BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘grain’

#365daysofbiking Up the junction again

January 7th – It had been raining and the towpaths were gunny again, so I did something I now find myself doing frequently: Leaving the canal by Anchor bridge and continuing down the High Street. It’s longer, but cleaner and less slippery.

Auto mode on the G5X is weird. I honestly feel some aspects of this camera are not complete in terms of software, or have some issue.

Auto seems to go very graining in specific conditions. It really doesn’t seem to know what to make of very white-blue LED light. In such cases it tends to over-expose.

It’s a funny little camera but I do love it, for all it’s faults….

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August 16th – Riding to work down Green Lane, Shelfield on a bright sunny morning, and something gently reminded me of my grandfather.

The harvest at Grange Farm has been ongoing, and the road had been treated to a generous sprinkling of spilled cereal kernels – probably wheat. This grain, spilled by machinery and trailers as they lurch from field to barn is a feature of rural and peri-rural areas at this time of year, and is what the old man called ‘gleanings’.

Locally, ordinary folk were allowed to collect the seed lost on the roads and lanes for their own use. Few would use it for food, but many fed it to pets and livestock. Grandad said that you traditionally fed pets you kept for pleasure, not profit on the gleanings, fancy birds like guineafowl. 

Guineafowl were locally called Gleanies from this practice.

I well remember the farm opposite where the old man lived until a ripe old age having guineafowl, which are noisy, shrieking birds. ‘Gleanies am off again, the buggers!’ he’d curse every morning.

On a side note, watch out for the gleanings as they’re slippery and soapy, and steal wheels and grip, particularly when wet.

A warm memory on a warm, late summer morning.

August 30th – Cycling down the bridleway from Wall Lane to the Birmingham Road at Harehust Hill, near Wall, I noticed the remnants of the wheat harvest. This spilled grain is natural, and happens at every harvest time. Trailers lurch and spill, grain falls from machinery in transit and the wind blows it into gutters and potholes. This is what my grandfather called ‘Gleanings’, and spoke of the old right the poor had to collect it for their own use. He also called the noisy, shrieking guineafowl that were often kept as yard birds in the area ‘gleanies’, as they were often fed on the gleanings.

It’s quite rare to see guineafowl these days.

Setember 3rd – I noticed on my return that the grain harvest was now nearly over. Apart from a few fields by the railway, the wheat was finally all cut. Bales – square and cylindrical – dot the Stonnall and Shenstone landscape. This has been a very difficult, poor harvest, and is weeks late. I don’t think I’ve ever known it so bad. Please let there be an Indian summer…