BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘early’

#365daysofbiking No danger

March 21st – A remarkable early riser at the moment in this early and temperate spring is the purple dead-nettle. Not usually seen until mid April around here, there are lovely little mauve-pink patches of this small plant in scrubs, commons, heaths, hedgerows and towpaths everywhere I go.

It doesn’t sting, and I love how the upper leaves have a red colour that compliments the delicate blooms.

In the last couple of years I’ve really come to appreciate nettles – yellow archangel is another member of the family which will soon appear and it’s stunningly beautiful too.

A real gem.

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#365daysofbiking Windswept

March 13th – I’m trying to not work such long hours, and leave work a little earlier.

This meant a commute home in daylight, and so I took the canal from the Black Cock Bridge to Anchor Bridge, which was remarkably wet and muddy.

Catching the sunset over Catshill Junction though made the journey home battling with hostile crosswinds worthwhile.

Hope the wind abates soon.

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#365daysofbiking Signs of green

February 28th – Remarkably, still just February and the hawthorn hedges and scrub have new leaves, looking lovely in the rain. Last year this was a whole month later.

Hawthorn leaves when fresh like this are really tasty to chew.

I’m so pleased for an early end to the winter like this – even if this pleasant spell ends soon, it’s been refreshing, like recharging the batteries.

The light and warm days cannot be far away now.

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July 24th – It seems early for blackberries to be ripening in such quantities right now, but they are. I think in reality we’re maybe only a week or two ahead of schedule, but it just seems wrong.

The foragers and animals won’t mind though – this juicy, black-red sugar laden fruit will sustain many a bird or rodent and make for many a decent pudding the the coming month or so.

Again, it seems like a good crop too.

May 9th – I had to be out very early for something I couldn’t cycle to, so took in an early circuit of the canal at 5:30am. Not seeing a soul, I enjoyed the peace and quiet. Fascinated at the moment by the sheer quantity of organic flotsam and jetsam in the canal, with everything from blossom petals to dead reed foliage. I suppose it’s a feature of the season, but never really noticed it to this extent before.

There’s something very otherworldly about breaking out of your routine and just riding for the hell of it very early in the morning.

December 23rd – Again up at the sparrow’s cough, this time I needed to go to Bridgnorth, and again had a long day before me. The dawn was warmer, and the early morning less grim than the day before.

At Silver Court, the newsagent was just open – but the building lights hadn’t clicked on yet and the shop sign made for an odd, otherworldly, brutalist portal.

February 19th – In Walsall Wood, the spring flowers on the grass in front of St. Johns Close are showing well. A range of beautiful daffodils and yellow crocuses form a cheery carpet on this greyest of dull days.

Interestingly, the purple crocuses – normally here in profusion – seem to have suffered a crop failure this year. Maybe they’re late to what is a very early party.


February 12th – A mad, mad, bonkers season. Discernible by the blossom before the leaf, this is blackthorn (that’s sloe) in bloom on a motorway embankment in the Black Country. 

Out on an errand in the morning, I spotted loads of it in healthy, bright bloom. As a hermaphrodite flower I’m not sure if this early blossom will be good or bad for the crop come autumn.

Along with the daffodils now widely in bloom, this early spring is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

February 2nd – Kings Hill Park in Darlaston is a real treat at the moment, for the miniature daffodils, crocuses and finally snowdrops are in flower.

Spring has come already and it’s only the 2nd of February.

In all my days, I’ve never know daffodils and crocuses beat snowdrops into bloom. These past couple of years have seen some crazy seasons.

To see these flowers was a real joy to the heart.