BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘flowers’

#365daysofbiking Daisy, daisy

October 19th –  A puzzle. I found this flower growing from the brickwork at the canal edge in Walsall. It’s clearly day-like, but not a daisy. But it’s delicate and very, very lovely.

My curiosity was piqued by the colour. In the soft autumnal sunlight it appeared to be a very, very light purple or pink. But I can’t actually tell for sure.

Any ideas?

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#365daysofbiking Fair field

October 6th – A favourite local view – from the canal over to the hills of Hammerwich is unexpectedly green right now. Well, green and yellow.

The slopes of Meerash to the old railway are bright green with fresh crop growth and are dusted with bright yellow. Clearly a flowering winter crop.

I wonder what it is? Must go check it out when I feel better. A fare treat to the eye, that one.

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#365daysofbiking Toadily over

September 16th – It’s all about autumn now. The change seems to have been very rapid, but in reality it’s been actually quite slow and by almost imperceptible daily degrees.

There are fewer and fewer flowers now, and those that are left are the world-weary late summer soldiers, hanging on for a bit of late pollination – willow herb, dandelions, ragwort, evening primrose, bindweed and like this bedraggled specimen, butter and egg or toadflax.

Beautiful but sad, I bid them farewell for another year and look forward to regaining the colour with the spring. That seems like a lifetime away right now.

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#365daysofbiking Inhaling green

August 16th – Another place I love is Kings Hill Park in Darlaston, one of Walsall’s little known, minor parks.

Sadly in the last couple of years it’s not had the maintenance it formerly had, with resources going to the borough’s ‘Green Flag’ parks instead: We no longer get the planters maintained as beautifully, and the attention to upkeep is more cursory.

However it’s still beautiful and has some gorgeous flowers – just not so many as it did, sadly.

To be here, seeking space from work on a wet, blustery summer day, in peace and quiet with industry just metres away, is bliss. You can stand here, take five and just inhale the green.

A beautiful park, a credit to the town and those who care for it, but it needs more resources sparing for it.

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#365daysofbiking The place I love

August 15th – Some things make a place what it is, although one may not be fond of them in themselves.

And so it is with the Parkview Centre in Brownhills for me.

The former council house and for many years seat of Brownhills Urban District Council became redundant after our absorption into Walsall in 1974. After a good few years as head office for a building company, this four square, red terracotta building stood empty and decaying.

It is imposing, handsome, I guess. Very civic. It’s got a clock that used to be famously and notoriously wrong (but the clock runs to time now, remarkably). It’s part of the fabric and soul of Brownhills, but I’ve never been fond of it architecturally.

After years empty it was extended horribly insensitively and converted into a health centre and library. The extensions are hideous and completely out of step with the building, and the library, although functionally fine, is boxy and dull.

However, in recent years the flowerbed out front before the Miner Island has been beautifully maintained by a local older couple and it is a credit to them, and looks beautiful. It brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

On a decent but clouding over afternoon, it was a joy to the heart. For better or worse, this building is Brownhills, and is my hometown – and I may not be it’s greatest fan but it’s part of the place I love.

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#365daysofbiking Sweet rain

July 18th – A flower which I’m convinced has had me puzzling before is St. john’s Wort. This tidy, bushy shrub is planted ornamentally on a lot of industrial estates, and I never identify with it as being British – it seems exotic.

Also when people talk about wort I always think off plants like ragwort, or sticky wort.

Having caught the morning’s showers the whole bush glistened and shimmered. A coating of raindrops can only ever add to a plant’s appeal, after all…

Thanks to everyone on Facebook who helped me identify this one.

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#365daysofbiking Blackbirds and bees

July 2nd – On the same industrial estate, a treat for the bees and bugs is blooming beautifully – cotoneaster, a stable of urban hedgerows and borders.

The tiny pink-red flowers are a bee magnet and every bush is alive with visiting insects, but not just that: These flowers turn into sugar-laden orange-red berries beloved of blackbirds and other songbirds in autumn, helping get the avian locals through winter.

Everywhere you look right now, nature is helping itself get along. It really is beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Hovering hawks

July 2nd – On a grass verge on an industrial estate near Darlaston, hoverflies  were busy pollinating the hawkweed flower – and both the flower and fly are overlooked stalwarts.

Hawkweed in all it’s forms is a common, bright splash of colour in town and country alike, and is a dweeler of the edgeland, wasteland and verge doing nothing more than providing beautiful flowers. Sadly often regarded as a weed or mistaken for dandelions, it gets sadly passed by but really is worth a look.

The hoverflies are one of the important pollinators, and although disguised to look like bees or wasps for protection from predators, they’re totally harmless.

Two unsung heroes, supporting each other…

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