BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Anglesey’

#365daysofbiking When the shit goes down

June 25th – I say, phantom poo flinger – you, yes you scummy git – stop it forthwith.

People are working hard to clear the rail line below the Anglesey Branch Canal aqueduct as a walking and cycling trail for all the public to use.

Volunteers are fed up with cleaning up after you.

More power to them, it’s a filthy habit and you should be ashamed.

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#365daysofbiking Hello ladies

April 28th – A day marred by a bad stomach so I busied myself with other things and headed out late in the afternoon for a circuit of Chasewater, Burntwood, Wall and Stonnall.

At Chasewater, it seems the small group of deer who have been hanging around the spillway heath at Anglesey Basin are still there.

The fece doesn’t trouble them, they just hop over as required.

Odd too see people walking past without stopping – deer used to be a spectacle here but it seems now they’re as familiar as the cattle on the north shore.

I still can’t quite believe they’re here.

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August 3rd – Spinning up the canal towards Chasewater, I noticed these signs have very recently been put up around the Wharf Lane Bridge area next to the canal, south of Anglesey Wharf, and also around the sandy area adjacent where local kids have made their own BMX track, which they confusingly call ‘The Sandhills’ – which isn’t to be confused with the area of the same name near Shire Oak.

The land was seemingly orphaned by the M6 Toll being built, and local youths have claimed it for their own. 

I really am puzzled as to why all of a sudden Lichfield Council is asserting ownership.

July 8th – Always pleased to see the wild sweet peas growing around the old coal loading chutes at Anglesey Wharf near Chasewater. They are a symbol of change for the better.

As recent as 50 years ago, this was a busy, filthy and polluting coal loading interchange between road, rail and water. Coal was loaded into a continual stream of narrowboats and the sea was treeless and devoid of life.

The coal here stopped in the 1960s, and nature reclaimed – but the coal chutes stayed, a monument to an industrial past.

Now, surrounded by greenery and wildlife, they are an anachronism, but the sweet peas bloom and speak of peaceful, cleaner, better times. A lovely sight.

March 17t – Up at Chasewater on a bitterly cold late March afternoon, snow was periodically falling, but my discomfort was sidelined by the antics of two groups of red deer.

I first saw a small group of five coming from the gorse scrub by Anglesey Basin, from where they trotted along the towpath to the dam cottage garden. Here I left them, but something spooked four and they ran back to the scrub, leaving just the one stag contentedly eating plants in the cottage garden.

As I explored the spillway, I noticed the rest of the herd loafing at the north end of the dam, so I ambled up. They drilled over Pool Road, leaping the fece and mooched over to the scrub around the derelict house.

Not once did they appear nervous of me, more curious as to my behaviour. These deer – I’m sure it’s the group that have been around this spot for weeks. now – seem to be regarding me as a familiar now.

A splendid, cheering sight on an otherwise grim afternoon.

December 8th – As I approached the supermarket at Burntwood, there was a sadly short but very enjoyable whiteout. The snow was heavy, fast and think, and all of a sudden, my ride was transformed from a normal shopping errand into an adventure.

The snow stopped pretty quickly, but left a decent enough cover that made a familiar night-time view at Anglesey Basin beautiful and gave e an interesting and challenging ride back to Brownhills.

September 24th – I can’t make up my mind at the moment if fly agaric – the red and white spotted toadstools of folklore – are having a bad year or if I’m just a bit early.

I’ve found a few examples – notably a good specimen on August bank holiday on the Chase – but all the favourite spots like the bank before Anglesey Wharf on the canal at Brownhills are empty save for a few dog-eared or faded specimens.

This one at the top of the above bank seems quite elderly, as the spots drop off and the colour fades as they mature – but where are it’s usual companions?

They had an extraordinarily good year last year so perhaps it’s natural balance.

August 15th – I spun up The Parade and over to Burntwood on the errand, then returned via Chasewater and the canal. It was a good sunset – there wasn’t enough cloud to be terribly dramatic – and the place was alive with bugs of every description, but the atmosphere and light was wonderful.

One nice thing about this time of year is the sunsets should improve, and I’ll be in with a better chance of catching them.

June 25th – better day, but not for the weather. I was looking forward to a longish ride out, but the ongoing local issues and squally weather meant the ride I’d hoped for wasn’t going to happen. I contented myself with a loop around Brownhills, Chasewater and Walsall Wood.

At Anglesey Wharf, despite the poor day, the wild sweetpeas have clearly survived the scrub clearance last Autumn and are blooming beautifully around the old coal-loading chutes.

They cheered me up immensely, and I still find it remarkable that such lovely flowers sprout from what was once a dirty, grimy place. fantastic to see.

September 17th – A bad day in lots of ways, but a sunset ride to sort the head out worked wonders. Heading up the canal to Chasewater the scenery was beautiful and the light golden. My favourite tree at Home Farm, Sandhills is laden with conkers and just showing signs of autumn, and the view to Hammerwich was gorgeous.

On the canal at Newtown, the Newtown one minded her own business, unconcerned by the stalking black cat, who seemed a bit peeved at my appearance.

If autumn promises more of this, it can stay around…