BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘embankment’

#365daysofbiking Lupin the loop

May 14th – On Monday I said there were new wildflowers every day now. As if to confirm it on the way home, by the new pond in Clayhanger, the first of the season’s lupins, which have been growing wild here since I was a kid.

Ironically I searched in vain for one of these yesterday in the same area, so the growth must be coming on fast now.

I love these beautiful, deeply coloured purple blooms; there are also a pink variety here that flower later.

Soon be time for the orchids, too…

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#365daysofbiking Graceful

March 31st – Up to Chasewater on an evening ride. I’d been resting and didn’t feel like going far – particularly as it was bitterly cold, even in the sporadic sun patches.

I noticed this small heard of 5 deer on the opposite side of the canal from Anglesey Wharf, where they’d been recorded swimming a few days previously. These deer love water, or so it would seem.

They were quite tolerant of my company, unusually enough, and even walked towards me, the better I guess to check me out for maybe a treat or two (Sorry ladies I had nothing).

Catching them jumping forward and back over the fence was a real treat. For such large animals they are so very graceful.

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#365daysofbiking Crown of thorns

February 28th – Also out early and brightening a very grey day in Telford – the blackthorn.

Often mistaken for hawthorn, this harbinger of spring looks almost like a heavy frost or snow, but is actually tiny white blossoms, and they line the motorway embankment as seen from the Priorslee footbridge.

A lovely sight on a grey morning.

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#365daysofbiking Oh so thirsty

February 22nd – Returning from work a little earlier than usual and in daylight, I spotted this splendid calico cat taking a drink from the canal near Humphries House.

One of the best things about spring is the re-emergence of the feline population, usually all cosy indoors in the cold.

I hope I meet this one again – it seems quite a character!

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#365daysofbiking Proud defender



February 19th – The feisty little robin that a spotted a couple of weeks ago in the treetops near the embankment by Scarborough Road canal bridge in Pleck, Walsall is still singing his heart out and battling for his territory.

I love how determined he is. Nothing stops him singing for long. He’s on a mission.

I hope he finds a mate soon, because he’s certainly earned one!

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#365daysofbiking Catching the leaves:

October 26th – Heading to Hortonwood from Telford Station on the cycleway, I crossed the motorway bridge to Priorslee and my attention was caught by the sunlight catching the turning leaves.

Motorways are not beautiful but they do have a particular charm, especially in autumn when their embankments, generally undisturbed havens for wildlife, become especially beautiful.

July 13th – In Telford for the morning, I crossed the footbridge over the motorway to Priorslee and noticed that despite the dry spell, the embankments, a real haven for local wildlife were still very green and alive with wildflowers. 

It always interests me how the motorways of the UK – undoubtedly polluting and hostile to the environment – have formed green ribbons of land that protect so much wildlife and provide an undisturbed haven.

Of course, this is one of the quieter UK motorways.

May 8th – Without my camera which I stupidly left behind, grotty phone photos of a bait of embankment bolstering by the Canal and River Trust in Aldridge at Stubbers Green between the factory units on Brickyard Road that back on to the canal, and Lathams bridge.

There may well be an issue there, as there was in Walsall Wood a few years ago when the embankment on the same side was built up around the Black Cock and Coppice Road areas.

I wonder in they’re settling still or if this is just a safety margin thing?

October 11th – Oh boy. Not more that a few days ago, I was bemoaning the lack of decent fungus this year, and was stunned to find a sing fly agaric toadstool in the usual spot near Chasewater, then this.

I was shotting along the canal through Pleck of all places, and as I rode a red flash on top of the canal cutting embankment caught my eye. Scrambling up there to investigate, I saw found one of the best crops of these cute red and white spotted fungi I’ve ever seen.

Large, profuse and very beautiful, these are in the heart of formerly industrial, urban Walsall, in a place few humans would ever think to go. A really wonderful find.

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.