July 4th – Business in Brum at lunchtime, and a poodle back along the canal in the afternoon summer heat. The flowers right now are gorgeous – from the strong yellows of ragwort to the purples of willowherd – and even bindweed and wild sweetpeas, right there in the inner city.
The other colour was from art – the Annatomix piece featuring the tangram style fox in DIgbeth was astounding, but I also liked the subtle wit of the red heron nearby.
A weary, but lovely ride.
July 4th – Sweet rain.
It’s been a long, dry and warm spell. Today was fraught, stressed, tired, sweaty. I was struggling against the urge to just go home, the heat, tiredness, irritation. But I could smell the rain on the wind. Sweet, distant, but present. I stood on the threshold of an open fire escape at work and filled my lungs with the smell of moisture on the wind.
As I left work, it began. I enjoyed it. Not torrential, but steady. Gently saturating the plants, refreshing the greenery, and making me feel if not less tired, more alert.
A sensory delight.
I was glad the week was over. And welcomed the rain.
September 26th – Winging back along the canal to Brownhills, I took another scout along the fringes of Clayhanger Common. Locals will know that 40 years ago, the was a benighted site of contaminated land used as a refuse tip. Careful and brave reclamation in the early 1980s saw the lad reclaimed and planted, and this is the result. Even with autumn on their heels, still the thistle, bindweed and meadow cranesbill are flowering strongly, teasels stand tall and ripe, and the shiny black gloss of elderberries hang heavy on the boughs. This is such a long way from how this land was, and something everyone in Brownhills should cherish and be proud of.
July 22nd – Bindweed, the ubiquitous creeper with Snow White flowers is in full bloom at the moment – this example was growing on Brownhills Common. Like the willowherb, it’s a plant of the margins, the hedgerows and wastelands, and normally regarded as a pest and a weed.
It is, however, a type of convulvulous related to the generally more appreciated morning glory, and I think it’s rather beautiful.
June 29th – Nipping to Aldridge later that day (I cruise through all the posh places dontchaknow), I took the canal up through Walsall Wood. As summer advances, the floral pallet changes. The hedgerows and wasteland are now full of beautiful white bindweed, or Creeping Jenny as it’s sometimes known. Although considered a weed by most, I love the ivory white flowers and variety of bugs they attract.