BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘autumn’

#365daysofbiking Defying gravity

Sunday January 31st 2021 – Some trees have a property, and it’s mostly, but not exclusively oak trees – that they do not drop their leaves when they die off in autumn.

Instead, the tree keeps the dead leaf attached, shedding it the following spring.

The behaviour is called ‘Marcescence’ and scientists don’t really know why it occurs. It may be to protect leaf buds from browsing animals like deer, or to faster recover nutrients from the dead leaves by absorbing them back into the tree directly, rather than through the soil.

Whatever the reason, it’s very curious.

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#365daysofbiking Shroom for improvement

Monday November 23rd 2020 – It’s not been a good autumn for fungi, if I’m honest. The weather was pretty dry and many of the usual damp-loving species popped up at the wrong time or not at all. I saw very few decent fly agaric, no Japanese or shaggy parasols, and very few ink caps.

But as I noted today when the frost of the night before had passed, there are some examples about. This cap I couldn’t identify had clearly been broken and lay downside up on the grass verge outside work.

The gills and the detail in them are absolutely beautiful.

It’s nice to be reminded of the beauty of toadstools now and again. Hope they have a better season next year.

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#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

Sunday November 15th 2020 – As another wet, grim weekend drew to a close without a decent ride I pottered down the Black Path and stopped to watch the local fox travel back to his nearby set carrying a discarded chip wrapper, sadly too hastily for a picture.

It’s been a few weeks since I last came down here and the leaves will soon be all gone, instead littering the path and creating a slippery but fun hazard for the unwary cyclist.

It’s stark, but a beautiful spot at night with a surprising amount of wildlife.

Can we have some decent weekend weather soon, please?

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#365daysofbiking Acceptance

Tuesday November 3rd 2020 – A better day with milder weather and better cycling. I crossed Kings Hill Park on an errand, and stopped to admire the autumn colour.

There comes a point in autumn where you have no choice but to roll over and accept the darkness and cold, and just get on with it – but the consolation is always the colour and what the season does to favourite places like this park.

Autumn isn’t too bad once you stop fighting it, and then it becomes stunningly beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Last of the year

Wednesday, October 28th 2020 – Over in Darlaston, the parks – Victoria and Kings Hill – are gorgeous in their seasonal jackets. I notice there are still beautiful flowers in bloom in the planters at Kings Hill, and the fallen leaves make for lovely colours in these vital, hidden gems.

I will always shout up for the parks in Darlaston: They get very little attention and they are such a lovely part of the town.

A real spirit lifter on the way to work.

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#365daysofbiking Declining cover

 

Monday, October 26th 2020 – Back in Telford, I noticed with sadness the cycleways here that are so beautiful in summer with their tree canopy covers are now opening back out as the leaves fall.

People don’t really seem to appreciate how beautiful these routes are – and mostly they’re unmapped. Cycling around Telford is generally a real joy to the heart as a result.

The colours are gorgeous, though, the downside being that the fallen leaves make for a slippery, wheel-stealing challenge to the unwary rider.

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#365daysofbiking Getting the abbey habit

Sunday, October 25th 2020 – I’m enjoying the long rides this autumn, which is making the whole experience of the season much nicer, I must say.

This grey Sunday I wrapped up warm and headed back to the Churnet Valley, and caught the area in a lovely sunset golden hour. On the way I took an alternate route bypassing Willslock and Uttoxeter and found myself passing through Croxden, where the immense and beautiful ruined abbey took me fair by surprise: I must come back and spend time looking around it. I’ve never seen a lane actually run through a set of ruins before…

The Churnet Valley was as beautiful as it tends to be, but I had a different target in mind. Crossing the valley by Lord’s Bridge, up  the gorgeous Barbary Gutter and past the dreadful Alton Towers, I pressed up past Star Bank and Threelows, looping back over the Weaver Hills, to catch them just as night fell.

I returned via Ellastone, Marston Montgomery and Sudbury, blasting down the A515 for a fast run home.

Another beautifully autumnal ride that really lifted my spirits.

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#365daysofbiking A quiet Chase

Friday, October 23rd 2020 – I had to nip over Penkridge Bank on Cannock Chase for business so I cut across Maquis’s Drive to catch the autumn colour – and wasn’t disappointed.

It’s always a lovely route, and being a Friday, wasn’t very busy. The Chase itself was quiet.

I was on the lookout for interesting fungi but sadly the only example I came upon of note was wooden…

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#365daysofbiking A gentle fall

Monday, October 19th 2020 – The autumn is now in full swing, and the leaves are dropping at a rate.

Combined with the rains, it can make cycling hazardous as the leaf litter turns into a slippery goop that steals wheels and makes for interesting braking.

No such concerns on the Black Bath beside Holland Park, however, where the lights, sky and seasonal detritus gently combine for some great dusk colour.

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#365daysofbiking The long valley road

Sunday, October 11th 2020 – My wish was granted: It was a great day when the sun shone and the countryside steamed in the warm October sun. Sadly I didn’t get out until late afternoon, but still managed 70 miles.

I’d been wanting to do the Churnet Valley in autumn for years: The cycleway from Denstone on the old rail line, and Red road from Alton to Oakamoor were made for the season. I came back down the valley via Farley and Wootton Deer Park to Ellastone which was an absolutely magical golden hour ride on lanes I’d never ridden before: Thoroughly gorgeous and captivating. I must return.

The Churnet Valley – best known for the execrable Alton Towers theme park – is actually one of Staffordshire’s most wonderful places and is so much more than the gimcrack fairground attraction and is almost – with that imperious castle overlooking – a mini Loire Valley.

I came back via Ellastone, Marston and Sudbury, then blasted with the wind behind me down the A515. I just wish there had been more time.

What a difference a day made.

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