BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘autumn’

#365daysofbiking A good crop

August 17th – With my fascination with galls, it’s easy to overlook the fruiting of the oaks as it should be, and I’m happy to report this year that the crop of acorns – even though it’s been hit very heavily by knopper gall wasps – is plump and profuse.

The heathy acorns I’ll later gather to spread in hedgerows and on edge lands as is my tradition look better this year than they have for years. I guess a warm but wet season was good for them, if not so much for me.

I always have a dilemma here though: I can collect acorns solely from trees unaffected by knoppers, and assume they have so resistance, but in spreading solely those am I harming the wasp ecology? I suppose I should just spread any acorns I find, but it’s an interesting conundrum…

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#365daysofbiking Berry wet

August 14th – On Clayhanger Common, the elderberries are ripening slowly. These beautiful, tiny back berries, beloved of winemakers for centuries make a great home brew red wine that’s known for potency and taste.

Elderberries always look beautiful in the rain and are a lovely indicator of a fruitful season ahead.

Although I’d personally not gather these particular ones due to the history of their location, I’ll be out gathering others for a relative when the time comes, continuing a family ritual that’s gone on for decades, if not centuries.

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#365daysofbiking The secret of pie


July 31st – A drier day, at least. After the deluge of the previous day, it was good to feel the landscape slowly drying in the morning sun.

The lousy summer has at least been good for the fruits: All along the waysides from Brownhills to Darlaston, fruit ids swelling and ripening, from apples to blackberries.

Autumn will soon be upon us – how quickly this season and year have passed.

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#365daysofbiking Death throes:

November 20th – In Redditch, just like everywhere else I guess, Autumn is in it’s death throes now. Winter is on my shoulder and it was cold, and on the way home, wet too. It’s not yet frosty, but there’s a characteristic bite in the air that finds every sensitive tooth when you first step out.

Rolling along the Arrow Valley through the park to visit a customer, the river and meadows were still gorgeous. But you can tell it’s ending now. Another week or so and winter will be here.

But also, it’s only a little over a month now until the shortest day. A month. Then darkness will be in retreat once more.

Onwards. I’m ready now.

#365daysofbiking Tonic:

November 11th – After the traditional act of Remembrancem I spoon out late afternoon. its been a sad few weeks and I needed a decent restorative and where better than Abraham’s Valley on Cannock Chase at dusk? 

The colours of the heath and forest were gorgeous, and the riding fast and easy. My mood was lifted dramatically.

Returning via Rugeley and the backlands of London after nightfall was also unexpectedly pleasurable.

Despite everything, there’s still very little that’s better than a good ride out when you’re down.

#365daysofbiking Colour me surprised:

November 10th – A late afternoon round trip to Aldridge and back to Pelsall was started along the canal, and in the dying afternoon light autumn had caught the trees of Walsall Wood on fire.

The autumn colour has been unusually and surprisingly vivid this year. This was absolutely beautiful.

#365daysofbiking Lifted:

November 8th – Heading to work on a damp, drizzly morning, autumn was still doing it’s best to lift me out of my doldrums. Still down, feeling the pressure at work and not over the end of summer, my commute was hard and tiring.

However, Green Lane looked gorgeous and improved my mood no end.

#365daysofbiking Darker now:

November 6th – Today was another day distant, so I felt proportionately better. Still in Redditch, the morning was dull but I headed down through Arrow Valley Park and was rewarded with the most beautiful autumn display; the colours were gorgeous and I was reminded that even when we’re desperately sad, nature is still doing stuff just to try and grab out attention and make us happy.

#365daysofbiking Sensations in the dark:

November 3rd – The Saturday closest to November the 5th is usually busier than Bonfire Night itself, and this year was no exception. Coming back from shopping in Lichfield, I was getting used once more to rural cycling darkness, and found Aldershawe Lodge’s lights charming in the darkness.

Further towards Wall though, a huge bonfire in a field, fireworks and the sound of fun, one of several on this windy, cold night ride home.

#365daysofbiking The world spins, me a apart of it:

November 1st – My worry was misplaced. I had good news from the hospital, and rode gently back, taking in the air which with my inbuilt mood filter switched off, was now sunny and cheering.

What better time to enjoy the parks of Darlaston, Victoria and Kings Hill? What better time to sit and appreciate the leaves, the dog walkers, the birds and my beloved Black Country?

It made a change to have lightness in my heart. That’s been a rare thing of late.