January 28th – Remarkably, there is a trace of spring in the air. I noted the odd nascent crocus in the week, so decided to check out CHasetown cemetery and St. Annes now I was feeling better.
On a grey, overcast but very warm afternoon, I found a single snowdrop, hundreds of crocuses, aconites and primroses, and as an added bonus, deer on the verge of the Chasetown bypass, which although lovely to see, was quite worrying with their proximity to fast traffic.
Be careful out there folks.
There was quite a decent sunset too, and a punishing wind. It’s quite clear that bad weather is coming in, but I don’t think anything can stop the spring now. The flowers are here – it’s starting.
Welcome, my green and beautiful friend.
February 26th – Another blustery, wet day and although I had plans, I shelved them and had to be content with a spin around Chasewater. That wasn’t so bad, as I was weary and hadn’t scoped the place out for a while. I checked out the recent dam works, which contrary to local conspiracy theory seemed to make sense, and also noted that the dam road is now closed, which is something that should have been done long ago – only the residents and rangers have business down there and hopefully the locked gate will prevent further outbreaks of fly tipping and ASB.
I had a snack at the cafe, then arced around the lake over a very wet and muddy north heath – I was looking for deer, but saw little wildlife except the burgeoning grebe population and a very depressed looking kestrel on his usual pylon perch.
Looking for something – anything – to make the ride better, I remembered the cemetery and St Anne’s Church, just over the bypass, as surely the crocuses must be in bloom. I wasn’t disappointed.
I commend visiting this cemetery in the next week or so to any locals – my photos don’t do this veritable carpet of blooms justice and it’s thoroughly captivating.
I left sometime later in a punishing, rain-soaked headwind, a much happier man.
October 20th – Spotted from the canal towpath as I zipped past, a forest of toadstools growing on a fallen log in the scrub at the back of Queen Street Cemetery in Walsall.
I think they might be honey fungus, but I’m not sure. There were hundreds of caps, all growing in clumps, feeding on the decaying wood. Ranging in colour from a dull weigh to a dark burnt umber, they were beautiful and fascinating.
Best crop of toadstools I’ve seen for a while.
February 28th – A much nicer day, and I was getting over the cold at last. Still bunged up and with a mouth full of ulcers, but I had energy and the sun was out. I needed to pop to Chasetown, and called in at the wonderful St. Anne’s cemetery on the way back, currently a riot of crocuses. This spot is delightful and well worth the visit, and today, I was accompanied by a huge bumblebee, already busy in the flowers.
Can spring, light days and warm sun really be so close?
February 16th – Corporation Street Cemetery in Walsall – wedged into the hinterland separating Pleck, Caldmore and the town centre could be a little green hillside oasis – it could be, but it’s not; it’s green alright, but a neglected, shabby green in a state somewhere between being maintained and being forgotten. In the daytimes it’s eerily lonely, and the only people you see here are the displaced and spaced.
Sister Dora, that wonderful adopted mother of Walsall is interred here in a humble grave, which despite it’s minor nature still manages to be embarrassingly neglected.
There are fine views to be had here, but the vandalism, decay and shameful decay make this a rather unpleasant place. We really owe those who rest here better.