BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘dull’

365daysofbiking On a lost day like this

Sunday March 28th 2021 – I had errands to do for a relative. They did not go well, but that didn’t matter really as the weather was windy and often wet, and the wasted time did not matter so much.

The only splash of colour in a grim day – The first of British Summer Time – was found in the forsythia growing by the canal at Catshill that I noticed on my return at dusk, at a pleasing 7:40pm.

Forsythia – immortalised in a great song by the band Veruca Salt that US college rock fans of a certain age will know well – used to be really popular in the UK as an ornamental shrub, but seems to have gone out of fashion. It forms a mass of yellow blossom before coming into leaf, and is truly gorgeous.

The reason for it’s decline I can only guess at, but wonder if people confused it with the highly poisonous and similarly yellow laburnum, which flowers much later but there was much anguish over in the 80s and 90s, leading to it’s steady decline.

It’s nice to see, especially on a lost day like this.

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#365daysofbiking A hidden gem

December 27th – It was a grim, grey afternoon and I had to go to Erdington – of all places – on an errand. I saddled up and headed my usual route over Shire Oak, down the Chester Road and through the leafy private estates of Little Aston to Sutton Park and on.

It was a foul, wet afternoon, with little to commend it. But I did stop for a breather at Little Aston Church, a really fine example of GE Street’s devotional and elegant design in an interestingly bright stone.

I have to say, it was the most handsome thing about the day.

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#365daysofbiking Just nuts

July 27th – A miserable Saturday of work, bad weather and not getting done what I planned to. My health wasn’t great, either. I headed out to Chasewater in the evening but nothing was inspiring in the dull, overbearing grey.

I did note however one thing – we have an excellent hazelnut crop this year; and this tree at Chasewater I’ve never noticed before was absolutely laden with nuts.

Wonder if the squirrels might leave a few to ripen for the humans this year?

That thought, at least, made me smile.

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#365daysofbiking Neon yellow

April 23rd – A day of bike maintenance, then a run late afternoon to Shenstone on an errand. The weather was changing; it was colder and the sky looked threatening.

However, the spring colours, although muted in the grey light, didn’t disappoint. The oilseed rape between Shenstone and Footherley was gorgeous and the path through it to the woods magical.

Refreshing on a grey day.

Hope the sunshine returns soon.

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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 Quiet and still

April 6th – Nipping up to Chasewater after a day of bike maintenance and cleaning. It was a dull but clear afternoon that felt more like late October than April. Still cold, at Ogley Junction it felt very quiet and still.

I note the factories were quiet too – unusual really – they used to run right over the weekends. I hope this isn’t a sign of trouble ahead.

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#365daysofbiking Back to grey

January 7th – I rode in to work from Walsall along the canal for the first time in a few weeks – it wasn’t;t a bad ride, though I forgot how grey it can be on a dull, overcast winter day.

Nice to see Canal and River Trust litter picking crews out at the birch ills end, and hopefully they can clear some of the mess left by the magnet fishers – what a pain in the backside they are.

At Bently Bridge the view was trying to be green, but it’s heart wasn’t;t in it, sadly. Maybe some sun tomorrow…

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#365daysofbiking Up the junction:

September 10th – A quick hop up on to Catshill Junction Bridge which is always a good spot to note the passage of the seasons.

Forgetting the weather (which is decidedly grim right now) there’s a definite tinge of autumn in those trees, towpaths, banks and bushes. It’s still quite, quite green – but there is the kiss of gold at the extremities, and the green looks dark and weary.

And the season’s wheel grinds on.

August 19th – Talking of the harvest, at Home Farm, Sandhills, the cornfield I’d captured the rainbow and remarkable sunset from a few weeks ago has now been harvested, and the stubble, still golden in the overcast day, is awaiting ploughing back in. 

My favourite tree – my marker for the seasons, the horse Chestnut by the farmhouse – is clearly laden with conkers.

What a fantastic summer and season this has been. Just what I needed.

April 28th – A grey, cold afternoon at Chasewater with little to commend it: On a quick spin out shivering and cold, they light was hauntingly grey over the lake. I notice the water level is falling gradually now with it now being about 75mm below the outfall spillway weir.

The gorse is beautiful, the hedgerows verges and thickets were alive with flowers, birds and wildlife, but there was little colour because of the awful weather.

Come on spring, we won’t mind if you wake the sun up!