BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Brownhills’

#365daysofbiking Fair field

October 6th – A favourite local view – from the canal over to the hills of Hammerwich is unexpectedly green right now. Well, green and yellow.

The slopes of Meerash to the old railway are bright green with fresh crop growth and are dusted with bright yellow. Clearly a flowering winter crop.

I wonder what it is? Must go check it out when I feel better. A fare treat to the eye, that one.

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#365daysofbiking The spore of the moment

October 6th – Another day with the cold and no energy, but an unexpectedly fine afternoon with sunny spells. It was, however, rather blustery and Chasewater had white-topped waves beating it’s shores.

I roved for a couple of hours around the common, canals and Chasewater looking for fungi, and was rewarded with the usual suspects – good fly agaric, ammonite, puffballs, honey fungus, polypores and earth balls.

But there was one find I was most pleased with – and a species I’ve not seen since I was a child: Amethyst deceiver.

These tiny, delicate, beautifully purple shrooms are actually edible and absolutely gorgeous. Hard to spot at first, they look brown at first, until you see them in the light – then the magic happens.

A great afternoon against my expectations.

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#365daysofbiking Default browser

October 5th – And then, in the scrub at the top of Chasewater dam, between Pool Road, the bypass and rugby club, this fine solo lady was browsing the scrub and posing for photos.

With the rut starting now and the old herds regrouping, odd to see a lady on her own, but she was in good condition and her coat was sleek and beautiful.

Always a fine sight and one I’ll never quite get used to.

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#365daysofbiking Something of the night

October 5th – Heavy with a cold on a week when I could really have done without it, a run over to Burntwood on errands on a grey afternoon.

On the canal on the way to Chasewater, I spotted this handsome, very black puss taking the air on a back garden angling peg.

Regarding me with clear disdain, it only moved to glare at me, following which this patch of sleek blackness resumed its neighbourhood watch.

Clearly something of the night about this gorgeous, wonderfully aloof and cool cat.

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#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 Stars on earth

October 1st – I had to go to have a medical procedure, so I was out in a rainy dawn on a quick spin to get the ride in for the day.

On Clayhanger Common, a first for the year: Earthstar fungus.

This remarkable, almost unreal looking fungi grows quite widely now but was once a rarity, and there are lots on Clayhanger Common from now until Christmas.

They work like puffballs, and the central sphere pops releasing it’s spores to the wind.

They always look like plasticine to me. Beautiful, curious things.

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#365daysofbiking Suckback

September 30th – The first commute in darkness and bad weather of the autumn is always a shock, and this one was dreadful.

The Suck – the name for the gradually darkening, dangerous and unpleasant evening commutes up until Christmas – is a harrowing time.

A combination of bad weather, drivers unused to otherwise familiar journeys now in darkness and lack of patience make for a psychologically and physically difficult time to be on a bike.

It had taken a good ten minutes longer to grind home – and I was still a good way away. I was wet, cold and had a number of very close passes despite lights and hi-vis.

If I could just fast forward to Christmas when the light creeps back and people have settled down, that would be great cheers.

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#365daysofbiking Breakfast run

September 29th – Sunday was a very rainy day. The forecast was bad so just a short run out in the early morning before things worsened.

Found under trees on Brownhills Common, a decent crop of blumels, or shaggy ink caps.

Picked carefully and popped in a cotton bag, I dashed home and had them fried for breakfast, a real autumn treat.

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#365daysofbiking Heliophile

September 28th – Out in the afternoon for an errand in Lichfield, and I noticed that the deer had trampled a gap in the hedge near Home Farm from the canal towpath at Catshill, again returning a good view of my favourite tree – the magnificent horse chestnut near the farmhouse.

Surprisingly, it has yet to become very autumnal.

However, a lone oddity in the foreground caught my attention: A solitary, large sunflower going at the field margin.

A truly wild specimen, it can only have got there via the mechanism of bird digestion.

What a fine serendipitous thing!

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#365daysofbiking Night moves

September 27th – Slipping out late on an errand, I thought I’d really give night mode on the phone a go.

You know what? I’m not struck. It generates very colourful, sharp images – but also, very noisy. It is indeed a triumph of software over physical limitation – but it’s nowhere near as good as using a dedicated camera.

It will be handy, but I think it needs some refinement to be honest.

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