November 8th – Heading to work on a damp, drizzly morning, autumn was still doing it’s best to lift me out of my doldrums. Still down, feeling the pressure at work and not over the end of summer, my commute was hard and tiring.
However, Green Lane looked gorgeous and improved my mood no end.
March 11th – I wasn’t feeling well. An unpleasantly off-colour feeling had been descending over me for a few weeks. I ached. I felt dizzy. Something wasn’t right.
I grabbed a takeaway on the way home and shot from Clayhanger to Brownhills over the Spot Path and common – where, despite my fun, I found the migrating amphibians – out in huge numbers enjoying the drizzle – charming and fascinating. I love frogs and toads.
I took care where I was riding, and noted creatures of all sizes and hues. Very one of them obeying the same seasonal imperative.
Nature has a way of pulling you up short.
October 17th – The morning commute was damp, and a little drizzly, but it brightened up as I neared work. On the way, I noted the assortment of hips, haws and berries, glistening with raindrops. For the hedgerow fruits, it’s been a bountiful year, and the birds certainly have plenty in the larder right now.
A fine autumn; best I can remember for many a year.
October 1st – Autumn is certainly coming to Catshill Junction and Clayhanger Coomon, as the deciduous scrub here turns golden. On this drizzly October evening, despite the murk, it looked beautiful.
I note the building taking place on the former Bayley House site is coming on well, but the sculpture on the far side of the water is being rapidly claimed by the scrub.
I do hope it doesn’t get forgotten there.
May 8th – Sweet rain.
As someone who spends an inordinate amount of time outdoors, I’m fairly honed to the seasons and their timetable. That was, until this year. Spring is so late, it feels like a chunk of the year has just gone missing, lost, been edited from the tape.
The natural order being disturbed, I’ve missed little things without realising them. One being the smell of the countryside in spring after rain. When I travelled to work, the drizzle was very, very fine and almost not there at all, but heavier on my return. At Shenstone, the air was damp, musty and smelled beautifully of pollen, oilseed rape, moist earth and growth.
I didn’t know how much I’d missed that smell until today. I got off my bike, and stood there, just opening my senses to it. Not just the scent, but the colour, the light, the birdsong.
It was glorious. Even dull days can be a joy.
December 14th – Just as I was getting into the swing of cold, bright days, along comes the rain fairy again. Today, the commute and riding was shocking. It was a dreadful journey to work; into a headwind, drizzle getting heavier as I went. It took 35 minutes to cycle what is usually a 25 minute journey, and I thought I’d just missed my train. Reconciled to a 20 minute wait at Blake Street, I was the only person around. Then, completely unlisted on the passenger information system, a train turned up out of nowhere, which seemed a bit odd.
The further I got toward my destination, the heavier the rain became. Tyseley looked grey and horrible, and nobody seemed to turn the daylight on at all. The commute home was equally dreadful.
I was cheered, however, to note that next week, it’ll be the shortest day – then the nights begin to open out again. Roll on Christmas, let’s have some nuts…
October 22nd – The day remained grim and unphotogenic. My return was marred by a heavy headwind, and very, very fine drizzle – the kind that soaks your clothes and trickles down your neck without ever having the decency to actually rain properly. The light, and consequently the photography, were awful. At Jockey Meadows, near Walsall Wood, the fields were misty and dank. The last of the beans remained in the field by the road, as the ground was too waterlogged to harvest them. This doesn’t look like OCtober, it looks like December. Let’s hope the weather picks up soon.