BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘365daysofbiking’

#365daysofbiking Peace, at last

April 18th – The end of work for a few blessed days, good weather in prospect and time on my hands. Bliss.

This of course meant the last working day was everything busy, at top speed. Finally nearing home as darkness fell, I stopped to look at the canal as I crossed Clayhanger Bridge.

Blossom is out, the trees are that bright, lucid green they only achieve at the very peak of spring, and things were calm and quiet.

It’s only been a few weeks since Christmas, hasn’t it? Yet here, in the light, the green, and warmth again.

And me, myself, at peace, at last.

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#365daysofbiking The remains of the day

April 17th – An absolutely gorgeous day and the first jacketless commute of the year didn’t come a day too soon.

Sadly I was indoors all day, but riding home in the still warm golden hour, I caught the sun throug the canalside trees near the Black Cock Bridge and the remnants of the sunny day were precious.

It’s good to have the warm days back again. I hope they stick around.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting for a fluff explosion


April 17th – On the way to work near Greern Lane, Shelfield, I notice the sallows are flowering now, and this is one of the more interesting blooms of springtime.

Sallow or goat willow is a member of the wider willow family, and grows profusely hereabouts. After the initial pretty male catkins have passed – pussy willows – then come the female catkins that were so well on show today. Once these peculiar green flowers pollinate, they generate wind-borne seeds in a few weeks: these evolve in the form of a large cloud of fluff that for a few days will coat the canal, towpaths, woodland paths, verges and road margins.

For now though in the spring sunshine of a warm, lovely morning – they look like something prehistoric, and in reality, probably are.

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#365daysofbiking On a springtime tip

April 16th – I had to nip to Tipton at lunchtime. Just as the rain came, which was a bit of a bugger if I’m honest.

Still, I donned waterproofs; the day seemed to be warming up and the wind had died away, so the steady drizzle wasn’t a bind.

Then, as I arrived in the town centre, this astonishing bed of spring flowers; a riot of colour on a grey, miserable afternoon.

I don’t know who planted them or who looks after them, but my goodness they are spectacular.

Take a bow, whoever you are – and thank you.

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#365daysofbiking Full time mum

April 15th – Always nice to spot the first mallard chicks of the season and these today were spotted near Bently Bridge in Darlaston.

Clearly new hatchlings, these energetic and busy little ducklings followed mum as she puttered in the reeds. There seemed to be 12 in total, but it was difficult to keep count with several stragglers!

You know it’s spring when the ducklings arrive…

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#365daysofbiking Restful

April 14th – After a very long day, I needed to slip out for a dusk ride. Just a quick shot up the canal to Catshill and back.

My favourite tree – the majestic horse chestnut at Home Farm, Sandhills – looked soothing in the dusk, still waiting for it’s leaves to sprout forth.

It’s been a hectic weekend but it finished on a very good note.

Sometimes you just need five minutes of solitude.

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#365daysofbiking Primrose and proper

April 14th – Spotted on a morning errand, these primroses and scattered down the bank of the McClean Way, the cycle and walking route on the former South Staffordshire railway line through the heart of Brownhills, just below the Miner Island.

I remember as a child watching trains thunder through here full of coal, oil or cars. Now, the lines are lifted and after 30 years of decay, the wonderful Back the Track group led by human dynamo Brian Stringer have done an excellent job of reclaiming the permanent way for public use – and their hard work continues.

These primroses don’t seem much, but they’re a huge achievement. Take a bow, folks.

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#365daysofbiking Neighbourhood watch

April 13th – Near Catshill on the way back, I was being watched. It took me a while to spot my observer, but puss ambled along the bank and mewed at me softly.

There’s been a marked increase in recent days of cats out and about, taking the air. It’s  sure sign summer is coming when these generally quiet, studious and indolent urban flaneurs appear on the patch.

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#365daysofbiking A disturbed nap

April 13th – Was going to be busy all day with family things so nipped out early to get the ride it. It was bright but cold, and on a fast run to Chasewater I came across this napping swan by Anglesey Wharf.

It tolerated me but was clearly giving me it’s undivided attention.

I bid it good morning and made a gentle exit.

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