BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘flower’

#365daysofbiking Going nuts

Saturday January 23rd 2021 – There was cold weather coming in, with the possibility of snow. I could feel it in the afternoon air as I nipped up to Walsall Wood.

The hazel katkins were having none of it, though: They were coming out and although sparse, were a very welcome splash of light green in a grey winter landscape.

These blooms are the male flowers of the tree, the female ones are tiny. Hopefully the nut crop will not be too sparse this season, despite the thinness of the number of katkins on display…

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#365daysofbiking Yellow reassurance

February 11th – The spiky gorse bushes always seem almost prehistoric in nature, and flower pretty much through the winter in various spots along the canal and on particular local edgelands.

This patch of the spiny, hostile but beautiful shrub has just come into bloom at Clayhanger, adding to the impression that spring is nearly here.

A welcome, if prickly character after the cold and surprise snow of the day before.

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#365daysofbiking Nothing but a bind

September 25th – There are a few flowers left, to be fair, one of the most profuse being bindweed.

Every time I mention this beautiful yet pervasive weed, I send gardeners into fits of apoplexy – they hate this crawling, strangling plant with a passion.

But I stick to my guns: Where I see it most – on towpaths boundaries, trail edgelands and scrub, it’s a beautiful, white flower that’s really under appreciated.


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August 11th – It’s silly, I know. I’m being ridiculous. I’m aware that it’s just my overreaction to the sudden lack of sunshine. But today, I was sad. I was ill with the IBS and I was pining for summer, for in the gloom which would, in any other year be normal, I started to pine for summer.

It’s ridiculous. I feel deep down like summer has ended and that’s it.

I took a short circuit round Brownhills, late. The rain came on heavily. For once, being out made me sad, not happy. The greyness had flooded into me. All I wanted to do was go home, curl up and sleep.

The brightness was there, though: In the poisonous white bryony in the hedge at Home Farm, Sandhills, and in the yellow water flowers near Newtown.

But even they couldn’t lift me. I went home, listened to sad music and went to bed early.

July 6th – No apparent issues with the thistles this year, however. In fact it seems a good year for them – prickly and purple, they are flowering well and in larger number than I’ve seen for a good few years – so as I suspect, water probably isn’t an issue for them like the berries, hips and haws of the hedgerows above.

The colours – from pale lavender to deep, dark purple – are always a joy. Thisles are very underrated indeed in my opinion.

July 3rd – I noticed this tree on the way to work and I have idea what it is. Can anyone help? Curious looking bloom, I thought. In fact, Im not sure if it’s a bloom, or a fruit head.

I have no idea. 

Help grateful received.

June 6th – There’s a splendid display of orchids this year in the meadows, wetland margins and by the canal – but sadly many have been destroyed – or stunted – by the agressive local towpath mowing schedule by the Canal and River Trust.

Can they not tolerate a bit of uncut grass for a few weeks while these bee-attracting beauties thrive? Perhaps they could use the manpower to fix some of the leaks and failing infrastructure instead…

May 31st – A very poor photo with lousy focus, but another first for the season: My beloved beauties the orchids are coming into bloom.

They don’t last long, so keep an eye out on canal embankments, meadows and wetlands. We have a number of varieties, and these mall flowers are always tiny perfection.

The slug seemed to be enjoying them too – this example was on the bank of the new pond at Clayhanger.

May 30th – A sign of the advancing season is the collection of seeds for a little guerrilla planting. Clayhanger Common has large patches of cowslips like these going to seed – the seeds are not ready yet. But when the heads dry and turn golden, I’ll be out shaking a few into a back for the precious black seeds within, which I’ll then spread to other areas that might benefit from a bit of cowslip love.

That’s how most of these delightful yellow flowers got onto Clayhanger Common in the first place…