BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Clayhanger’

#365daysofbiking Filthy scum

August 17th – This needs no explanation: A bag of dog waste, collected by a dog ‘lover’ to look responsible, tossed into the hedge on a canal bank near Clayhanger when nobody is watching. It will now remain here, out of reach, a monument to your lazy disrespect until the wind dislodges it.

This is a filthy, disrespectful and nasty habit.

Those doing this are scum. No more, no less.

Don’t just pick up after emptying your dog, dispose of it’s waste properly. You bought the animal, you are responsible for the shit it extrudes.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2ZbrTb9
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking A good crop

August 17th – With my fascination with galls, it’s easy to overlook the fruiting of the oaks as it should be, and I’m happy to report this year that the crop of acorns – even though it’s been hit very heavily by knopper gall wasps – is plump and profuse.

The heathy acorns I’ll later gather to spread in hedgerows and on edge lands as is my tradition look better this year than they have for years. I guess a warm but wet season was good for them, if not so much for me.

I always have a dilemma here though: I can collect acorns solely from trees unaffected by knoppers, and assume they have so resistance, but in spreading solely those am I harming the wasp ecology? I suppose I should just spread any acorns I find, but it’s an interesting conundrum…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/31JzRd4
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Berry wet

August 14th – On Clayhanger Common, the elderberries are ripening slowly. These beautiful, tiny back berries, beloved of winemakers for centuries make a great home brew red wine that’s known for potency and taste.

Elderberries always look beautiful in the rain and are a lovely indicator of a fruitful season ahead.

Although I’d personally not gather these particular ones due to the history of their location, I’ll be out gathering others for a relative when the time comes, continuing a family ritual that’s gone on for decades, if not centuries.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2Z3aRjn
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Telling porkies

August 11th – Still ill and resting, I just went for a short ride around Brownhills, and checked out the recently controversial clearance work on the former Swingbridge Farm site off Northfields Way, between Brownhills and Clayhanger.

The farm that stood here for pretty much 200 years in one form or another finally shut in the early 90s when the adjacent housing estate was built on it’s land. After a period of dereliction, the buildings were demolished, and it seems the rubble and hardstandings were just left where they lay.

It’s possible the land has now been sold, and the owner is in the process of clearing it, and I must say I was unaware of the sheer amount of masonry and rubble remaining. This was really just a drop and run.

There is no planning application currently relevant for the site despite the gossip circulating, but tales of new estates, big houses and other baseless flapdoodle have been circulating like wildfire.

The simple fact is that nobody’s applied for anything yet and an owner is entitled to clear their own land providing the operation is environmentally lawful, and we’ll just have to wait and see.

But that won’t moderate the gossips to any degree…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2Z2vW9p
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Plum crazy

August 7th – Spotted in CLayhanger on the way to work, bull aces or wild plums. Slightly larger than cherries, a beautiful, edible old English fruit the slides in and out of fashion as new generations discover it.

Often sent and tasty, these seem to have had a good year., and will soon be ripe.

I’d probably think twice about eating these, though, given the reclaimed nature of the land they grow on…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2MZ9YC4
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking From tiny acorns grow

 

August 1st – The various varieties of wasp gall that form on oak trees are necessarily seasonal. Rosy, marble and apple galls form from wasp eggs injected into leaf notes, so grown from them in spring and early summer, and by now are largely vacated and spent.

Knopper and artichoke galls form from eggs laid in acorn buds, corrupting the fruit into a gall from the crop, so don’t start appearing until late summer. Right now they’re developing well, forming a protective, curiously shaped home for the wasp larva to hatch in and develop.

Galls are fascinating things for sure, and are markers of the passing year.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2YJN88y
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Budgie bliss

August 1st – Groundsel is a common but interesting weed. It spreads and is host to a number of diseases and lungi that affect other plants, like rust fungi and black root rot, but is also supportive of small songbirds and a host of Lepidoptera.

Groundsel is thought to be mildly toxic to humans.

it’s been known for years that cage birds like canaries and budgerigars love groundsel (and chickweed) and as a child I was often sent to pluck some from the hedgerows for grandad’s budgie, which would devour any proffered without hesitation.

It’s a very hardy widespread weed, and is so common and unassuming, I think it largely exists unnoticed. However, if you actually stop to study it, it’s rather pretty.

Weeds are always worth a look – they can be surprisingly beautiful.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2MXeYXz
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking The secret of pie

 


July 31st – A drier day, at least. After the deluge of the previous day, it was good to feel the landscape slowly drying in the morning sun.

The lousy summer has at least been good for the fruits: All along the waysides from Brownhills to Darlaston, fruit ids swelling and ripening, from apples to blackberries.

Autumn will soon be upon us – how quickly this season and year have passed.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2MZHPuj
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Herbivore

July 15th – The flowers continue to appear daily. Rosebay willowherb is the latest – a beautiful, tall weed, it paints wasteland, hedgerows, scrubs and derelict land with a beautiful hade of purple, complimenting the buddleia which it competes against for light and space.

In a few weeks it will seed with fluffy, wind-born seeds that float on the breeze and were locally known as ‘fairies’ when I was a kid, hence it’s colloquial name ‘Old man’s beard’.

We really should look more closely at the plants we dismiss as weeds.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2lHKWvH
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking The cycle


July 9th – I’m always interested in insect galls as regular readers will know and one of the most interesting in the UK is the robins pincushion gall, which affects wild and dog roses.

Forming the same way as oak galls – from a wasp injecting eggs into a plant bud which are coated in a plant DNA corrupting substance – pincushion galls are brightly coloured and made up of a solid nodule up to a inch or so diameter, covered in hairy spines, which if you look closely are miniature facsimiles of rose stalks, thorns and all.

Numerous larvae hatch in chambers within the gall, eating their way out as they mature.

This year on a rose where last year’s dead remains of a pincushion gall can be seen complete with cavities where the wasps emerged, there are two new ones growing about 12 inches further up the branch.

And so the lifecycle of a tiny but fascinating insect continues.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2LnVDyO
via IFTTT