BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘detritus’

#365daysofbiking Scum

May 12th – Again, the local canals were thick with organic scum – not just the usual azolla bloom, which is still persisting but has mostly died back now, but detritus and dead bloom heads from sallow trees that border the canal there.

It looks awful but will soon disperse, and it just one of several reasons the canal forms natural organic layers throughout the year.

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#365daysofbiking Scum

May 2nd – There are many reasons why the local canals develop an organic, natural scum throughout the year. From pollens to seeds, from tree-mast to algae, all kinds of unpleasant looking but natural detritus develops and dissipates throughout the seasons.

Due to the early spring warmth and extended spring, at the moment there’s a very heavy scum  on much of the local canal, but particularly in the wind-traps around Walsall Wood and Clayhanger. At he moment it’s mostly appearing to be a combination of reedmace detritus, algae, sallow seeds, disintegrated hazel, alder and birch catkins and hawthorn blossom petals. I’ve never seen a scum so heavy at this time of year.

Given time and sun it should dissipate and fade away. but for the moment, it’s quite ugly but perfectly natural.

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August 17th – I see there are patches of scum on the canal again in various spots. These seasonal bands of detritus are ugly, but are organic in origin – usually pollen, blossom debris or seed mast. 

I couldn’t work out what was generating this one, and it’s sporadic, but suspect it’s connected with nearby trees.

It’s a sign of the much cleaner times that such events are now so noticeable.

March 29th – On a practical level, the bad weather is taking an awful toll on the lanes. Here, near Springhill this backlane like many has a ridge of wash down mud in the centre, and the tarmac either side is fracturing into potholes and covered in loose detritus and marbles that are slippery and prone to stealing your grip.

The roads now will be in a parlous state, and without much money to repair them, I fear for the condition of minor lanes like Whittaker Lane here in years to come.

We really need to tackle this very serious road safety issue.

January 20th – I was home earlier, but didn’t escape the dark. It was light when I left though, which was something. On the way back I had to call in to Stonnall on an errand, and I came upon a hazard every bit as dangerous as the unexpected black ice that morning; in the blackness of the backlane, the road was flooded to some depth for the full width of the tarmac.

In my bike light, I took the best picture I could, and note that apart from the bike light, this is in total black; a mix of speed and grip-thieving water, marbles and mud just ready to strike out of the darkness.

Thankfully, I spotted it,. But be careful out there. I’h hate to think what this is like if it freezes…

May 17th – I see the canals are looking pretty messy again – not to worry though, as this pollution is entirely natural and harmless.

Lots of reed detritus and airborne blossom debris is combining, as it does at various times of the year, to form a heavy scum in wind traps on the surface of the water.

It’s harmless and will decay within a week or so, it’s perfectly natural.

April 13th – An odd thing on the local canals – lots of reed debris all of a sudden. Not sure if this is natural detritus as part of spring, or the result on thinning redheads for boats.

Anyone know? Lots of it around Brownhills, Catshilll Junction and Clayhanger.

January 25th – There’s been a bit of a running debate lately amongst friends and family about just how much one should clean a bike in winter. I must admit, I’m from the ‘Only clean when the crud is ~25% of the total weight of the bike’ school, but others differ.

Visiting a client this afternoon, I checked out the bikes parked in their bike rack. This clearly well-used semi-hybrid has a fairly clean, well-lubed chain, but oh – the caked mud on that front mech is crossing a line.

That thing really needs some mudguards – all the mud from the back wheel that isn’t doing a skunk-strip on the rider’s jacket is being dumped on the chain and front mech.

August 13th – A bit better today, and I’m on the mend, and out and about earlier. Time I note for another periodic explanation…

This isn’t pollution at Catshill Junction, or anywhere else it’s happening. This time the scum film at wind traps and bends on the canal is caused by rose bay willow herb plants, which are currently going to seed and producing oodles of the white fluff. 

Just like the sallow earlier in the year, it looks horrid as the chaff and hairy detritus forms a film on the water – but it’ll soon be gone.

Another curious little marker of the passing seasons.