BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘deer’

#365daysofbiking Way out west

May 6th – It wasn’t a bad day, really, and thanks to some emergency help from a doctor, I had some good medication and felt much, much better.

So I did what I always do when improving: Get on my bike.

This season I want to expand my horizons a bit. I want to explore places I’ve not been in years. So I thought I’d make a start by heading west rather than north or east.

West is difficult from Brownhills. Beyond Great Wyrley is miles of lovely, rolling countryside, but sadly, Great Wyrley and Cannock are in the way. When the motorway and bypasses came through, it left few peaceful, viable paths to the countryside of the west, meaning getting to it is a chore.

But as I reminded myself today with a 52 mile bimble, it’s actually gorgeous when you make the effort. So I will. Far more often.

I went via Norton, Washbrook, then into Wyrley, Landywood and Shareshill. Up through Hilton Park, Saredon to Four Ashes, then on to the canal north to Penkridge, Acton Trussell and Milford, and from there down the main roads to Rugeley and back over Red Hill and Chorley.

A really fine ride, sadly in mostly grey, cold weather but the scenery – and lack of discomfort – more than made up for it.

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#365daysofbiking Hello ladies

April 28th – A day marred by a bad stomach so I busied myself with other things and headed out late in the afternoon for a circuit of Chasewater, Burntwood, Wall and Stonnall.

At Chasewater, it seems the small group of deer who have been hanging around the spillway heath at Anglesey Basin are still there.

The fece doesn’t trouble them, they just hop over as required.

Odd too see people walking past without stopping – deer used to be a spectacle here but it seems now they’re as familiar as the cattle on the north shore.

I still can’t quite believe they’re here.

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#365daysofbiking Disturbing the ladies

April 7th – The group of deer that have been loafing around the spillway and dam for the last couple of weeks were hanging around the south shore when I returned from a ride out at dusk.

The day had promised decent weather – it was much warmer than it has been which was a good start – but it was hazy and grey and not inspiring at all, which was sad.

As I rolled up to take their picture, three ladies ambled out of the scrub to my left, which was a surprise: A sign to be a bit more careful with deer numbers increasing, I think.

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#365daysofbiking Hair and gone

March 23rd – Meanwhile, over with the red deer at Chasewater, the seasonal moult has started, and the ladies who looked so healthy and fine a week ago now look like threadbare old rugs. They are also covered in dried mud, which they roll in to try and liberate the irritating cold weather coat.

It’s natural of course, to lose the winter coat, and the scruffiness will soon pass; but my favourite ladies always look so grim at this time of year.

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#365daysofbiking It’s about time

March 17th – Finally a day with a more manageable wind, although it was still hard work, and an afternoon mostly without rain, although it caught me on my evening return. But a good ride, none the less.

Rapidly going stir crazy, I was pleased to note a more temperate day – although it was cold the sun shone frequently and the rain was mostly short sharp showers.

I headed up to Cannock Chase for a decent 45 miler, Pye Green and Brocton Field, the dropped into Sherbrooke Valley and on to Milford. From there, up to Tixall, a place I’ve not been in far too long a time. The architecture and atmosphere of this gorgeous place cannot be overstated, yet it’s mostly missed as it exists in the shadow of tourist magnet Shugborough, just down the road.

I continued to Hixon and skirted Blithfield Reservoir via Newton and Admaston, and passed back through Rugeley and Longone as darkness and rain fell.

Spring is really coming on a pace now, with plump spring lambs in the fields and green evident on the hedges, woods and fields; and on Brownhills Common the deer were clearly currently entering the moult and will soon look like threadbare old rugs that nobody cares for, despite being in excellent condition otherwise.

I’d love to know what a solar loo is though…

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#365daysofbiking Following the herd

March 9th – A terrible long range photo in awful light but a huge herd of red deer were loafing in the fields near Gains Lane, between Pelsall and Great Wyrley. In total I think somewhere around 40 animals were there in total – more were appearing from the scrub behind as I watched.

Wonderful to see of course but only a short distance from the M6 Toll, the A5 and a major junction complex.

It’s great to see the deer around but I do worry about them.

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#365daysofbiking Resprung

February 23rd – With such fine weather there was nothing for it but to head out on a long ride.

Starting with a call to see the splendid, sun-worshipping crocuses at St Anne’s Cemetery in Chasetown and the deer in Church Street Park next door, the ride took me up through Chorley, Stoneywell, Longdon, the Ridwares, Blithbury, Abbots Bromley for cake and a rest, the up to Newborough, Hoar Cross, Hadley End and back via Lichfield.

The discovery of the old Trent footbridge and tunnel from the canal to Mavesyn Ridware was a wonderful think. It’s a lovely spot.

An absolutely gorgeous 52 mile rode, then ended in an ethereal mist that really gave an interesting tone to the evening.

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#365daysofbiking Regrouping:

 

February 10th – there were a very large number of deer on the north heath – loafing in the marsh, and up in the woods towards Fly bay. There must have been 45 or so.

Of course, they always regather in herds in spring, and the animals were content to browse the scrub, meadow and heather and doze in the copses.

I still can’t believe we have these wonderful animals right here on our doorsteps. They are so beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking There… and gone

January 8th – It’s not often I feature here photos of things that aren’t there any more. But in this case, I had no choice really as I just had to share.

Heading home along the canal to Brownhills, between the Black Cock Bridge and Clayhanger Bridge in darkness, I was brought to a sudden, screeching halt by… a group of deer on the towpath.

Something had spooked them up ahed and they were running toward me, but seeing my light, they deflected into the copse adjacent and disappeared into the darkness.

So, here was a group of deer.

An oddly unsettling experience…

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#365daysofbiking Slipping the reins

Christmas Day – Just lately my deer magnet has been very poor – I hadn’t seen deer close enough to get a decent photograph for weeks if not months.

Luckily, I spotted these fine reds in the scrub at Chasewater North Heath just by the bypass. I gently ushered them over the trail and back into the park – for all the good it will do.

We don’t have reindeer wild here, but the reds made a special Christmas treat. Good to see them.

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