BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Clayhanger’

#365daysofbiking Staying focused

November 5th – On the way to work I hit the canal between Brownhills and the Black Cock Bridge, and through the copse alongside the towpath, I could see a group of female red deer in the field between me and Clayhanger.

Sadly, there were just too many trees in the way and the deer were remarkably nervous today, so my attempts to  focus on them beyond the trees were thwarted.

I must get faster at that. Far too ham fisted at the moment.

Also fascinated by the zoom compression of the houses in the background, which aren’t anywhere near as close as that in real life.

Nice to see the ladies about though…

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#365daysofbiking Here comes the flood

October 26th – As predicted, the Saturday was very wet indeed, with the rain not abating until early evening. I had business in town that couldn’t wait, and on the way I passed the overflow opposite Silver Street adjacent to the lower meadow on Clayhanger Common.

The canal overflow was barely coping with the torrent, and it was starting to overflow toward the meadow.

Holding this flood is what the meadow was created for, four decades ago: And it will work, admirably holding the excess and realising it slowly, preventing the village flooding.

It will, however, make the Southern Clayhanger Common footpaths impassable for a few days – a small price to pay I think.

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#365daysofbiking The stars in autumn

October 24th – I recently tried CLayhanger Bridge photos with the latest iPhone, to see what one of my favourite low-light subjects was like using that method: I found it impressive, but harsh.

I later realised I’d not really had much of a go with my current camera, a Canon G5X Mark II.

Since I was returning after dark, I thought I’d give it a go, extra lighting courtesy of the bike front light.

You can’t beat a real camera.

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#365daysofbiking Harsh, still

October 8th – Despite a flurry of updates, the generally lauded night mode on the new iPhone is very impressive but to me, still somewhat harsh.

On one of my favourite night subjects – Clayhanger Bridge – the image is impressive for a phone, but I think a real camera generally does it better, even with this incompetent behind it.

Maybe I’m being harsh myself…

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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 An Indian summer lover

September 18th -The unusually fine, warm autumn weather meant probably the last public appearance for Mr. Miyagi, the local feral yellowfins belly slider turtle who lives in the canal near Clayhanger.

He was sunbathing happily in his normal spot with admires passing by gently as not to scare him.

For a discarded pet, he certainly has many fans. He’ll soon retire to the deep mud where the cold doesn’t get, before re-emerging in spring.

An unusual local celebrity.

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#365daysofbiking Toadily over

September 16th – It’s all about autumn now. The change seems to have been very rapid, but in reality it’s been actually quite slow and by almost imperceptible daily degrees.

There are fewer and fewer flowers now, and those that are left are the world-weary late summer soldiers, hanging on for a bit of late pollination – willow herb, dandelions, ragwort, evening primrose, bindweed and like this bedraggled specimen, butter and egg or toadflax.

Beautiful but sad, I bid them farewell for another year and look forward to regaining the colour with the spring. That seems like a lifetime away right now.

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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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