BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘grass’

#365daysofbiking The grass is always greener…

Thursday, September 24th 2020 – This healthy horse has made me smile a few times of late. Passing it at Newtown, on the A5 Watling Street in North Brownhills, it dwells in a small paddock between the footpath and canal.

I often see it atop the steep bank, craning through the fence to get to the grass on the footpath edge.

The horse is friendly and always enjoys a nuzzle when you stop and say hello.

Gorgeous animal. But I’ll never understand horses.

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#365daysofbiking Unkind cuts

November 17th – The Canal and River Trust are still doing their best to piss me off, their talent for which is so prodigious I doubt they actually have to try.

After grumbling a couple of weeks ago at pointless towpath grass cutting up on the Anglesey Branch on the way to Chasewater, I see they’ve been up on the canal through Brownhills too.

They are cutting grass that the hungry waterfowl would have grazed overwinter. a colony of earthstar fungus has been destroyed. Grass mulch now is all over the paths, bunging up the bike and folk’s shoes. Parts of the grass that were formerly lush and verdant are now a cropped mud bath.

Why? Who the hell cuts grass in winter? This is sheer, pointless, piss-poor grounds management, and an utter waste of desperately needed cash.

Please stop!

A canal towpath is a wild place. That’s it’s charm – a rough cut twice a year would be more than enough.

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#365daysofbiking Is there any need for that?

November 7th – I see that the Canal and River Trust continue with their madly frequent bank mowing schedule with the towpath grass clearly just having been cut near Chasewater on the Anglesey Branch Canal.

There is no reason to cut this grass in November. It’s left a muddy, rotting mess behind and won’t be good for the grass, wildlife of anything else over winter.

The C&RT are always moaning they have no money, yet seem to have plenty to pay for this ridiculously frequent exercise in cosmetics.

It defies any logic.

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#365daysofbiking Surface tension and the biblical propensity

October 25th – Passing through Walsall on a wet and very blustery day, I passed Town Wharf, the canal basin that’s been in Walsall for a while now. In fact since the canals were built here, a couple of hundred years ago.

I notice we now have hastily added deep water warnings, because apparently people are mistaking the weed on the canal for grass and falling in.

There has been a sudden rash of such incidents in the last few weeks.

Once can only speculate why so many folk suddenly should try to replicate the biblical miracle of walking on water here in Walsall. Perhaps the nearby establishments that sell wine may be linked. Maybe they converted it from canal water (not too much of a transition for some of the local ales, to be fair).

It’s all most peculiar. But do mind how you go. It’s wet down there.

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#365daysofbiking The grass is always greener

July 25th – Lately the householder of this canalside garden with the wonderful row of planters along the water’s edge had a particular planter disappear, which he was justifiably upset about as it thought it must have been stolen.

His post on Facebook was shared many times and folk were annoyed at the pointless, nasty theft.

Seethe Watermead swan family grazing that lush green grass of the owner’s lawn, however, I’m now not convinced the missing planter wasn’t ‘helped’ into the water by a clumsy bird!

All will become clearer when the algae on the surface recedes, I guess.

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#365daysofbiking An overlooked gem

March 29th – With all the showy colours and dramatic blossoms of spring, it’s easy to forget one prolific, pretty little flower that’s hardy, populous, yet delicate and pretty – the humble daisy.

Peppering any open grass right now – whether it be roadside verge, field, sports pitch or domestic garden, these hardy little souls are everywhere, just trying to cheer us up.

These lovely examples were worshipping the spring sunshine on a verge just by Brownhills High Street.

Never overlook the small stuff. It’s very important.

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#365daysofbiking A host:

March 19th – I notice this year, due to the early then slightly stalled spring, that the daffodils have been really slow-burning: The came out early, then paused for a while and are now coming out fully.

This is the time of year when verges in towns and industrial estates like here in Telford are absolutely stunning for a few all too short weeks.

These yellow wonders are gorgeous and the perfect antidote to a dark winter.

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August 17th – Well, we’ve had a little rain (but not nearly enough) and something becomes clear: Grass fires are dramatic and worrying and do lots of damage, but as can be seen here on Chasewater Dam heath where there was a fire a month ago, it’s recovering well. The fire has cleared the scubas and fresh plants are shooting anew, and the area, although still scarred, is taking on a green appearance.

The grass fires are awful and so unnecessary, but nature clearly heals, and remarkably quickly too.

July 29th – There have been mercifully few grass fires around our area in this tinder-dry hot spell, which has surprised me. Kids and discarded cigarettes, not to mention the awful disposable barbecue fad, seem to be causing a rash of fires elsewhere as they sadly usually do; but near Brownhills we have so far been impacted only lightly it seems.

One such fire was here on the heath between the dam and bypass at Chasewater; an apparently large fire when reported, it seems that quite a small area has been affected.

Whilst this is a pain, unnecessary and a scourge, it’s not the end of the world: The heath will quickly recover and for a time, smaller species should enjoy a boom, and it’ll soon there will be little sign the fire happened.

Better it hadn’t happened at all, but still…

July 22nd – Not much riding today, which was sad. I had a lot of maintenance jobs to do on the bikes, and I had to be at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Brum in the late afternoon. I took my bike on the train.

Leaving in the early evening, I noticed the bunnies on the edge lands near a path through the hospital site. I’m glad I caught them; they were skittish, and in all there must have been more than ten. 

Sorry, the picture is a wee bit poor due to the speed and the camera being at full zoom.

I love to see wildlife thriving in urban settings like this. A joy to the heart.