BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Darlaston’

#365daysifbiking I predict a riot

February 13th – Kings Hill Park continues to captivate.

The spring flower patch planted last year in the grass by the converted church is coming on lovely once more, and is currently a hubbub or crocuses in white, pink, violet and yellow. Soon they will be joined by other blooms, and a few short metres away, dwarf daffodils are coming on to flower, too.

It’s going to be a riot of colour again. I can’t wait – this is just the start.

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#365daysifbiking Lining up the cast

February 13th – A ride into work on a pleasant, sunny and mild morning saw me take to the canal from Walsall to Darlaston, mainly to check on swan couple Arnold and Flossie, who had enchanted me last week.

They’re still around, still very much a couple and were just loafing, grazing the canal bottom and green shoots of reedmace. They seem in rude health and only looked cross when they realised I had no treats for them.

Looking on carefully was an enemy they may need to watch out for if they hatch a brood: Grey herons won’t bother a grown swan, but they will take hatchlings. They’ll need to be vigilant.

And so, slowly, the spring sets up it’s cast and characters…

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#365daysifbiking Snoozing it out

February 7th – I have a new pair of pals and I’ve called them Arnold and Flossie.

This pair of young swan mates have been hanging about the canal at Bentley Bridge, between Pleck and Darlaston for a few weeks now and are surprisingly tolerant of human company.

I suspect they may well nest this year, which would be nice to see.

On this windy but otherwise pleasant, sunny morning they were both dozing on the towpath, out sheltering out of the wind when I stopped. They both listened while I talked to them and they allowed me to take photos without too much grumping.

I look forward top seeing more of these gorgeous characters in coming months.

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#365daysifbiking Of course – gorse!

January 31st – on the way to work on a grim, cold morning, the familiar sight of gorse flowers on waste ground near Bentley Mill Way surprised and delighted me. I’m never really sure of the difference between gorse and broom, but the bright yellow flowers – in bloom before Christmas – seem to be around forever and smell pleasingly of coconut.

Such a lovely sight on a cold, grey day.

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#365daysifbiking Unstoppable, now

January 29th – Despite an icing sugar dusting of snow and a very cold wind, the dates and emergent daffodils of the industrial estate where I work know spring is a thing.

Jack in the Green has tapped the ground with his stick and it’s all systems go.

The cold might slow things up a few days, but it’s underway now. It’s coming.

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#365daysifbiking Advance party

January 28th – Passing through Kings Hill Park on a mercifully sunny, chilly day, I noted the progress of the snowdrops and crocuses, with the early-appearers looking wonderful in the sunlight.

I’m a bit worried about Kings Hill Park. Not one of Walsall Council’s premier parks, it seems to be losing some funding and last year, although kept beautifully tidy. the flower planters seemed rather neglected, which is a shame as they’ve always been gorgeous.

Kings Hill Park is a gem of a place, sited on largely reclaimed former industrial land, and is a jewel in the urbanity along the Walsall-Sandwell border.

I hope it gets a bit more love this year.

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#365daysifbiking Ice kingdom

January 23rd – The snow quickly petered out, and it went very cold overnight, with a small, further flurry in the early hours. I had stuff to do near home early in the morning, so left for work when the sun was well up and the sky a precious, azure blue.

Jockey Meadows in Walsall Wood and the Mystic Bridge in Darlaston were nothing short of stunning.

It’s not often we get sun and snow together like this. It was absolutely captivating, and a joy to be cycling in it.

For a while, my commute was like the kingdom of Narnia, and it ma=de me happy.

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#365daysifbiking Repurposed

January 11th – On a grim, overcast day little caught my attention but popping out of work mid day I did stop to look at a pub I thought was lost, but has found a new life – and has actually been refurbished quite well and sensitively.

The former Scott Arms in Kings Hill had been derelict for many years, having closed following the decline of nearby large factories. I had thought it would be lost forever, such was it’s decay.

However, it was bought, and permission granted for a takeaway, and over the preceding months the building has been modified and renovated.

I’m not sure if it’s actually ready to open yet, but it looks close. My best wishes to the new owners.

It’ll be handy for a spring roll when I’m working late…

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