BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘foraging’

#365daysofbiking Sugar me

September 2nd – Another product of wayside roses that’s beautiful but dare I say it, a little more mundane: The sugar-laden rosehips.

Rosehips are loved by jam, syrup and wine makers and, of course, many birds who devour the energy laden confections to fatten up for winter – and thankfully there seems to be a good crop this year.

They are beautiful colours, too…

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#365daysofbiking Berry wet

August 14th – On Clayhanger Common, the elderberries are ripening slowly. These beautiful, tiny back berries, beloved of winemakers for centuries make a great home brew red wine that’s known for potency and taste.

Elderberries always look beautiful in the rain and are a lovely indicator of a fruitful season ahead.

Although I’d personally not gather these particular ones due to the history of their location, I’ll be out gathering others for a relative when the time comes, continuing a family ritual that’s gone on for decades, if not centuries.

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#365daysofbiking Plum crazy

August 7th – Spotted in CLayhanger on the way to work, bull aces or wild plums. Slightly larger than cherries, a beautiful, edible old English fruit the slides in and out of fashion as new generations discover it.

Often sent and tasty, these seem to have had a good year., and will soon be ripe.

I’d probably think twice about eating these, though, given the reclaimed nature of the land they grow on…

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#365daysofbiking Just nuts

July 27th – A miserable Saturday of work, bad weather and not getting done what I planned to. My health wasn’t great, either. I headed out to Chasewater in the evening but nothing was inspiring in the dull, overbearing grey.

I did note however one thing – we have an excellent hazelnut crop this year; and this tree at Chasewater I’ve never noticed before was absolutely laden with nuts.

Wonder if the squirrels might leave a few to ripen for the humans this year?

That thought, at least, made me smile.

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#365daysofbiking Fruitful endeavours

July 16th – We tend to think of summer as the flowering season, but really that’s only half true. Flowering is mainly spring and early summer, and from high summer on, it’s the time for fruiting.

Starting with cherries and rowan berries, fruits, nuts, haws, hips and seeds are now developing well. The green hawthorn berries are plentiful this year after a thin year last time; and blackberries look like they’ll be in good supply too.

Although this time of plenty should really be celebrated, it always makes me just a bit wistful for a summer passing.

But of course, the fruit will bring colour of it’s own to brighten my hedgerows and waysides for weeks to come.

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#365daysofbiking Ripening

July 4th – One of the signs of a passing summer is the emergence of various fruits and berries, and their gentle ripening. This morning at Clayhnager, I spotted these rowan berries – beloved of wine and jam makers as well as songbirds – turning from green to a light orange.

Soon they will be a wonderful deep colour, and fall on pavements where they crackle and pop satisfyingly when walked or ridden upon.

The summer really is passing fast now.

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#365daysofbiking Respect your elders

May 30th – Also blossoming now is the delightful and humble elder, a shrub beloved of winemakers for hundreds of years. It grows in woods, hedgerows, on wasteland and anywhere it can. Here in Harlaston it’s thriving at the back of Victoria Park.

The tiny, beautiful white flowers have a gorgeous scent and can be used to make wine or champagne: the berries they make way for – deep red, almost black – make a heavy, heady wine that’s almost legendary.

This gives the winemaker a tasty dilemma: White and floral or red and strong?

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#365daysofbiking Ample shroom:

September 21st – The fungi are appearing thick and fast now, with the damper, cooler weather as is normal for autumn. Spotted near Clayhanger when homeward bound, this shaggy ink cap was a decent, large specimen and had there been more than one, might have been decent eating.

Used to see loads of these when I was a kid, but in recent years they appear to be rarer, which is a shame. They’re nice lightly fried.

#365daysofbiking It’s because I’m a fun guy:

September 11th  – Riding down a post-rain Goscote cycleway, the edges of the trail were dotted with mushrooms and toadstools, I’m fairly but not absolutely sure of the identity of the large, spotted specimens: I think they’re blushers but could, at a pinch, be shaggy parasols. I welcome further views on that.

The field mushrooms were copious, and I got out my cotton bag and plugged about 2lb of them, which made a lovely accompaniment to my evening meal.