BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘feral’

#365daysofbiking Worth the wait

Thursday March 18th 2021 – Attentive readers will remember back six weeks or so I noted the camellia I’d found in a neglected front garden in Darlaston. It had loads of flower buds on it and seemed totally unnoticed by the world around it.

I’ve been watching it carefully, and the first large, rich pink flowers are emerging on this stunning, beautiful shrub.

I would guarantee it’s not known care for at least four or five years; yet it’s a stunning, healthy, flower-laden picture of health.

A beautiful splash of colour in an otherwise dull urban environment. Wonderful to witness!

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#365daysofbiking A small bimble

October 2nd – I was recovering after the hospital appointment, but fresh air called and I took a spin out in the afternoon, enjoying the sun for a circuit of Brownhills, Walsall Wood, Pelsall and Clayhanger.

Slow and leisurely, I wanted to see if I was up to riding. Thankfull I felt no ill effects.

At Clayhanger Bridge I met the Watermead family, all now large birds, having a communal preen by the canalside. They tolerated me, and only went for my ankles a couple of times.

Beautiful, adorable birds.

To my surprise, Mr. Miyagi the turtle was basking too, but slid back in the water before I had my camera. Didn’t expect to see him out so late, but always nice to see.

The fresh air improved my mood and it was nice to find my riding wasn’t impeded.

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#365daysofbiking Heliophile

September 28th – Out in the afternoon for an errand in Lichfield, and I noticed that the deer had trampled a gap in the hedge near Home Farm from the canal towpath at Catshill, again returning a good view of my favourite tree – the magnificent horse chestnut near the farmhouse.

Surprisingly, it has yet to become very autumnal.

However, a lone oddity in the foreground caught my attention: A solitary, large sunflower going at the field margin.

A truly wild specimen, it can only have got there via the mechanism of bird digestion.

What a fine serendipitous thing!

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#365daysofbiking An Indian summer lover

September 18th -The unusually fine, warm autumn weather meant probably the last public appearance for Mr. Miyagi, the local feral yellowfins belly slider turtle who lives in the canal near Clayhanger.

He was sunbathing happily in his normal spot with admires passing by gently as not to scare him.

For a discarded pet, he certainly has many fans. He’ll soon retire to the deep mud where the cold doesn’t get, before re-emerging in spring.

An unusual local celebrity.

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#365daysofbiking Sun worshiper

September 10th – The weather is generally agreeable and warm at the moment, and there’s no finer indicator of than than passing on the way to work local sun worshipper Mr Miyagi (turtle wax on, turtle wax off) as I’ve decided to christen him.

He was sunning himself in his usual spot, head out and enjoying the day.

This feral yellow belly slider is becoming quite the local celebrity.

He’s a handsome chap for sure…

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#365daysofbiking Slider rule

August 27th – Oh gosh, a local celebrity. On the half-shell.

This yellow belly slider turtle has been living in the canal for years – I’ve seen a few of them in my time; there was one at Chasewater for years and several on the Black Country canals.

They are all discarded pets that are now illegal; they are normally southern US residents but survive fine in our climate, but won’t breed.

I’ve had fleeting glimpses of this one before near Clayhanger, but today, I caught it enjoying the sun at the edge of the canal.

It’s large, healthy, and apparently content. And boy, can it move fast: One whiff of danger and it retreated back to the water at top speed.

A fascinating curiosity.

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#365daysofbiking Foxed:

September 6th – Spotted late on a grey afternoon, just on the canal near Clayhanger.

A fox trots purposefully, but unconcerned down the canal towpath, nearly on a mission but not in the slightest bit bothered he might be seen.

July 24th – Also coming on to show well right now are the rosehips – the fruit of the rose flower, either the dog rose, or the feral scopes that dot the hedgerows, canal towpaths and footpaths of the area.

I love the variety of textures, colours and shapes.

They bring a second splash of welcome colour when the rose flowers  themselves have decayed for another year…

May 22nd – Turtally awesome!

Spotted at James Bridge, on the canal between Pleck and Darlaston on a bright, warm, sunny day, a female, adult yellow-bellied slider turtle drifting down the canal on some drifting detritus while basking in the sun.

She was probably released into the canal by some idiot who couldn’t keep her any longer having no idea of the size she’d grow to be. Fortunately, this animals will live happily (but not breed) in the UK climate.

This is the urban Black Country, post industrial, inner city in 2018. We have non-native turtles drifting on the cut, enjoying the sun.

Just one of the many reasons I love this place with all my heart. There really is something new every day.