BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘beautiful’

#365daysofbiking The place I love

August 15th – Some things make a place what it is, although one may not be fond of them in themselves.

And so it is with the Parkview Centre in Brownhills for me.

The former council house and for many years seat of Brownhills Urban District Council became redundant after our absorption into Walsall in 1974. After a good few years as head office for a building company, this four square, red terracotta building stood empty and decaying.

It is imposing, handsome, I guess. Very civic. It’s got a clock that used to be famously and notoriously wrong (but the clock runs to time now, remarkably). It’s part of the fabric and soul of Brownhills, but I’ve never been fond of it architecturally.

After years empty it was extended horribly insensitively and converted into a health centre and library. The extensions are hideous and completely out of step with the building, and the library, although functionally fine, is boxy and dull.

However, in recent years the flowerbed out front before the Miner Island has been beautifully maintained by a local older couple and it is a credit to them, and looks beautiful. It brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

On a decent but clouding over afternoon, it was a joy to the heart. For better or worse, this building is Brownhills, and is my hometown – and I may not be it’s greatest fan but it’s part of the place I love.

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#365daysofbiking De-stressing

August 13th – On the way back, it was still sunny and having got through my appointment quickly, I had time to dawdle on my way back. I’m glad I did, as near Bently Bridge on the Walsall Canal, I met another family of happy, content mallards being charming.

They weren’t bothered about me, and mama was happy to mind her loose group of developing ducklings from a relative distance as they dozed and chattered to each other in the sun.

Such a delightful little family. Just wthe kind of thing you need after a stressful task.

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#365daysofbiking I know it’s under here somewhere

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August 13th – Spotted at lunchtime on an excursion from work to the hospital, a heron loafing on a wall in one of the most urban, industrial bits of Walsall: Pleck.

I adore herons for their impressive fishing ability, their shabby, almost mad appearance and their raw, appreciable character and individuality. They are endlessly entertaining to watch.

This large adult bird was preening, being slow, methodical, and thorough. It paid me scant attention as it picked at whatever underwing irritation was troubling it, but for all the world it looked like it was searching for a misplaced wallet or pair of glasses.

A welcome distraction on a lovely day.

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#365daysofbiking Plum crazy

August 7th – Spotted in CLayhanger on the way to work, bull aces or wild plums. Slightly larger than cherries, a beautiful, edible old English fruit the slides in and out of fashion as new generations discover it.

Often sent and tasty, these seem to have had a good year., and will soon be ripe.

I’d probably think twice about eating these, though, given the reclaimed nature of the land they grow on…

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#365daysofbiking Alien carrots!

August 6th – A couple of weeks ago I featured a new plant here – wild carrot. This curious, cow-parsley like edgeland weed was readily identifiable by a single dark flower in the centre of the umbel.

Wild carrot is just as distinctive when it goes to seed. This is a seed head; slightly redolent of a clematis, it’s odd, skeletal spines and hairy seeds are quite, quite alien and rather fascinating.

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#365daysofbiking Golden years

August 5th – I was at work in Birmingham, late. I came back on a Lichfield bound train at sunset, and stumbled out tired in a beautiful, quiet golden hour.

I’ve been riding this weary journey from work for years along Lynn Lane. Always the same story: Summertime, working late, fatigue. Climb the long, steep steps up from the platform at Shenstone carrying my bike. Look down the lane towards home and the setting sun. Become struck with the sheer beauty of the hour.

And for all those years, the joy of it, and the love for it never wanes.

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#365daysofbiking Feet first

August 5th – Birdsfoot Trefoil is a staple throughout summer from the earliest of the season until autumn. It dapples lawns, verges and meadows with yellow and red patches, and is one of my favourite flowers.

Not many folk though realise how this plant got it\’s unusual name – it’s because the seed pods look like a bird’s feet.

This gorgeous flower is so very ubiquitous that it’s one of the few wildflowers I love that I’ve never bothered to collect the seed of and spread.

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#365daysofbiking Garden tiger

August 4th – I had a call to make over in Bridgtown and I was pushed for time so I blasted down the A5 and over the challengingly complex Churchbridge Islands, just for the hell of it. 25 minutes later, my errand was complete and I returned via Great Wyrley, intending to check out a lost lane I’d been meaning to do for a while.

In Hazel Lane, I startled this handsome set of stripes and whiskers who was stalking something small and squeaky in the hedge. What a fine garden tiger!

An absolutely gorgeous cat who was clearly very annoyed with me for disturbing it’s activities!

Someone if very proud of that puss, and justifiably so.

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