The Canch* about a mile away t’other side of town.


watertocanchThis map shows how water from the fire could run down to the dike running from the railway to the R. Ryton and hence down to The Canch. I don’t know if the paddle and culvert are connected with the dike but it must pass under the canal at almost exactly that point. I’ll possibly try to look up towards the head of the dike sometime in the future. I suppose it’s the kind of thing every local lad and lass knows about but I’m an offcumden.

*Presumed derivation (?):
CANCH or CAUNCH (N.): That part of the roof of an underground roadway, which has to be taken down, or of the floor to be broken up, in order to equalize the gradient of such roadway;
A sloping slice removed from the roof or floor of a mine roadway to adjust the gradient between adjacent workings.
(Don’t really see how this matches, but it’s all I can find on t’net and this was a major mining area.)

DSC_3894CrowUnlike some, I find the crow family quite fascinating. They’re such large birds to be so common.

Cloudy skies always fascinate me. There’s always such a variety of shapes and as a backdrop to trees they can’t be beaten.

DSC_3900DragonflyOne of my final dragonfly pictures of the year, this red common darter was on the towpath near the winding hole.

DSC_3918LadybirdHarlequin ladybird on a post which was …

DSC_3922Ladybird… accompanied by a larva when I returned

DSC_3925Grass Just a grass flowerhead beside the towpath

DSC_3934GrebeOne of the juvenile grebes

DSC_3956KesA rather distant Kestrel.


Pond & canal is all:
DSC_4049FlockNot sure if these were crows or starlings.

DSC_4058CanalMy favourite canal view around Worksop. St. John’s church spire reflected in the water with fifty shades of green to the side.

DSC_4063SunriseSun rising over the pond.

DSC_4086BirdA Dunnock: showing how a bit of ‘shopping can bring out some detail.


DSC_4113GrebeGrebe parent reflected in the calm water.

DSC_4130Grebe Juvenile grebe scurrying to see if parent has brought food. Interesting the way they use both feet together, I think ducks generally alternate feet.

DSC_4135GrebeGullYoung grebe near a gull. Gulls will dive at surfacing grebes to try to snaffle any fish they have.

DSC_4147MallardThis mallard was having a bath for about ten minutes.

DSC_4169BirdsaerialTelevision aerial a bit overloaded.


DSC_4181GrebeLooking a bit ragged, having a flap after a dive. There’s a fish in the beak that you can barely see.

DSC_4189GrebeFishHere’s the fish …

DSC_4196GrebeFish … and here’s junior coming for dinner.

DSC_4224MoonThought this was quite good for a hand held daytime snap.

DSC_4241RipplesI’ve taken pictures of ripples loads of times. Must be how they make bathroom window glass.

Walked down to The Canch, there’s a small rose garden; although it’s not really as good as it was, there’s still a few blooms


DSC_4904HawthornDunno why I took this but I like it.
DSC_4934CanalSeen this view before?
DSC_5002TuftiesTufted ducks have returned for the winter.
DSC_5009HeronI almost stood on this heron as I rounded a bramble bush.


Nothing exciting:

A red admiral sunning itself on graffiti for a final time before finding somewhere to hibernate for the winter:DSC_5070RedAdmiralDSC_5094RedAdmiral

DSC_5107ShaggyInkCapThere’s a small patch of shaggy ink cap fungi just west of Morse lock. They slowly dissolve away as the black inky spores develop.

DSC_5260LichenLichen patches on canalside stones.

Kestrel …
DSC_5217Kes … passing by …

DSC_5328Kes … almost overhead …

DSC_5365WindHover … and hovering distantly.

DSC_5440KesMag Magpies will mob kestrels …

DSC_5444MagpieKes … given half a chance.


Birds, birds, birds …
DSC_5574Swans Pair o’ swans

DSC_5627SwanOne of the swans curious about possible food source – me.

DSC_5609GimmeParent and child.

DSC_5679RobinHiding in a thorn bush,

DSC_5715Robinand tweeting territorially.

DSC_5721CrowStrange beak!

DSC_5756RGBRGB colours all used.

DSC_5809Ducks Flypast

DSC_5849HeronHeron on the mallards’ feeding place.

DSC_5873HeronAnd closer.

DSC_5962GrebeJuvenile grebe scooting up the lake.

Friday 31st October

DSC_5987RobinCaptioned for twitter as:
Oy! You lookin’ at my bird?

DSC_5996RobinHere’s looking at you!

DSC_6006birdDistant bird as photographed …DSC_6006YelllowBird


… and after a bit of ‘shopping. I’m told (twitter) it’s a green finch.

DSC_6016ChaffHad this as a chaffinch but twitter tells me it’s a bullfinch: a new bird to me.

DSC_6081DucksAnother pair of mallards doing a flypast.

DSC_6094CowParsleyQuite architectural against the sky: cow parsley seed head.

DSC_6113TrackMy track in the morning dew

DSC_6116NemoReally spiky hawthorn twig. Captioned as “nemo me impune lacessit”.

DSC_6125BirdSilhouetted bird – what bird I’m not sure.

DSC_6129TreeGraceful tree against a stormy sky.

DSC_6300MallardTouching down.

Trying videos:

That’s a four second quickie.

And a five seconds’ worth of leaves in the wind.

I’ll get the hang of videoing with the Nikon eventually.
Anyhow. That’s October done.
November’s started wet so far. – see you later!