BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘fruit’

#365daysofbiking Respecting the elders

Tuesday, September 29th 2020 – Out and about the leaves may be starting to turn but there are still plenty of fruits, berries and seeds about. Crab apples and conkers litter the ground and edges of roads; acorns crunch as you ride past oak trees overhanging canal towpaths; one often startles birds picking at the last, dripping blackberries clinging on to wayside thickets.

The black and glistening favourite of home wine-makers, the elderberries, did not seem to have a good season this year with small, sparse fruit with only the odd profuse bush. But some still cling on, mainly to feed the birds.

As usual, there are still plenty in Victoria Park, Darlaston. For some reason the local winemakers generally leave these for the birds.

Seeing these handsome berries is bittersweet, like the fruit itself, for they signify the end of summer.

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#365daysofbiking Berry colourful

Friday, September 18th 2020 – One of the joys of late summer/autumn fruiting is pyrocanthus, colloquially known as firethorn.

This colourful member of the apple family – it’s fruit are not really berries but pomes, i.e. apples – is insipid to humans with mildly poisonous seeds within, but very valuable for wild birds as a long lasting food source into the cold months.

For bystanders, though, if means beautifully vivid boughs laden with glistening fruit in shades from nearly white to deep, deep read, a real autumn treat.

These bushes near Darlaston entertain me every year.

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#365daysofbiking In the pink

April 23rd – It’s appropriate for St. George’s day I guess that apple blossom is now out. For all th frilliness and glamour of the ornamental cherries, you really can’t beat traditional apple blossom. Pink and white, it’s a gorgeous spectacle, and very British.

It smells rather nice too.

It’s in hedgerows all over, but this lovely specimen is on the canal between Clayhanger Bridge and the Black Cock.

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#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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