BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Birchills’

#365daysifbiking Hello I must be gecko-ing

February 8th -Taking a shortcut through the Tannery Estate in Birchills, North Walsall during the morning I noticed an interesting pair of wall ornaments on the edge of the communal pathway between the apartment blocks.

This metal lizard and frog friend have been carefully mounted on a garage wall, in the gardens.

There’s no obvious reason for them to be there at all, and I couldn’t see any other such ornaments, but they’re beautiful and delightful; a lovely thing.

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#365daysifbiking I dream of wires

January 4th – A stop on the way home on the North Street Bridge, the crossing point between Walsall’s Butts area and Birchills. The view from the railway bridge to the new college and town has always been great at night.

But sadly, no more.

The welcome electrification of the Chase Line railway below has had an unfortunate side effect of ruining the shot, with the overhead gantry stealing the foreground. But I don’t mind – I’d rather have the more reliable commuter service.

The college anyway was dull and in darkness, clearly not open yet from the Christmas break, and Austin House with it’s peculiar white halo was stark in the darkness.

Ah well, change is what happens while you’re not looking… There are other aspects on this view, I guess…

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August 1st – I’ve been enjoying watching the progress of the berries and fruits this year, perhaps more than usual. Mainly I think because with the hot, dry weather I expected the harvest to be very poor, yet it’s far from meagre. Most things seem abundant, and it looks like being a good winter for birds with a bumper crop of haws reddening gradually in the hawthorn thickets and hedges.

These tough, hard berries are a good winter food for many birds, loaded with energy but bitter so they aren’t depleted quickly.

Grandad used to say and abundance of berries meant nature was preparing for a harsh winter.

It’ll be interesting to see if he was right.

March 12th – A grim, rain-sodden commute in both directions. Coming home was a washout.

On the way, I passed the impressive flight of Birchills Locks, whose varied textures and levels made for an interesting photo in the grey, dripping landscape.

A day of warm spring sunshine isn’t too much to ask, is it?

March 6th – Passing through Walsall as dusk fell, I passed by Town Wharf. Whilst the paving and general infrastructure is looking a little tired here these days it’s looking a lot more active in recent months. Now the Wharfinger’s Cottage is occupied, and there’s more on the waterfront, it’s becoming quite a nice place to be.

There are still derelict buildings here though: to the left the old factories still cast a long physical and economic shadow.

November 16th – Something I’ve not seen yet this year, on a roadside verge in central Walsall: a small fairy ring.

Speculation is rife as to how this odd little toadstools make the traditional rind or arc on lawns and short grass – some say it’s rotting tree roots that cause the to sprout, or perhaps a particular sporing pattern.

Like so much of the world of fungi, there’s far more we don’t know that that which we do.

October 4th – This is a great Autumn for fungi – everywhere I look there seem to be great examples of different species, and stuff I haven’t seen before.

This interesting clump of button toadstools is growing on the exposed, fractured roots of the spot where a tree fell near the Tannery flats in Walsall. I think it may be some kind of honey fungus, but I’m really not sure. It’s really colourful and the photo doesn’t do it justice.

I suppose this is the tradeoff for the damp, grey autumn – great toadstools!

September 21st – Returning home after a long day through north Walsall I caught a gorgeous, soft golden hour.

We are in the season of great sunsets and tonight, this was just a warm up for better to come.

There are positive aspects to autumn, you just have to be open to them.

August 16th – Another delight of the season, that frustratingly I couldn’t harvest: Giant puffballs on the patch of fenced off grass used as an occasional football pitch right in central Walsall between Smiths Flour Mill and the turn off the ring road for Birchills.

These are about the size of a football, and are pure white and lovely to eat. There were about 14 in total over the field, but due to the gates being locked, they were beyond the range of my frying pan. 

Nice to see these huge fungi though, looking for all the world like alien eggs.

July 21st – At Birchills on the Walsall Canal, an odd one. Someone has cleanly cut off the balance beam on one of the lock gates. I have no idea why they might have done this, and the indications that this isn’t the normal vandalism are clear.

This was severed by a machine in one cut with no messing around. Whatever power tool was used, it was wielded with even pressure and the cut is square. clean and smooth.

I’d love to know what’s going on here.