May 22nd – It’s always great to see the flag irises out along the canal banks for another season – such dramatic, beautiful yellow flowers that add real colour to urban and rural landscapes alike.
Only one snag: They really aggravate my hay fever. Looks like I’ll be sneezing my way along the canals for a wile then… but a price so worth paying.
May 19th – A gentle afternoon amble into Birmingham along the canal was a lovely trip – but I did get drowned on the way home. I went from work, along the Tame Valley canal and down the Walsall Canal to Aston. It’s nice to see the route to Birmingham now smoothly surfaced all the way from Rushall Junction at Ray Hall, a real improvement that will see me coming this way more in future.
On my way I saw cats, geese, and my nose noted that the flag irises were out, which although gorgeous – in this case growing around an unexpectedly beautiful pond in the shadow of a huge recycling plant in Saltley – always set off my hay fever.
A lovely canal ride on a grey, showery day that still showed the best of urban Birmingham.
June 7th – Yellow is the colour of the canals at the moment, as the flag irises and water lilies are out and forming a beautiful accompaniment to the greenery around the banks and towpaths.
Even after these last few years I still can’t get used to seeing such flowers on canals – the ones I grew up with were so filthy and dirty.
Not all change is for the worst…
January 24th – Passing through Brownhills High Street, I noticed that the former Blockbuster store – empty for a few years since the chain went busy – seems to be having some kind of refit. But what snagged my attention was the logo of the scaffolding company.
Black Country Scaffolding features the ‘official’ Black Country flag, a symbol created a couple of years ago to promote the area, and it wasn’t intended as a commercial thing at all.
It would be interesting to know if they had permission to use that.
May 24th – The wildflowers and blossom are wonderful this year. On my way to Aldridge along the canal, I saw lots of hawthorn, cow parsley and my first flag iris of the year. I think the pink and violet ones are columbine or granny’s bonnet. The lupins are also superb.
Here goes the yearly uncertainty over flower identification. Ah well, down the hatch.