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!