BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Darlaston’

#365daysofbiking Shroom to manoeuvre

Monday, September 28th 2020 – This journal is now so venerable that I feel it has seasonal traditions, and one of the most important to me is it’s devotion to documenting the fungus season with the many photogenic and interesting varieties of toadstool, ball, mould and slime that abound in autumn.

The mycology is tragically overlooked – it’s a huge kingdom completely different to any other, and without it life on earth could not function at all. And when it blooms and fruits, it’s stunning in its otherworldly beauty.

So far this dry autumn, there hasn’t been much fungal action but with showers in recent days hopefully the shrooms will have the trigger they need to emerge.

I’ll kick it all off this year with these humble but beautiful honey fungus, spotted by the canal in Darlaston on my way to work. Hopefully the first of many this year.

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#365daysofbiking Berry colourful

Friday, September 18th 2020 – One of the joys of late summer/autumn fruiting is pyrocanthus, colloquially known as firethorn.

This colourful member of the apple family – it’s fruit are not really berries but pomes, i.e. apples – is insipid to humans with mildly poisonous seeds within, but very valuable for wild birds as a long lasting food source into the cold months.

For bystanders, though, if means beautifully vivid boughs laden with glistening fruit in shades from nearly white to deep, deep read, a real autumn treat.

These bushes near Darlaston entertain me every year.

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#365daysofbiking Consumption

Today, a tentative restart.
Firstly, an apology:

  • I have been rather ill, tired and on my knees.
  • Work was about all I could do for weeks. A period of working from home drove me very low indeed. I love to be out with people in my niche, the isolation was very bad for me.
  • I am recovering physically and mentally, and my distance cycling is back, and now commute both ways to work again. For a period I drove one way, rode home and back, drove home and back etc.
  • Like all of us, the pandemic has been strange.
  • What’s been stopping me updating is I have all the photos for the missing days, but I’m just so far behind, catching up is daunting. *I will fill the gap but have to work out a system to do it*

I’ll be honest. I’ve cycled every day even though I’ve not been posting, even if only up the road and back on very ill days.

It’s time to kick this thing back off. Thanks for your concern, and I’m sorry. I’m rebooting. It may take a while, specifically with the main blog. I am not young these days. I get tired. But I still love this place, my rides within in, and I still have the wide eyed wonder I always did.

Thanks for your care and patience.

Monday, September 14th 2020 – A summer like morning commute to Darlaston that was unnaturally warm and pleasant, but in the shadows and shade, the nip of autumn lurked, and the dew was heavy, a sure harbinger of Autumn.

At the far end of Victoria Park in Darlaston, a tree on the margin of the marsh and footpath continues to consume the fence that passed too closely.

I’ve watched this tree consume those steel bars for over a decade and the tree is still in rude health, despite my suspicion at one point that it was diseased.

I’ve always adored the almost pyroclastic flow over the footpath.

Trees like this are a constant to me, and as I return to this journal after too long away, it seems appropriate that since last mentioned here, the tree has grown, aged, but remained – a marker for me that probably very few notice.

Onwards, and into autumn. You coming with me?


#365daysofbiking Daffed

March 31st – The weather seems to be improving every day now – and despite the fact that my commute to work is on virtually empty roads, I’m still taking about the same time to ride it as the springtime attractions are far too beautiful to miss. This fantastic crop of daffodils cheer and welcome me every day on the industrial estate where I work.

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#365daysofbiking Eternally connected

March 13th – Friday came as a day that was decent to start, and then gifted rain in the afternoon. When I left work, the rain had cleared leaving a bright, sunlit evening on which to admire my beloved Twin Sisters, the two church spires of Church Hill in central Wednesbury.

I love to admire this view from Kings Hill Park. I love the hill, the space, the rooftops before the tree-lined ecclesiastical summit. I love to think of the hundred or more years these lovely buildings have watched over the industrial landscape and it’s changes below.

And I also wonder how many people like me have stood in this place and done exactly the same as me over the years. I love the way it’s all kind of eternally connected.

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#365daysofbiking Quiet riot

March 6th – The sun was shining, the day was almost warm, and at lunchtime, Kings Hill Park in Darlaston was the perfect place to chill out.

Spring flowers like crocuses and daffodils bobbed and waved in the breeze, and there was much bee buzz and birdsong… All to the accompaniment of an industrial Black Country town going about it’s Friday business.

A veritable riot, but a quiet one.

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#365daysofbiking Outreach

February 21st – In the wind and withering of a horrible Friday night commute, I crossed Bentley Bridge in Darlaston Green, and stopped to answer a text. looking to my left, I thought the cherrypicker lifts in the yard down the canal looked almost prehistoric in the way they caught the yard lights.

Years ago, this would have been a busy canal, with Garringtons drop forging factory either side – the narrows still visible in the distance where there was a drop bridge between the two yards.

Today, it was much cleaner, and quieter, apart from the wind and the sound of rain on the canal.

How times change.

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#365daysofbiking Resolute

February 20th – Despite yet another foul day, the flowers of Kings Hill Park in Darlaston have decided the time is ripe and are putting on a thoroughly gorgeous show.

Miniature diffs, crocuses and snowdrops mingle, with the full size days getting ready for act 2, followed later by the fantastic tulips in the planters.

With such resolve to being beautiful, one can really lift the sadness of another day of bad weather.

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#365daysofbiking – Just for me

February 7th – A test journey to work was tough, but so worth it: A stop for a break and a snack in Kings Hill Park rewarded me with gorgeous spring flowers.

It felt today, in that moment, that they’d made the extra special effort because they knew I was coming, that their admirer and champion was back.

Happily, the sun came too, and warmed my face.

Some things you just wish you could bottle for the darker days.

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