BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Black Path’

#365daysofbiking Filling the space between then and now

Saturday 8th January 2022 – Surviving winter is not trivial. If you’re a lover of summer, light and green, the lightless, lifeless season can be grim – especially when wet. The day had been awful. We’d been engaged in keeping-busy activities: Pickle had been drawing for some project and I’d been fiddling with some electronics.

Late afternoon, as dusk fell, the rain abated and we decided to take a run out on the bikes to the retail park at Cannock to get some shopping in. The night was murky but the riding surprisingly fast and enjoyable.

We returned to Brownhills in the early evening, down a deserted Black Path. Pickle stopped to take a picture, and once more, bend the dark.

This mundane, little considered edgeland was precious in that instant, and she preserved it for posterity with the camera.

Winter, and bad weather is about filling space between the better times, and keeping a watchful eye for the small, beautiful consolations.

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#365daysofbiking better than expected

Saturday January 2nd 2021 – Although we’ve not had the inches of snow I would have liked, we had repeated short falls that kept it topped up. Saturday evening, it came on again, so I headed out on errands at teatime.

Coming back from the supermarket in Burntwood, I came down the Parade and through Holland Park and the Black Path, not long after and intense, but short fresh fall.

It’s safe to say it was magical.

And the best bit? The town seemed deserted.

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#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

Sunday November 15th 2020 – As another wet, grim weekend drew to a close without a decent ride I pottered down the Black Path and stopped to watch the local fox travel back to his nearby set carrying a discarded chip wrapper, sadly too hastily for a picture.

It’s been a few weeks since I last came down here and the leaves will soon be all gone, instead littering the path and creating a slippery but fun hazard for the unwary cyclist.

It’s stark, but a beautiful spot at night with a surprising amount of wildlife.

Can we have some decent weekend weather soon, please?

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#365daysofbiking A gentle fall

Monday, October 19th 2020 – The autumn is now in full swing, and the leaves are dropping at a rate.

Combined with the rains, it can make cycling hazardous as the leaf litter turns into a slippery goop that steals wheels and makes for interesting braking.

No such concerns on the Black Bath beside Holland Park, however, where the lights, sky and seasonal detritus gently combine for some great dusk colour.

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#365daysofbiking Slipping from one thing, into another

Tuesday, September 22nd 2020 – On the way home from work, a journey along the Black Path that runs from the Parkview Centre in Brownhills, up through Holland Park to the Watling Street.

This well known and popular route between areas of the town has existed for many years, and at the turn of the century, was incorporated in the National Cycle Network, whereupon they split it as shared use with one of those daft central kerbs that only serves to wrong-foot pedestrians, annoy joggers and wake up sleepy cyclists, like me.

Here in a quiet, leafy corner of what is after all, central Brownhills, it’s quite clear that with rain earlier and a drop in temperature, we’re slipping solidly into autumn now.

With the pandemic madness aside, it wasn’t a bad summer, meteorologically. I’ll miss it.

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#365daysofbiking Living in another world

January 25th – Of course, I came back through Chasewater for a reason. I wanted to get Chasewater and the area surrounding in mist, when I actually had time to experiment.

As it happened the experiments pretty much all failed, but some notable successes – mainly by accident – were evident. The glass-hard Nine-Foot pool; Chasewater pier looking like something from a film set. The curing wall of LED streetlights over the distant sweep of the deserted M6 Toll. The eerie otherworldliness of the Black Path with its sodium and skeletal trees.

It did indeed seem like another world, but in that one my photographic talents sadly remained as erratic and hit and miss as in this one.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

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#365daysofbiking The colours of the night

November 3rd – I was hoping the inversion had settled on Chasewater, as that can be stunningly beautiful – but sadly, it was as clear as a bell, and the same went for Brownhills too.

My companion and I busied ourselves with long exposure shots of the beautiful, deep sunset, which was sadly short lived but enchantingly purple, and of the skyline and clouds which were really quite pronounce at times.

Returning down the Black Path through Holland Park, the sodium lights there mixed beautifully with the autumn colours to make a very isolated, spooky place hauntingly beautiful.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

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#365daysofbiking The united colours of autumn

October 13th – A low, tired recovery day, still wrecked from the last week’s intense work schedule and a cold that just wouldn’t lift.

A late, slow bimble to Chasewater rewarded me with more amethyst deceivers – the little purple toadstools I found on the common last week – mingled with fly agaric in their usual spot on the sandy bank near Wharf Lane Bridge.

I note the feels near Meerash oil Hammerwich are still yellow with some blooming crop. Must go take a closer look.

Plenty of other fungi abounded: After an unpromising start, we really are getting some stunning specimens.

Chasewater was wind-blasted and stark, but host to an absolutely huge gull roost. The noise was astounding and impressive.

Returning on the Back Path I was reminded abruptly of an autumn hazard: Slippery leaves. Watch out folks, they can steel your wheels from under you. Thankfully I stayed upright.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

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August 11th – On the Black Path, it felt like autumn. On the canal it rained like autumn.

I hope the sun comes back soon. I feel bereft.

August 1st – One of the less obvious food sources for smaller birds like goldfinches are the wind-borne seeds of dandelions, ragwort, thistle and here, rosebay willowherb. Growing like buddleia in any urban setting where there’s a scrap of extractable nutrition, this prolific weed has gorgeous pink flowers and produces huge amounts of fluff, containing its seeds.

Small birds will spend ages on seedbeds picking out the tiny black seeds and gorging upon them. It’s fascinating to watch, and these are an excellent source of nutrition.

Everything has a purpose in nature.