#365daysofbiking Tree of life:
September 29th – Heading out at sunset after what was a pretty bad day, I swung up the canal through town, over Catshill Junction and over to Barracks Lane. The canal was beautiful and peaceful, and the only souls I saw were the waterfowl scudding around looking for food.
Looking over the fields to Home Farm my favourite tree – the horse chestnut on the skyline just by the farm buildings – is beautifully golden, and glowed in the evening.
All round me now, the greenery is packing up and going for autumn. There’s no ignoring it.
#365daysofbiking Going down:
September 26th – Crossing Cathshill Junction and heading up to Anchor Bridge, I caught it on the cusp of day and night, and realised that soon, I would be doing this once more in darkness.
I don’t know where summer went this year; it seems barely days since I was riding the roaches, eating ice-cream at Blithfield or riding in short sleeves around North Warwickshire.
Time passes so fast these days. It was a good summer – I doubt I’ll ever see one with such consistently fine weather again.
May 5th – A gorgeous day for riding, hindered by the need to do favours for mates and a bit of a bad tummy saw me leave for a fast, warm and beautiful sSaturday Evening ride that really did catch the best of Staffordshire and all that I had been missing with the dreary spring.
You can see a full set from this ride on my main blog by clicking here.
On my way out, I noticed that my favourite tree, the horse chestnut on Home Farm at Sandhills, visible from the canal at Catshill, is now in leaf.
I love that tree. I gauge the seasons by it. It looks beautiful and green.
Summer has begin!
April 25th – The weather is still quite intemperate, but improving. Temperatures climbed at the weekend, then sank again, but on the whole it’s been a drier week – but windier – although the sun too has been welcome.
This improvement has meant trees are now well into the greening phase and it’s starting to look like summer is coming.
With blue skies and emerald embankments and hedgerows, the canal is looking gorgeous again.
It’s a pleasure to see.
March 11th – A ride out to a farmer’s market then on tho Middleton Hall for cake, and back via Hints and the A5. The day wasn’t the best of weathers, but is was pretty good, and I didn’t get rained on until very late in the ride.
I noticed the animals on this ride particularly: the first spring lambs up at Barracks Lane; the goose at Middleton Hall. But what stole it were the cats: the lovely chap drinking from the canal at Catshill Junction; the weary, wary looking farm cat at Raikes Lane; the black tiny one in Fazeley.
Spring must be coming, the cats are starting to emerge.
March 1st – Allegedly the first day of spring, but a better one insomuch as I was better prepared for the cold. I wrapped up better, and rode a more sensible bike. It was just as cold, with more persistent, more powdery snow – but on leaving work early, I did a loop of Brownhills before nightfall to enjoy the spectacle.
Enjoy it I did, although again, the wind and cold were punitive and pugilistic. The powder drifted in clouds like dust devils over canal ice and bone-dry roads. Snow depths went from nothing at all to 150mm. At 4:30pm it was already minus 5 degrees C. When my hair started to develop lumps of ice, I decided to go home.
I noted the gritting operation at the council depot was in full swing, and the grit barn looks very depleted. The coos up at Highfields Farm, Chasewater looked peaceful and unconcerned, and the fox I scared into woodland across the common near Watling Street was as usual for foxes in snow, apparently apologetic for his higher than usual visibility.
These have been remarkable days to be on a bike. They have been very hard, but I wouldn’t have missed them for the world.
It’ll be interesting to see what the weekend brings.