May 20th – Crossing the railway in Lichfield at the Burton Old Road foot crossing, I love the solar powered blue marker lights to guide the way.
It looks really haunting at night and such a clever, simple idea.
April 17th – Every day, new flowers and leaves. This is fantastic, and just what I’ve been waiting for. All I need now is the sun to do it’s thing…
Spotted in a roadside verge near Lower Stonnall on Gravelly Lane – one of my all time favourite spring flowers – muscari or grape hyacinth. A garden favourite, I’m not sure if they’re native here or a garden escapee. But they are so very gorgeous, tiny blue arrangements of even tinier obovoid flowers.
December 8th – The forecast had been for heavy snow during the day, and whilst it had been cold, the anticipated white stuff only presented a dusting by the time I headed over to Burntwood as night fell. I was quite disappointed if I’m honest, but I headed out into an impressively blue night to try the snow tyres for the first really icy outing of the year.
They were, as always, excellent, as were the views on the way, which made the ride much better than expected.
And then, something quite unexpected happened…
November 28th – Probably the coldest commute of the winter so far, yet no ice, which was a bit odd – but the wind was bitter. Luckily I was wrapped up warm and didn’t really feel it much.
What there was though, were gorgeous azure blue skies silhouetting the shivering trees, now mostly devoid of leaves for winter.
‘I awoke this morning, and found a frost perched on the town’ wrote Joni Mitchell. The was no frost, but I know what she meant.
Oh well, onwards – soon be Christmas.
October 8th – A better day when the sun periodically graced us with it’s gentle, warming optimism, and since it’s autumn, where better to go than Cannock Chase? It’s one thing I miss in summer; the Chase is far too crowded to ride much in summer, making every ride a trial of concentration and nerves, but at the cooler, damper end of the year it’s virtually deserted in the best parts and people rarely venture there.
I hauled myself up over Pye Green and to Brocton Field before descending into the Sherbrook Valley and over Milford and Shugborough and back along the canal to Rugeley and then home through the night-time lanes of Longdon.
A great ride tat cheered me up totally – and I’d forgotten the improvised birded feeding point up in the car park off Chase Road for Freda’s Grave – I watched birds happily feeding for 20 minutes, captivated by their antics. It was also wonderful to see a nuthatch, which is a first for me – it reminded me of a land-based kingfisher. The colours are gorgeous.
We need more decent weather days. I need more of this in my life right now.
August 7th – The difficulty of knowing there’s a great sunset, but you can’t see the horizon from anywhere near where you are.
A beautiful mauve-blue sky, as seen near Rushall.
July 8th – At Hammerwich earlier in the ride, a disappointment. Flax had flowered here in characteristic blue a couple of weeks ago, but now it was over and I never managed to catch this stunning crop. But I had been told it was currently redeeming itself by showing a riot of poppies.
Well, it was and it wasn’t.
In fairness, in real life it’s gorgeous and well worth popping to look if you’re passing – but somehow, I just couldn’t capture it with a camera. Whatever I tried, the shots came out dull.
June 14th – I notice that on the embankment on the north side of the Black Cock Bridge in Walsall Wood, the vipers bugloss is flowering again. In 2014, this was very prolific, in full bloom for about 20-30 metres, but now is sadly confined to just the one clump.
A beautiful flower though, and one I’ve not seen anywhere else locally.
April 13th – Spring flowers are coming thick and fast now, from dead nettles to bluebells, both Spanish and English lining the hedgerows, edge lands and verges.
Spotted at Shire Oak, some beautiful sights just growing in a mundane, roadside here that most would just pass by.
There’s beauty out there in profusion if we’re open to it.