BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bridge’

#365daysofbiking A small bimble

October 2nd – I was recovering after the hospital appointment, but fresh air called and I took a spin out in the afternoon, enjoying the sun for a circuit of Brownhills, Walsall Wood, Pelsall and Clayhanger.

Slow and leisurely, I wanted to see if I was up to riding. Thankfull I felt no ill effects.

At Clayhanger Bridge I met the Watermead family, all now large birds, having a communal preen by the canalside. They tolerated me, and only went for my ankles a couple of times.

Beautiful, adorable birds.

To my surprise, Mr. Miyagi the turtle was basking too, but slid back in the water before I had my camera. Didn’t expect to see him out so late, but always nice to see.

The fresh air improved my mood and it was nice to find my riding wasn’t impeded.

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#365daysofbiking Picture this

September 20th – An old favourite but a new camera, well sort of: The new iPhone is being touted as having the ‘best camera in any smartphone yet’ and having a new one, I’m interested to try it.

Over the years, as the technology improved, more of this journal is phone images – either by convenience, of because the phone was immediately to hand. But they’re no substitute for a decent camera – the physical limitations of a phone camera are just too great.

There’s no doubt that the pictures this device takes are excellent. But the seem a little harsh – since the physical mechanical constraints of a small camera in a thin unit are so great, the real art of this thing is in software. It’s goo, but I think needs softening a little.

It’s still absolutely remarkable though, have to say.

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#365daysofbiking Bridging the cat gap

September 15th – Passing Binary Wharf in Walsall Wood I always smile at the plank of wood from a French window cill over the gap to the towpath retaining wall through the railings. I must confess, it took me a few weeks to work out it’s purpose, and I’ve been meaning to feature it for years but it’s hard to photograph without looking like you’re invading privacy of the tenants.

I’m 99% sure the plank affords a cat access to the happy hunting ground of the canal without the inconvenience of a huge jump. Possibly, just possibly, the handsome black and white puss I spotted in a business yard over the road.

I love stuff like this: Small accommodations for animals to go about their daily lives.

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#365daysofbiking Sun worshiper

September 10th – The weather is generally agreeable and warm at the moment, and there’s no finer indicator of than than passing on the way to work local sun worshipper Mr Miyagi (turtle wax on, turtle wax off) as I’ve decided to christen him.

He was sunning himself in his usual spot, head out and enjoying the day.

This feral yellow belly slider is becoming quite the local celebrity.

He’s a handsome chap for sure…

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#365daysofbiking The night in my veins

September 7th – I headed over to a silent, deserted Chasewater not optimistic that I could get decent results out of the new camera.

However, having been in this position before, I thought I might sort it out and get used to the foibles of the new device.

The G5X is actually great, and I think it was mastered. Apart from the toad shots, where a bike light was used for illumination, all of the images were taken in almost total darkness by a variety of means and mode settings.

I think I’m getting used to it.

Riding back along the canal after being scared senseless by a stag crashing through the scrub at Anglesey Wharf, I nearly squished poor toad, but it obliged as a model before I popped him into the hedgerow for safety.

I love the night, it’s a lot more beautiful than people would tend to think. Nosey, unsubtle deer excepted.

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#365daysofbiking Winter haunts

August 29th – Working late this week, not getting time out to myself, but it does allow me to try a new camera on some old favourites.

I’m working with a Canon G5X mark II at the moment, which is astonishingly good in daylight. I’m having trouble mastering it in low light though, so what better place to try it than my old haunt and winter muse of Clayhanger Bridge at night?

Not too bad but need more practice. I’ll surely get plenty of that in the oncoming months…

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#365daysofbiking Telling porkies

August 11th – Still ill and resting, I just went for a short ride around Brownhills, and checked out the recently controversial clearance work on the former Swingbridge Farm site off Northfields Way, between Brownhills and Clayhanger.

The farm that stood here for pretty much 200 years in one form or another finally shut in the early 90s when the adjacent housing estate was built on it’s land. After a period of dereliction, the buildings were demolished, and it seems the rubble and hardstandings were just left where they lay.

It’s possible the land has now been sold, and the owner is in the process of clearing it, and I must say I was unaware of the sheer amount of masonry and rubble remaining. This was really just a drop and run.

There is no planning application currently relevant for the site despite the gossip circulating, but tales of new estates, big houses and other baseless flapdoodle have been circulating like wildfire.

The simple fact is that nobody’s applied for anything yet and an owner is entitled to clear their own land providing the operation is environmentally lawful, and we’ll just have to wait and see.

But that won’t moderate the gossips to any degree…

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#365daysofbiking Browsing

July 26th – I’ve lost track of most of the local swan families in Walsall this year – there were a fair few and they’ve all been quite mobile and most have suffered attrition from predators, so I’m not sure which family I’m seeing where now.

These hungry characters were feeding near the old copper works, just west of the motorway flyover at James Bridge, on the Walsall – Darlaston border.

They look healthy and well, but I’ve no idea if this is the family that hatched just a little way up the canal from here or another family.

Never mind, it’s all good…

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#365daysofbiking Thistle do

July 10th – Also wind seeding, but yet to go over are the many variety of thistle scattered about the verges, edgelands and hedgerows of the area at the moment.

One day I must look up what all these splendid and distinct variants of this beautiful plant are.

These ones found near the canal at Pier Street in Brownhills have tiny, light purple almost lavender blue flowers, whereas other type have larger, more purple blooms.

I get the feeling that thistles are far more complex than I imagine. Must look them up.

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