Early morning walk

My aim was to leave the house before 6am. I managed it with just seconds to spare and headed to Catton Park.

Early morning in Catton Park

The area known today as Catton Park was originally part of the Catton Estate on the outskirts of Norwich and dates from the 1770s.

Catton Hall, which now houses an uncurated collection of apartments, sits to the side of the park but has no connection to it today other than its history and a rose fence that currently has some aromatic blooms that will later transform into hundreds of plump rose hips.

The park is at its best early morning and again at twilight. The light at both these times is beautiful and you tend to see fewer people.

In the distance I could hear someone calling to their dog, but other than that I had the morning sunshine all to myself. Well, for a little while at least.

By twenty past six more dog walkers had started to arrive, each plotting different directions around the park. I spotted my first jogger who was doing what ever it is joggers do to what ever it is they have on their wrists just prior to running. Yellow shirt. Blue shorts.

Despite the growing numbers of humans, the birds were definitely the dominant species.

I watched a baker’s dozen of starlings gather on the grass before heading into a nearby tree to chatter about the jogger’s wardrobe, before returning to the grass, no doubt to chatter about me, and then back to the tree again.

The wood pigeons seemed to have no interest in the starling’s games or gossip. They just slowly plodded along like ageing beat policemen discussing the weather and food.

In a small glade to the side of the park I spotted a couple of foxglove plants standing very proud. The light wasn’t ideal for taking pictures, but while trying to get as good a shot as I could I was distracted by some rustling in the undergrowth.

A blackbird perhaps, a robin or a wren? Close to my feet I spotted a tiny mouse or vole. I couldn’t get a photograph or a proper look as it quickly beat a retreat when it realised that it had stumbled upon me. Its fur was dark and I don’t recall seeing ears of note, so I’m going to settle for a field vole rather than a field mouse.

Over in the picnic area a gathering of brilliant red poppies drew me. By now the sun light was already starting to be too bright for my phone camera to get a decent picture or for me to stare at too long, so I just stood a while and soaked up everything the park had to offer my other senses.

A large black dog strolled up to me to wish me a good day. I politely returned the greeting and headed home for breakfast.

Little steps

I need to do more walking. Working in the garden and doing jobs around the house are all well and good, but there are parts of my body that are starting to ask if they are needed any more.

Now that we have a little more freedom to get out more I’m planning on a daily pre-breakfast walk.

Apart from the exercise it will also get me back to the nature I enjoy. I went for an hour and half walk today and it was lovely to see all the flowers covered in bees. It was also good to hear the flowers covered in bees. The noise was quite special, all the buzzing and rattling of wings on petals.

I’m very lucky that I live near to a couple of lovely parks and just a short distance from open countryside. I want to explore more of it and share it here.

So to get things started here are a few images from today’s walk.

Stay fit and stay safe.

Day 55* – Eleven years on


May 2009

I’ve started to sort through some old books and papers in an effort to declutter the masses of box files I have lying around.

Turns out I had a bit of a creative thing going on eleven years ago this month.

The image at the top is from a little photo book I made. No captions only dates.

Below are five haiku I wrote inspired, I would think, by the things I saw and experienced, again in May 2009. You can click any image for a larger version.

Stay poetic, stay safe.

*I’m going to stop counting the days. As the rules of the lockdown change it seems less relevant.

Day 46 – Four plants, one cat

I appear to have used up all the words in my head that were allocated for this week. I’ll reset my brain overnight and I will post some very interesting words tomorrow. Possibly some I’ve never used before.

In the meantime here are some random images from today.

Stay ant free and stay safe.

Day 42 – Spider Man

Spiders have played a big part in my life. Well the last 24 hours of it at least. It began while I was in the bathroom last night carrying out my ablutions.

A huge spider suddenly ran towards me. I had nowhere to go. I was cornered. So I did what any reasonable person would do in these circumstances. I lifted my feet up off the floor and panicked.

He stopped dead in his tracks looking at me. It must have been an hilarious sight because I’m sure I heard a snigger. Then he ran off towards the shower. Probably to tell all his mates about this flailing human he’d just seen on the toilet.

Tiny spiders

Cute. Not.

This morning the spider theme continued when I discovered two bunches of spiders on the tulips. A mass of tiny arachnids covering themselves in gossamer threads. Creepily fascinating.

It put me in mind of the spider that lived in a bush outside my window. Orange body, green legs. I watched her build her web all summer. Then one day there was a big egg. The egg hatched. And hundreds of baby spiders came out. And they ate her.

But then my wife pointed out that that wasn’t my memory at all but Rachel’s from Blade Runner (1982), which got me wanting to watch the film and wondering if I was replicant. How would I know? The Turing Test? Now I want to watch Ex Machina.

I did have a look through my photographs for past photographs of spiders I’ve encountered. So I’ve done a little gallery.

I have no idea of the names of any of these spiders, although I think the third one was called Barry.

Now I want to watch a Spiderman movie.

Stay away from spiders and stay safe.