June 18th – Now we’re in high summer the flowering phase is fading a little and we’re moving on to hardier, darker flowers and blooms, greens are deepening and the fruiting phase is commencing.
Now is the time of bramble flowers, thistles, knapweed and cornflowers – and the time when the canal looks it’s very best.
August 27th – The rain held off while I visited the Festival of Water at Pelsall, photos of which are on my main blog here, but I caught the warm rain on the way home, and didn’t really mind.
I explored the North Common which I hadn’t done for years, and for an ex-industrial wasteland, it’s a beautiful place with great biodiversity. Rabbits, mustelids and birds are flourishing here, wild sweetpea still in flower, while willow herb and butter and eggs added additional colour. A huge crop of crab apples hangs from branches, although due to the nature of the ground, I wouldn’t prepare anything edible from them.
A rare treat and well worth exploring, even on a wet day.
March 5th – I spotted this young cat on the opposite side of the canal near Catshill Junction. He stared at me contemptuously for a while, then, feigning disinterest, went and stroked his nose on an overhanging bramble for a bit.
A lovely chap. Hope he’s a regular…
August 12th – This is strange. I spotted it growing in the thicket by the cycleway in Telford. The plant itself looks like maybe a rose or some kind of bramble, the the growth ar the top is totally alien to me.
It’s about the size of a golf ball, maybe a bit bigger. Is it some kind of parasite, like an oak gall? Genetic mutation? Or even some kind of uncommon species?
Help invited… it is kind of beautiful.
June 16th – I called in at South Wigston on the way back, to kill two birds with one stone. The wasteland at the station there is beautiful again – brambles, ox eye daisies, thistles and dog roses mingled with a couple of unknowns. Considering this land – sitting between the access ramp and the platform – is totally abandoned and no more than 15 square metres, it holds no end of delights all year round. Stunning.
September 6th – The rains came today, but not too much. Skipping out weary in the afternoon, I rode the canal towpaths which were quiet, and fast. There was that lovely fresh earth, post rain smell, and the landscape looked clean and fresh. What impressed me most, though was the huge variety of flowers and plants still showing well along the towpath. This selection were all spotted between the Pier Street Bridge and Coopers Bridge, just by the Watermead.