BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘autumn’

#365daysofbiking Shroom to manoeuvre

Monday, September 28th 2020 – This journal is now so venerable that I feel it has seasonal traditions, and one of the most important to me is it’s devotion to documenting the fungus season with the many photogenic and interesting varieties of toadstool, ball, mould and slime that abound in autumn.

The mycology is tragically overlooked – it’s a huge kingdom completely different to any other, and without it life on earth could not function at all. And when it blooms and fruits, it’s stunning in its otherworldly beauty.

So far this dry autumn, there hasn’t been much fungal action but with showers in recent days hopefully the shrooms will have the trigger they need to emerge.

I’ll kick it all off this year with these humble but beautiful honey fungus, spotted by the canal in Darlaston on my way to work. Hopefully the first of many this year.

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#365daysofbiking Gorge-ous

Friday, September 25th 2020 – Working in Telford, as I left work the light was lovely and it was a beautiful evening. So I headed down the Silkin Way and then across Madeley down to Ironbridge, and then rode home.

I love Ironbridge when it’s quiet and this evening was absolutely delightful.

In the golden hour, the village clinging to the sides of the Severn Gorge was captivating.

The ride home along the gorge, and back through Albrighton, Codsall and Coven was very nippy though and I wasn’t prepared – it’s starting to get quite cold out there now, even on sunny days like this.

I must return here when autumn starts to really set in. I bet the colours are wonderful.

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#365daysofbiking Slipping from one thing, into another

Tuesday, September 22nd 2020 – On the way home from work, a journey along the Black Path that runs from the Parkview Centre in Brownhills, up through Holland Park to the Watling Street.

This well known and popular route between areas of the town has existed for many years, and at the turn of the century, was incorporated in the National Cycle Network, whereupon they split it as shared use with one of those daft central kerbs that only serves to wrong-foot pedestrians, annoy joggers and wake up sleepy cyclists, like me.

Here in a quiet, leafy corner of what is after all, central Brownhills, it’s quite clear that with rain earlier and a drop in temperature, we’re slipping solidly into autumn now.

With the pandemic madness aside, it wasn’t a bad summer, meteorologically. I’ll miss it.

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#365daysofbiking Berry colourful

Friday, September 18th 2020 – One of the joys of late summer/autumn fruiting is pyrocanthus, colloquially known as firethorn.

This colourful member of the apple family – it’s fruit are not really berries but pomes, i.e. apples – is insipid to humans with mildly poisonous seeds within, but very valuable for wild birds as a long lasting food source into the cold months.

For bystanders, though, if means beautifully vivid boughs laden with glistening fruit in shades from nearly white to deep, deep read, a real autumn treat.

These bushes near Darlaston entertain me every year.

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#365daysofbiking Maybe it’s the breath of Autumn on my shoulder…

Tuesday, September 15th 2020 – First of all, thanks for all your positive words and encouragement over the last few days. I had no idea so many of you were reading this rambling pile of cobblers. Thanks so much, it has meant a lot.

I’ve started going to Telford again as the pandemic eases, but now, instead of going the longer way around by train, I tend to ride to Wolverhampton and hop on the train there, to minimise my use of public transport. It works better, if I’m honest and the ride to and from Wolverhampton is nicer than I would have expected.

Actually in Telford, the cycleway I love – up from the station to the Priorslee crossing – is showing a beautiful lack of hedge maintenance as my favourite green tunnel starts to turn for autumn.

Boughs brush my head. Squirrels and rabbits dart out of my path. Hips, haws and berries glow colourfully in the dark green.

Not all effects of the pandemic have been bad. I’ll be a bit sad when they get around to trimming this back… And the gentle feeling of autumn is not so grim this year. I’m quite enjoying it.

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#365daysofbiking Consumption

Today, a tentative restart.
Firstly, an apology:

  • I have been rather ill, tired and on my knees.
  • Work was about all I could do for weeks. A period of working from home drove me very low indeed. I love to be out with people in my niche, the isolation was very bad for me.
  • I am recovering physically and mentally, and my distance cycling is back, and now commute both ways to work again. For a period I drove one way, rode home and back, drove home and back etc.
  • Like all of us, the pandemic has been strange.
  • What’s been stopping me updating is I have all the photos for the missing days, but I’m just so far behind, catching up is daunting. *I will fill the gap but have to work out a system to do it*

I’ll be honest. I’ve cycled every day even though I’ve not been posting, even if only up the road and back on very ill days.

It’s time to kick this thing back off. Thanks for your concern, and I’m sorry. I’m rebooting. It may take a while, specifically with the main blog. I am not young these days. I get tired. But I still love this place, my rides within in, and I still have the wide eyed wonder I always did.

Thanks for your care and patience.

Monday, September 14th 2020 – A summer like morning commute to Darlaston that was unnaturally warm and pleasant, but in the shadows and shade, the nip of autumn lurked, and the dew was heavy, a sure harbinger of Autumn.

At the far end of Victoria Park in Darlaston, a tree on the margin of the marsh and footpath continues to consume the fence that passed too closely.

I’ve watched this tree consume those steel bars for over a decade and the tree is still in rude health, despite my suspicion at one point that it was diseased.

I’ve always adored the almost pyroclastic flow over the footpath.

Trees like this are a constant to me, and as I return to this journal after too long away, it seems appropriate that since last mentioned here, the tree has grown, aged, but remained – a marker for me that probably very few notice.

Onwards, and into autumn. You coming with me?


#365daysofbiking Disturbing the locals

November 21st – I had to visit a client on the far side of Hortonwood in Telford, and since I’m not keen on riding through that huge industrial estate, I stayed on the train to wellington and rode from there.

It was dry, and there was a cycleway all the way there, pretty much, which was a delight if confusing at times.

Autumn made west Hortonwood look gorgeous – it’s a lot more like Stafford Park on this side, leafy and quiet with lots of small units.

I found a trail into the heart of where I needed to be from the residential area called Trench, and on the way up the leaf-covered byway, I was monitored by this delightful member of the local neighbourhood watch.

That’s a splendid set of whiskers.

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#365daysofbiking Dark, dark heart

November 15th – It had, at least, stopped raining. I arrived in Brownhills to overcast skies but thankfully, for once, dry.

I stopped to re-tie my lace at Ravens Court, the derelict, abandoned shopping precinct in the middle of Brownhills.

Beyond me in the heart of darkness there are no longer any shops in the place, and it sits, gently decaying, unloved and beyond the reach of anyone who cares to sort it out.

One day it will be gone, and this sad place will no longer be a focus for that which ails our town. But until then, it makes for a very eerie night image.

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#365daysofbiking A rare burst of sunlight

November 13th – The day was better; better not just in the weather, but in the fact that I was back in Darlaston and not stuck in the hell of the local train service that seems lately to have staggered to a grim halt.

Victoria Park was showing well her autumn coat of many colours and was gorgeous in the late morning as I slid through it on an errand. Oh for the absence of rain, a little sun on my face and for the brightness of a dappled sky!

What has this autumn’s weather been so rotten?

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#365daysofbiking Tilt

November 10th – The morning had been sunny and the afternoon grey but clear – a better day for sure than the washout of the previous one. But everything was sodden, and cycling was still…. Challenging.

Wet leaves, mud, huge puddles made the going tough but it was nice to be out.

The rain had washed most of the leaves off the trees at The Parade, meaning the really beautiful period had been transitory, like so many times of beauty this year. Such is life.

My companion went for a low angle and tilted the camera noting that the trees all had a windswept tilt, too -, and although not mine, this shot encapsulates the feeling so well, it would be a crime not to use it.

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