Saturday, 25 May 2013

Wildlife,Cycling and Other Uplifting Stuff

NSB thought it might be nice to record some of the wildlife that is seen in the (not very big) NSB garden, and also a little wider afield whilst out cycling...

Note1 : Includes posts about scenery, buildings and other non-wildlife stuff!
Note2 : See also :


Dec 2018 : Respect to Derbyshire County Council for the job the roads team have done resurfacing the Ilkeston A609 / A6007 roundabout (top of dual carriageway). REALLY SMOOOTH. No drops at the drains. Makes cycling much safer. Colleague comments that they could "cycle round it all day"!

Resurfaced A609 / A6007 roundabout in Ilkeston. Smooth!

Tweet to Say "Good Job!" to Derbyshire Roads


Lots of stuff on the Nottingham Council Website about cycling:


Resurfaced Birdcage Walk makes cycling along this route much easier than the previous lumpy surface.

Resurfaced Birdcage Walk, Dec 2018

More on this project here :


Shipley Park, chilly morning Dec 2018


Link to : Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) Consultation

"Detail of outcome
The main outcomes are that [the Government] will:
i) review the existing guidance in the Highway Code to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians
ii) invest £100,000 to support police enforcement by developing a national back office function to handle dash-cam footage
iii) improve enforcement against parking in cycle lanes
iv)appoint a cycle and walking champion
v) encourage local authorities to increase investment in cycling and walking infrastructure to 15% of total transport infrastructure spending
vi) engage with cycling and walking bodies to develop a behaviour change campaign


Very lucky that part of the daily commute looks like this


A late autumn Gladioli, to brighten up the rainy weather


Oct 2018: Might be able to hold out a bit longer, but will soon need to switch to the Winter Horn, as it's softer squeeze is more suited to chilly weather. ...

Winter Horn, yesterday


Oct 2018 : Some thoughts on my first Parkrun....

Was worried that I would be too slow, as was expecting to walk most/all of the course but relieved to find that the volunteer marshalls at the back of the run were just ambling along, and finished several minutes after me. So, even though I walked that entire course (at a fairly brisk pace), I could have been even slower and not inconvenienced any of the marshalls.

Nice encouragement by the other marshalls en route!

Very soon after starting, was passed by a quick runner who had clearly just started a bit late. This stuck in my mind and so it took an embarrasingly long time to realise that all the people passing me about 1/4 in were not starting late - they were lapping me!

Planning to gradually introduce jogging as I go on.

Very friendly people, can see how one would get to know people who run at a similar pace to oneself.

All good, highly recommend!


Nice row of Citibikes!

Cycling in Shipley Park in 7am moonlight! - Oct 2018

Sunset - Oct 2018

This is a colour picture - Oct 2018

Wind Turbines by the M1- Oct 2018


This was interesting to see on a phone box in Hyson Green, Nottingham. Although the website does not seem to be active.

Vegan Poster Jul 2018


Check out the Nottingham Councils Cycling Page:


Always lovely to see horses in Shipley Park!

Shipley Park Jul 2017


Leaves on the ground, Dec 2016


A couple of pics taken while camping near Buxton, Derbyshire.

Fernlee Reservoir, Derbyshire, 2015

Trees, Derbyshire, 2015


2015 : Visited the incredibly beautiful Rhossili Bay recently. The image below really doesn't do it justice.

Rhossili, deservedly voted best beach in the UK

Rhossili Bay has been voted Britan's most beautiful beach. Not a surprise really...


Autumn leaves, 2017

Rather like how this has turned out, but wish had paid more attention to the composition!


Horses, close to A52 Ring Road, Summer 2017

Very still Trent, Autumn 2017


Sky, Barmouth, 2017

Beach, North Wales, 2017


NSB passes a fungi covered tree stump on the way to work and, one day, decided to take some pictures and try to identify the fungi. There were more fungi species than NSB expected and, as NSB knows nothing about mushroom identification, some help was required. The help came via Twitter from kind (and very clever) souls @Nottswildlife, @curataceae, @susieoftraken and @stu_rock who, between them, provided the information attached to the pictures below:

3 types of mushroom at the base of the stump 1/3

The small light ones to the bottom left are possibly Coprinus micaceus or Coprinus silvaticus. The darker ones on lower right are Coprinus disseminatus (fairies bonnets). The grey ribbon like fungus might possibly be Bjerkandera adjusta.

Fungi on the other side of the stump, Nottingham, 2017 2/3

This large fungi is Cerioporus squamosus (see also here)

Fungi on the top of the stump, Nottingham, 2017 3/3

Same ribbon-like "bracket" fungus as in the first image so possibly Bjerkandera adjusta.

As UoN's Craig Sturrock (@stu_rock) commented, "Nice multi species community structure!"


Not something you see every day...

Drought Horse, Near Beeston Weir, Jun 2017


Spotted this handsome chap (and his other half, out of shot on the right) whilst cycling along the Big Track in Nottingham.

Pheasant, Big Track, May 2017


According to the RSBP, Egyptian Geese "was introduced as an ornamental wildfowl species and has escaped into the wild, now successfully breeding in a feral state."

Egyptian Goose, Highfields Park, April 2017


View across the Trent, from the South Side, Apr 2017


Love that Nottingham Council trim the foliage by the Big Track
sent an email to Council to say thanks!


Not strictly wildlife, but rather like this contrasting picture of a tree against a dusk sky...

Tree, dusk, Nottingham, Nov 2016


Ride along parts of the Nutbrook Trail and Erewash Valley Trails (Sep 2016)

By pure chance it turned out that BFTF was cycling to work on National Cycle to Work Day, so took the opportunity to ride home the scenic way, via the Nutbrook Trail and Erewash Valley Trails. Some pics and bloggage below!

BFTF joined the Nutbrook trail at Shipley Country Park. The Nutbrook Trail follows the route of the dismantled Stanton railway branch line, which no doubt explains is gentle gradients...

The Nutbrook Trail takes you away from the traffic and into the countryside

The Erewash Valley Trail is the result of funding and development by a range of partners, including :

Erewash Trail Development Partners

BFTF is very grateful for their foresight and perseverance in making this wonderful trail a reality.

Sometimes the scenery is too pretty for words

Well, hello there Mr Teenager Swan!

Setting sun at Trent Lock - better get a move on if want to get home before dark!

Cracks me up every time!


Spring 2016
Emden Geese, by the Nottingham and Beeston Canal
Emden geese have long since been domesticated. They grow quickly and mate for life... ahh, how sweet!


Summer 2015
Picked up a piece of wood that had been lying on a garden path for several weeks and found an ants nest, with many ants eggs, underneath. Within a few minutes the ants had taken all the eggs through cracks in the paving to a safer location underground.....

Ants taking care of business..


Summer 2015
Didn't really know where to put this, so have shoehorned it into this post - lovely vision of green while driving on the A6 (it's ok, the picture was taken from a layby!)

Wall of trees, next to A6, Derbyshire


Field of Wheat, next to the Big Track


HGV's on the Nutbrook Trial, 2014

Several times each day, traffic on the Embankment has to stop for this....
Aug 2014

Very handsome indeed ! Nutbrook Trail, Derbyshire, Aug 2014

Lovely colours as bright sun behind BFTF plays on the fields and dark clouds ahead.
Near Beeston Weir - Jul/Aug2014

Fields of Wheat, between Stapleford and Bramcote- Jul/Aug2014

A work colleague NSB was cycling home with recently spotted this, bright orange, fungi on a tree. Fungi are tricky to identify, but @george_gorilla thinks this might be a type of Polyporus, which are a type of fungi that break down wood.(see also here) - and an awesome set of mushroon images can be found here

Unidentified Fungi on a tree. Can you identify it?


Jul/Aug 2014 : Pictures
Just some pictures taken while cycling over the last couple of months. Incidentally, most of the images in the "Pictures of the Sky" post were also taken while cycling.

HGV's on the Nutbrook Trial, Derbyshire

Lovely colours as bright sun behind BFTF plays on the fields and dark clouds ahead.
Near Beeston Weir - Jul/Aug2014

Another very quite day on the Trent - Jul/Aug 2014


Jul : Construction of the NET Phase 2
A big benefit of cycling is that you can stop whenever you see something interesting. For example, there is no way BFTF could have taken these pictures of the construction of the NET Line 2 if he had been driving a car...

Laying concrete, Gregory St, Jul 2014

Clearly a lot more to laying tram tracks than one might think,
Gregory St, Jul 2014


Jul : Tending Cycle Paths
Sent a Tweet to Notts Council to say thank you for this...

Was intending to complain to council about poor tending of foliage
alongside cycle paths near the Trent...

.... but they appear to have read my mind and this is how it looked
a few days later.


March : Pro-upgrade to the bike for 2014
Got this great upgrade for the bike from BFTF's niece! Only trouble was that, in the somewhat chilly March weather, the horn was a little too stiff to squeeze, while BFTF's hands were a little too chilled to effectively do any squeezing! Hopefullly, it will be more effective as the weather warms up...
BFTF's new horn!


Dear Cllr Urquhart,

I'm hoping you can reassure me that Nottingham Council would never be so insane as to install "Killer Armadillos" on the roads of our fair city.

Because that it what they have done in Salford and, as an occasional cyclist, they scare the living daylights out of me!

Details here :

They are manufactured by Cyclehoop, whose range of products is otherwise awesome - so its a bit odd that they have had such a brain-fail with the Armadillo.

Beezodogsplace talks about them here.


Update : Sep 2013
A rare picture of BFTF on his bike (worth mentioning that while BFTF is no lightweight, he is substantially slimmer than the picture below implies)...

A rare picture of BFTF cycling.

Update : Sep 2013
As part of the GCC challenge (which which hopefully be posted about in due course) BFTF had been gobsmacked to find that he has cycled around 1225miles since late May.

Crikey, and double crikey.

A fair bit of this has been on the Victoria Embankment, which has the multiple attractions of being flat, well surfaced, reasonably sheltered and largely free of traffic (especially as one end has been closed off due to the tram works), while a lot has been cycling a few times a week to and from work (about 25miles round trip).

BFTF has seen some interesting stuff while pedalling along the Embankment, including some lovely sunsets, many very fast cyclists and the lovely River Trent in a variety of lights.

A few things particularly stand out though...

The bagpipes, aye, the bagpipes
One (Satuday?) morning, BFTF was cycling along the Embankment and heard the unmistakable sounds of bagpipes. The music was coming from this chap, who can apparantly be found/heard on the Embankment most Saturday mornings. He was pretty good, and (wearing a NottinghamScience hat for a second) the doppler effect as BFTF approached and then passed the piper was rather groovy.

Bagpipes on the Embankment

BFTF's bike - it is a thing of beauty


NSB did once share ownership of a Giant African Land Snail, which would gnaw on peoples fingers in a gentle can't-really-do-any-damage kind of way). The snail was called Sammy, by the way, because that works for both males and females, and snails are notoriously sexually ambiguous.

Sammy as a baby, on a slice of cucumber

Sammy a few months later, trying to give someone a manicure


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