BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘fruit’

#365daysofbiking The kindness of strangers

December 2nd – Again on the far side of Hortonwood in Telford, I was returning from a meeting using the Silkin Way national Cycle Route 81 that runs along the A518 between Trench and the massive industrial park I had visited.

On a cycleway that I would have thought might have been almost forgotten, and some way from houses or nearby factories, a makeshift bird table at the side of the track, apropos of nothing.

On it, a selection of fruit and seed – all fresh with a nearby audience I’d disturbed of birds and squirrels.

Someone tends this lovingly, regularly. It’s well kept. It’s a thing of dedication, love and kindness for them.

Stranger, I have no idea who you might be, but for looking after a small corner of your world so beautifully, I wish you the very best my friend.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting to fall

November 27th – In contrast to the cotoneaster, nobody seems to want the sour, hard crab apples growing just up the way from them.

The leaves on the tree have nearly all fallen, and so has most of the fruit, which lies on the ground rotting, untouched even by foxes.

I wonder how bad the winter would have to be before these were eaten by something?

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#365daysofbiking Just nuts

October 19th – The sweet chestnuts have had a good year. In this country wild or urban trees rarely get the conditions to produce edible fruit, but on a journey to Tipton I found these near Brunswick Park, Wednesbury – still very thin but some of a size that contained a thin, edible nut.

I’ve not seen that before.

The boughs are laden and the windfallen fruit litters the footpath, the spiny husks looking like debris from some dinosaur shedding its skin. The nuts, however, are proving a delight for the squirrel population who are busily engaged in eating and planting the next generation of sweet chestnut saplings.

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#365daysofbiking The nuts are dropping

October 7th – Although plainly of no use to me whatsoever, I still can’t walk past the fallen fruit of the horse chestnut tree without stopping to admire the shiny conkers, crack open a few husks and find the treasure within.

It’s programmed into me, like it must be to every British man of a certain age.

I’ll keep a few in my pocket to guerrilla plant, I guess. Such attractive seeds.

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#365daysofbiking Community chestnut

September 12h – Also on my way back from Shenstone, at the bottom of Main Street in Stonnall, a different type of chestnut is absolutely profuse this year.

Sweet chestnuts in their spiny shells don’t really grow edible fruit in this country due to the climate, but they are beautiful ornamental trees with their shiny leaves and fascinating, almost prehistoric looking fruit.

This tree is always impressive.

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#365daysofbiking Beaming!

September 3rd – Hornbeam trees are fascinating. Often mistaken (particularly by me) for beech, the leaves are perfectly ridged and beautiful, but the seeds, in long drop chains a bit like sycamore, are fascinating.

They’re ripening now and will soon be dappling the cycleways, pavements and industrial estate backways with golden brown mast.

Autumn’s colours may be more muted, but they’re still gorgeous.

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#365daysofbiking A good crop

August 17th – With my fascination with galls, it’s easy to overlook the fruiting of the oaks as it should be, and I’m happy to report this year that the crop of acorns – even though it’s been hit very heavily by knopper gall wasps – is plump and profuse.

The heathy acorns I’ll later gather to spread in hedgerows and on edge lands as is my tradition look better this year than they have for years. I guess a warm but wet season was good for them, if not so much for me.

I always have a dilemma here though: I can collect acorns solely from trees unaffected by knoppers, and assume they have so resistance, but in spreading solely those am I harming the wasp ecology? I suppose I should just spread any acorns I find, but it’s an interesting conundrum…

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