BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Catshill’

#365daysofbiking Going for gold

July 20th – A day of maintenance, work interruptions and grim weather. I spun out mid afternoon into the wind for a run over to Burntwood on an errand.

As summer advances, the greens of the hedgerows and woodlands are darker and more weary, and the fields are now turning gold for harvest.

How quickly this year is passing. But the summer is still beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Into the blue

June 30th –  A rest day, a day for bike maintenance and feeling a little bit down after the exertions of the previous days. The weather was less warm and it felt a bit like that had been summer.

I slipped out in the afternoon for a gentle spin and cruised a loop of Brownhills on a test ride. I felt OK, fluid, and not stiff, but I was already yearning to be out again – but the wind was quite strong and I really wasn’t into it. I ran some errands and caught up with things.

The landscape at Home farm was beautiful in its high summer jacket, and on the positive side, it does look now like summer has started.

As my ride reminded me, perhaps this was the start, not the end.

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#365daysofbiking Getting some greens

June 27th – The Watermead swan brood now are growing fast, and the chicks are getting quite a size, with them now in the lanky, scruffy stage of their development.

It’s more common now to see lone cygnets browsing and feeding away from the parent group and this busy forager was feeding on one side of Catshill Junction while his mum and 2 siblings were snoozing on the grass by the narrows on the Walsall Wood side.

With plenty of water greens to keep them healthy they’ll soon be adult-sized birds.

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#365daysofbiking The last of the light


May 4th – On an evening with a very bad IBS episode, with stomach cramps impeding my progress significantly, I took a ride to Chasewater in absolutely gorgeous light.

The canal, my favourite tree at Home Farm, Sandhils and the sunset itself were a real tonic and made my tired, aching body feel much better.

Sometimes, actually getting out and making the effort makes you feel better: Especially when it’s such a beautiful day.

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#365daysofbiking I spire

April 25th – The weather is grim again – it’s cold with periodic heavy showers and I’m wondering what happened to spring – then, returning from Lichfield I realise that spring is still here and ongoing.

Looking over Sandhills from the Lichfield Road towards Ogley Hay over the green growth of a new crop and trees in fresh leaf, just peaking above the treetops, the spire of St James chChurch in Brownhills.

A lovely sight and a reminder that the weather will soon be better.

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#365daysofbiking Restful

April 14th – After a very long day, I needed to slip out for a dusk ride. Just a quick shot up the canal to Catshill and back.

My favourite tree – the majestic horse chestnut at Home Farm, Sandhills – looked soothing in the dusk, still waiting for it’s leaves to sprout forth.

It’s been a hectic weekend but it finished on a very good note.

Sometimes you just need five minutes of solitude.

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#365daysofbiking Neighbourhood watch

April 13th – Near Catshill on the way back, I was being watched. It took me a while to spot my observer, but puss ambled along the bank and mewed at me softly.

There’s been a marked increase in recent days of cats out and about, taking the air. It’s  sure sign summer is coming when these generally quiet, studious and indolent urban flaneurs appear on the patch.

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#365daysofbiking Windswept

March 13th – I’m trying to not work such long hours, and leave work a little earlier.

This meant a commute home in daylight, and so I took the canal from the Black Cock Bridge to Anchor Bridge, which was remarkably wet and muddy.

Catching the sunset over Catshill Junction though made the journey home battling with hostile crosswinds worthwhile.

Hope the wind abates soon.

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#365daysofbiking Glowing

February 2nd – A better, more springlike day was what I expected, and indeed, it was at least decidedly warmer. There was, however, a bitter wind that made progress slow and a the nagging cramps of bad IBS attack niggled at my energy.

Any remaining snow was confined to the shade of hedges and field margins, and the afternoon sun made the red soil of Home Farm at Sandhills glow beautifully.

I note the sheep, now reduced in number, are still working on clearing the field of what I think is kale; its been a real treat seeing them here. IU hope they become a more permanent fixture.

I note the hedges along here have been cut, and as ever, the auto-flail has ripped the hawthorn overgrowth into short, hazardous, thorn-armed fragments, lying on the towpath waiting for a vulnerable tyre.

If you haven’t tough tyres, probably best avoid the stretch between Anchor Bridge and the Ogley Junction Bridge for a couple of weeks or so until the fragments have been cleared or rotted by the weather.

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