Wednesday 21 April 2021

The Cocker Line

 A few weeks back, I took you on a local walk which I referred to as The Circle Line, alluding to the London Underground. Continuing this theme, were off on the Cocker Line today, following the river out of town and into the farmlands to the south.

Even in the town, as we walk along Rubbybanks Road there is plenty of life on the river. I've often seen wagtails and dippers along here and today there's a grey heron perched on an overhanging branch on the Kirkbank.

Leaving Rubbybanks, we'll circle up onto the Greenway (once the old Cockermouth to Penrith railway line which we visited at Keswick-Threlkeld), cross the river, dive through some woodland and emerge into the fields. Along the banks, as you can see, the Speedwell, Wood Anemone and Saxifrage are coming into flower.

As we continue to follow the river bank, small rills flow down from the hills on the far side, and fungi, too tantalisingly distant to identify, adorn the fallen branches.

The dandelions are out too, providing food for various small flies. These are very difficult to put a name to. All true flies are in the order Diptera and most of them are in the suborder Brachycera. These are the flies that look like flies, so to speak, as opposed to mosquitoes, midges and crane flies that are in other suborders. Within the Brachycera are Calyptrate flies (which include the familiar house flies as well as the dung flies, flesh flies and blow flies) and the superfamily Syrphoidea which encompasses the big-headed, hover and drone flies such as that Eristalis down there. There are well over a hundred different fly families, and if you want to see how they all relate to each other here's a mind-boggling diagram.

There's a farmhouse here with a track called Simonscales which will take us back into town, or we could carry on all the way to the village of Low Lorton, some miles away. However, we have an appointment to meet some friends, that we haven't seen since before Christmas, in a pub garden in town. Low Lorton will have to wait for another day, but meanwhile we have some Muscovy Ducks on the opposite bank (where all birds live). Despite their name these ducks have no more relationship with Moscow than turkeys have with Turkey. They are native to Mexico, Central and South America.

I can never look at a duck without feeling hungry (see Crispy Duck in Steve's Wild Kitchen). I wonder if they do food in this pub? Let's go and find out.

Steve's Books

The Quick Guide to Creepy-Crawlies

All you need to know to identify any type of insect, spider, worm or snail very simply and find out more about it.

Yvonne: This was a gift for a family so that the children can understand what they see on days out. The second was for me. Logical and easy to use. If you know anyone who likes nature you can be confident that gifting this book will give years of pleasure.

The Eggs of Saramova

A science fiction novella for those who don't like science fiction. A fast-paced thriller that is, literally, out of this world (and it starts right here in Crete).

Too new for reviews yet!

£7.50 Paperback edition

Not Just For Twisted Women by Steve Daniels 

A light-hearted look at life through the eyes of the fairer sex.

Janet: If you are short on time but enjoy reading and are maybe not into long extended novels then Not Just For... Twisted Women provides readers with concise stories that stand alone and most certainly entertain with their ultimate twists. Loved it.

Helen: A very good read! Well written and entertaining!

Margaret: Each quick tale gives a glimpse into a character's life and has an often humorous twist at the end. I would love to read more.

Yvonne: These days many people find it hard to find the time to read a novel, so this book of short stories is ideal to dip into. It is also makes a good gift.

£4.99 Paperback edition

See sample pages of all my books and latest blogs, and keep abreast of latest publications here:

Crete Nature Catch-up

Series 1 - Welcome to Lasithi

Series 2 - The Rhythm Of Life

Series 3 - A Journey Begins

Series 4 - The Milonas Valley

Series 5 - This Is Ferma

Series 6 - Upland Villages

Series 7 - The Forty saints

Series 8 - Sunday Strolls

Series 9 -Stormy Weather



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