BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘commute’

#365daysofbiking Worth the wait

Thursday March 18th 2021 – Attentive readers will remember back six weeks or so I noted the camellia I’d found in a neglected front garden in Darlaston. It had loads of flower buds on it and seemed totally unnoticed by the world around it.

I’ve been watching it carefully, and the first large, rich pink flowers are emerging on this stunning, beautiful shrub.

I would guarantee it’s not known care for at least four or five years; yet it’s a stunning, healthy, flower-laden picture of health.

A beautiful splash of colour in an otherwise dull urban environment. Wonderful to witness!

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#365daysofbiking Flower power

Wedesday March 17th 2021 – On the cycleway near Stafford Park in Telford, the blackthorn is heavily in blossom, and it’s beautiful. The first of the major blossom shows, it’s only beaten here by the odd ornamental cherry that would have come into flower a month ago.

Blackthorn – the once sought after sloe, beloved of home brewers – is interesting as it flowers before coming fully into leaf (much of the greenery here is an interleaved hawthorn).

Lovely on a dull, chilly morning.

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#365daysofbiking Light in the distance

Monday March 15th 2021 – I’m spending more working time actually at work now, and things seem to be getting more back to normal, albeit a different form of normal with social distancing and masks.

Things after the pandemic will never, of course, be the same again but as spring comes, and I find I’m starting to commute in light at both ends of the day it feels like the world is waking up again. Just a little. Infection rates are falling, less people are being lost and hospitals are less full with virus victims.

The vaccine seems to be having an effect and things look positive, for the first time in twelve months.

Crossing Catshill Junction on my way to the High Street in the dusk, I stopped to capture the dying light and reflected on what a difficult year it had been – but also, on how at last, there was light in the distance.

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#365daysofbiking Welcome return

Friday March 12th 2021 – In my desperate search for signs of spring, a major achievement: The hawthorn leaves are coming out.

This may not seem like much, but it means a familiar, bright green sheen will soon be upon the hedgerows, and the gloom of the bare branches will be pushed back into the background. It means it’s time for blossom to start – Blackthorn initially – and for catkins and sticky buds.

But most of all it means, seemingly against the odds and in this hardest, bleakest of winters, nature has restarted as usual, and there will be a spring.

I carried on to work, a good deal more bouyant than when I set out.

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#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

Thursday March 11th 2021 – Still very windy as I pressed home the following evening, once again battling a wind with an edge forged on Satan’s own back step. It was grim.

Passing Silver Street on the canal I was confused why Tesco was emitting not only the usual red, blue and white light, but also a piercing green, which the picture doesn’t capture too well.

It turns out it’s the traffic lights to let shoppers into the store.

If nothing else, they’re making for some lovely reflected colour on the choppy canal.

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#365daysofbiking Buffeted

Wednesday March 10th 2021 – The warmer weather bought with it high winds. I’m less tolerant of these than I used to be, and find them more of an issue when riding. I’m not sure why; perhaps I’m more risk averse as I get older.

Coming back from work against a very unpleasant headwind which was peppered with raindrops, I stopped on the canal near the Black Cock bridge to take a picture – and realised there was no moonlight.

So I improvised with the bike headlight.

Not a David Bailey, but for such a horrid night it would have to do…

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#365daysofbiking All for the best

Wednesday March 3rd 2021 – Returning from work again in the middle evening, it was a much clearer night as I crossed the Pier Street pedestrian bridge back into Brownhills, a traditional homecoming when the canal towpaths are not too wet.

Thankfully, they seem to be drying out a little, at last.

I love the look of the new housing along the canalside here at night. This used to be such an empty, desolate area, especially in the dark. It looks so much more alive and inhabited now, almost cosy in the streetlight.

Definitely change for the better.

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#365daysofbiking Misty for me

Tuesday March 2nd 2021 – I was at work, and ended up working late. It’s really curious how working from home seems to mean you often doing pretty much the same hours in work, just squashed into less days…

I was heading home weary on a chilly night with a barely perceptible mist of the kind that catches street lights and renders a ghostly hue upon familiar scenes.

As I hopped off the canal at Anchor Bridge, I noticed it through the trees, and capturing it was irresistible.

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#365daysofbiking Not to be outdone

Wednesday February 24th 2021 – Also in Kings Hill Park, right against the former chapel wall the next day, the usually early miniature daffodils are out in force.

I don’t know why these come so soon but they’re always hot on the heels of the crocuses, and outlive them, carrying the spring colour on through the park.

I love the almost competitive appearance of spring flowers.

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#365daysofbiking Fit for a king

Tuesday February 22nd 2021 – Nature is really cranking up her game this week. Back in my familiar haunt at Kings Hill Park, I was having a sunny morning break from work and taking time out to think when I discovered this lovely display of crocuses in Darlaston’s most little-known park.

Aren’t they gorgeous? Not just the beautiful lilac of the petals but the deep orange of the stamens, too.

A lovely find, and I’m glad the sun put in an appearance, too!

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