May 30th – A sign of the advancing season is the collection of seeds for a little guerrilla planting. Clayhanger Common has large patches of cowslips like these going to seed – the seeds are not ready yet. But when the heads dry and turn golden, I’ll be out shaking a few into a back for the precious black seeds within, which I’ll then spread to other areas that might benefit from a bit of cowslip love.
That’s how most of these delightful yellow flowers got onto Clayhanger Common in the first place…
April 26th – Clayhanger Common,early morning, not long after dawn.
Yellow army I surreptitiously helped establish here is massing around the grassland. Standing proud, in defiance of the land’s former history as a rubbish tip.
These flowers are a symbol of great progress, undercover as bright yellow, beautiful spring sentries.
May their invasion recur every year without resistance being encountered.
March 31st -Spotted on Clayhanger Common, a touch of optimism in the gloom: one of my guerrilla seeded patches of cowslips is just coming into flower.
My favourite flowers that I spread the seeds for ten years ago now have returned, and in the middle of a wet Saturday when it seemed the sun will never shine, they appeared to cheer me up.
Spring, right there.
April 18th – It was a beautiful but tough ride. Only 91 miles, so shorter than a usual dayride, but with over 2000m of vertical climb. I came from Macclesfield to Sutton Common, looped through Allgreave to Wildboarclough, then back to Wincle. Through Bearda to Gun, then down to Meerach and Tittesworth. After Lunch, back through Leek, then onto the Caldon Canal into the Churnet Valley.
From the end of the canal at Froghall, out of the valley and back in to Oakamoor, along Dimminsdale to Alton then the cycle trail to Denstone, and home via Uttoxeter and Armitage.
It was a great ride – including the beautiful purple cowslips are Bearda, but it was exhausting. That was a hard journey and no mistake.
April 12th – A further delight of the rain on Clayhanger Common – cowslips and pear blossom bearing jewel-like raindrops. In spring, even the rain is beautiful, and sights like these, even when you’re soaked to the bone due to lack of waterproofs – gladden the heart.