BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Darlaston’

#365daysofbiking Blooming late

October 4th – Taking a well earned breather in Kings Hill Park on my way to work, sat with my coffee, I noticed something dark red in the shrubs near the northern hedge.

It’s a very strange flowering shrub I’ve never seen before, and it’s in full bloom. In October.

The beautiful red blossom hangs in chains, a bit like wisteria or it’s relative, laburnum. But the odd thing is it also has smaller, white flowers that could easily be from another shrub – but clearly aren’t.

Does anyone know what this is, please? It had me fascinated for ages.

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#365daysofbiking Nothing but a bind

September 25th – There are a few flowers left, to be fair, one of the most profuse being bindweed.

Every time I mention this beautiful yet pervasive weed, I send gardeners into fits of apoplexy – they hate this crawling, strangling plant with a passion.

But I stick to my guns: Where I see it most – on towpaths boundaries, trail edgelands and scrub, it’s a beautiful, white flower that’s really under appreciated.

Sorry.

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#365daysofbiking A spreading fire…


September 4th – The firethorn berries seem late this year.

Curiously bright and profuse, pyrocanthus is a relative of the crab apple, and is a favourite in urban borders for the striking colours of the berries – from yellow to bright, vivid red.

Beloved by songbirds, they bring a welcome splash of colour to town centre planters, industrial estates, edgelands and gardens all through late summer and early autumn.

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#365daysofbiking Interdependence


September 2nd – The Darlaston Robins Pincushion Galls are looking really amazing right now – the one on the main ‘trunk’ (stalk? Branch?) of the wild rose is the largest I’ve ever seen, and still growing – now the size of a tennis ball, but elongated. On the outer leaves, the one that clearly misfired across multiple leaf nodes is causing odd, isolated patches of gall growth on leaves and twigs that look almost tumourous in nature.

This is an absolutely fascinating thing and I make no apologies for regularly featuring it. This is part of the wasp gall’s lifecycle and it’s absolutely stunning that such a tiny insect should co-opt and corrupt the growth of a plant to create such a host for its larva.

Amazing stuff.

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#365daysofbiking Ready to strike

August 22nd – I got just two photos today, before the camera I’d absent-mindedly not charged for days went flat. Both were of this splendid heron, totally aware of me but studiously ignoring my presence, at least while breakfast was in prospect.

As herons often do, it pondered in the striking pose for some time: Alert, taut, ready. Then, either it’s prey swan away, or it just decided not to bother. The bird visibly relaxed, remembered I was there, cast me a contemptuous glance and flew off.

I know of few birds as oddly human in their habits as Herons are.

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#365daysofbiking Nice chopper mister

August 20th -Whilst riding down Old Park Road in Darlaston at lunchtime on my way to Wednesbury, I heard a tremendous noise from the adjacent industrial estate.

Looking up the embankment through the trees, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Quickly zipping onto the estate and up the drive, I managed to take a few pictures of what I assume was the head honcho of the adjacent, very large car sales pitch taking off for… maybe sunnier climes.

Nothing succeeds like excess.

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#365daysofbiking Inhaling green

August 16th – Another place I love is Kings Hill Park in Darlaston, one of Walsall’s little known, minor parks.

Sadly in the last couple of years it’s not had the maintenance it formerly had, with resources going to the borough’s ‘Green Flag’ parks instead: We no longer get the planters maintained as beautifully, and the attention to upkeep is more cursory.

However it’s still beautiful and has some gorgeous flowers – just not so many as it did, sadly.

To be here, seeking space from work on a wet, blustery summer day, in peace and quiet with industry just metres away, is bliss. You can stand here, take five and just inhale the green.

A beautiful park, a credit to the town and those who care for it, but it needs more resources sparing for it.

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#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.

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