BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

#365daysofbiking Kidney at stake:

June 7th – Kidney vetch is an odd little wildflower, which consists of tiny yellow flowers cluster around a fluffy, downy head. I always imagine it’s a plant of late summer for some reason, and it’s appearance in midsummer always surprises me.

It grows profusely on the grass around the top of the new pond embankment at Clayhanger, one of the few places I know it exist, yet every year, like the orchids, it’s cut down by Canal and River Trust’s mowing team who insist on obliterating anything in their path.

I preferred canals when they were more unkempt, if I’m honest.

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#365daysofbiking A taste of honey

June 6th – On the way home, I noticed the handsome, sprawling honeysuckle that grows along the railings on the southern flank of the Black Cock Bridge in Walsall Wood are in full bloom now.

Sadly, someone will be along to clip this back like a hedge soon, they always do when in flower and that always puzzles me.

It remains lovely though, and it tumbles down the embankment in the pasture below, a haven for bees, bugs and passing cyclists who adore the scent.

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#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

June 6th – The 75th anniversary of the D Day landings in Northern France, when the tide turned in the Allies favour in World War 2.

Darlaston war memorial was as sombre and thought provoking as it ever was: Last year’s remembrance wreaths and crosses fading, but no less sad. But the flowers endure and the memorial’s neatness and clear pride is a credit to the Scouts and others maintaining it.

It was lovely to see the tribute at Mindful Gifts, too.

We will never forget them.

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#365daysofbiking Baby, that’s neat


June 5th – I’ve been passing by this graffiti – if one can call it that – for weeks and only recently realised what it is.

I have no idea of the purpose or intent, but it’s very neat.

A baby, in the womb, on an otherwise unremarkable wall between Victoria Terrace and the shops on Lichfield Road, Walsall, just by the Mellish Road island in the Butts.

I really, really like it and would love to know more…

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#365daysofbiking Look closer

June 5th – On the wasteland, long unused at the junction of Bentley Mill Way and the Walsall Road at Darlaston, unexpected beauty.

Look once, and it’s a patch of unremarkable, but lush green scrub with gorse flower and a variety of trees – doing well despite last year’s grassfires here.

But look closer.

Lupins. Loads and loads of them. In the full colour range from creamy white to deep, deep purple.

I know this journal is all about the flowers at the moment, but with beauty such as this everyday just waiting to be found, how can it not be?

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#365daysofbiking Up the junction

June 4th – On the way home, eating at the Lichfield Street/New Ring Road lights at Walsall. The rain had stopped but road conditions were… challenging.

I wish I new why this awful junction and road held so much surface water: It’s not as simple as drainage – it’s something about the surface holding it.

Ah well, at least the downpour had passed. To be in England, in the summertime…

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#365daysofbiking Purple haze

June 4th – The orchid season is upon us, and two spotted miles apart: The tall purple one (about 12 inches high) is the one spotted in the patch by the canal in Walsall Wood last week: It’s developed beautifully.

The second is a random lone soldier spotted beside the cycleway at Telford station: In the lovely pink-purple colour you can really see the gorgeous patterns on the petals.

Both seem to be northern marsh orchids but I’m certainly no expert.

Beautiful flowers and some of my favourites – only here for a few short weeks so if you want to find some, get out now.

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#365daysofbiking In need of an iron

June 3rd – Another day, another wildflower appearance, and one that although very common, is lovely if you look closely – the humble bramble, or blackberry blossom.

Very white, delicate almost as if mate from paper, and always creased. Fascinating little flowers hardly anyone pays attention to.

It might be me but they seem early this year…

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#365daysofbiking A break in the clouds

June 2nd – On my return, for a short while, the sun came out and the skies were lovely over Hammerwich and the canal from Chasewater.

One of the reasons I ride a bike is the connection to my environment it gives me – good weather or bad I feel on my bike that the world continues to spin, and that for better or worse, I’m part of it.

For a few sunny minutes on a green, beautiful canal on a blustery sad Sunday, the clouds thinned and as the world continued to spin, and I felt lifted and content to be part of it.

My cyclic antidepressant had worked again.

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