October 17th – I’ve been casually interested into the decomposition of the robin’s pincushion gall I found in the summer in Darlaston.
This once beautiful red and green hairy, spiny gall – created by a tiny wasp laying it’s DNA corrupting eggs in the rose leaf buds of it’s host – is now decaying fast and I’m interested to see how this ball of plant matter wastes away, and if it shows any evidence of the adult gall wasps escaping to freedom.
I’ll never stop being fascinated by these things.
June 4th – The flower display is continuing. So much stuff is appearing now it’s very hard to keep track, but canalside and meadow orchids are looking beautiful, dog roses and x-eye daisies all caught my eye on my commute.
There really is no better time to be on a bike, right out here in the outdoors during great sunny weather.
I have waited so long for this.
June 16th – I was taken to task on social media the other day for stating that Telford’s cycleways were alive with flowers and fruit; this observation was scoffed at, because it seemed inconceivable that on the byways and fringes of the new town, wildlife could flourish or be beautiful.
Well, it can; and the people who care for these fine tracks, paths and trails really should take a bow – they are a credit to them, their work and their town – a virtue shared, curiously, with Redditch.
There’s beauty in all sorts of places if one is open to find it.
July 7th – Another desperately dull day, with not many photo opportunities. Sadly, I took a bunch of photos on the way home, and messed the settings up, so the only ones I have to show are the from the cycleway in Goscote again this morning.
I note we’re in for a fruitful year; not only are the apples plentiful, but cherries seem to be having a fine time, and haws look to be good, too; if the blossom is anything to go by I think we’re in for a bumper crop of black and elder berries too.
I love the dog roses, smelling wonderful in the post-rain humid air, and the cornflowers look superb too, in their thistle like glory.
Some much great stuff going on in the hedgerows – and all on one short stretch of path in Goscote.
June 20th – A ride out on a bright, sunny but windy afternoon, punctuated by very heavy, thundery rainstorms. I went to Chasewater to see what I could find, and the range of wildflowers did not disappoint. I’m particularly pleased with the marsh orchid i found on the canal embankment at Newtown.
Such beauty on an afternoon when many would have stayed indoors…
June 16th – I called in at South Wigston on the way back, to kill two birds with one stone. The wasteland at the station there is beautiful again – brambles, ox eye daisies, thistles and dog roses mingled with a couple of unknowns. Considering this land – sitting between the access ramp and the platform – is totally abandoned and no more than 15 square metres, it holds no end of delights all year round. Stunning.
May 16th – Early summer, I guess now. I noted yesterday the dog roses in Tyburn, Birmingham, yet hadn’t noticed the highly fragrant bush on Clayhanger Common, just by the canal near Catshill Junction. This time of year is predominantly purple, pink and blue for flowers. Close by, a gorgeous cornflower, and a tiny, delicate vetch.
The flowers will be excellent for the next month or so. Bring it on!
May15th – I finished up early, had something to eat and then returned to Birmingham on the Snow Hill line. I used to trave that service a lot, but for five years now I’ve barely troubled it. Many of the landmarks from the line I knew have gone, or changed.
When I got to Brum, it was too nice to hop on another train, so I dropped onto the canal, and rode home through Bordesley, under Spaghetti Junction, over to Pipe Hayes and along the Plant’s Brook Cycleway to Sutton. From there, I rode through the park home. A great ride – Brum canals are at their best in sunshine, and even the heron was out sunning itself. The dogroses at Tyburn were beautifully scented, and the canal limpid and lazy.
Plant’s Brook cycleway is lovely, and I shall use it more often. Even the rabbits in Sutton Park performed for the camera.
A wonderful afternoon.
June 16th – I ad to go to Walsall to pick something up from the central sorting office. The weather was atrocious – windy and rather wet. I bit the bullet at lunchtime and pulled on shorts – wet legs dry quicker than wet trousers – and actually found it to be warm and oddly pleasant. I cycled along the canal, and noticed the flowers were in fine form, if a little battered. Orchids and waterlillies graced the Wyrley and Essington, whilst in the Goscote Valley upon my return, dog roses and sweet peas grew in scented abundance. Not a bad ride, all in all.