BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘hawthorn’

#365daysofbiking Welcome return

Friday March 12th 2021 – In my desperate search for signs of spring, a major achievement: The hawthorn leaves are coming out.

This may not seem like much, but it means a familiar, bright green sheen will soon be upon the hedgerows, and the gloom of the bare branches will be pushed back into the background. It means it’s time for blossom to start – Blackthorn initially – and for catkins and sticky buds.

But most of all it means, seemingly against the odds and in this hardest, bleakest of winters, nature has restarted as usual, and there will be a spring.

I carried on to work, a good deal more bouyant than when I set out.

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#365daysofbiking – May bee

April 28th – Almost bang on schedule, the may blossom – Hawthorn – is coming out along the lanes, towpaths and hedges of the area.

This outwardly white blossom which was bad luck according to my grandmother if brought into the house, is actually quite colourful if you look at the small flowers closely.

It’s one of those that is really beautiful, but few ever look at closely. A boost for bugs and bees too, who adore the blossom.

It never looks better then when bejewelled with rain and catching the light.

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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 Queen of the May

May 3rd – Although it’s still not the warm May weather I’d hope for, it’s good to see and smell the may blossom along the hedgerows and waysides.

Although often overlooked, it’s a beautiful blossom with a love-hate scent that is particularly unmistakable.

I guess to the ancients, this lovely flower marked the height of spring and a move in to summer.

I welcome that if the temperatures increase a bit!

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#365daysofbiking Signs of green

February 28th – Remarkably, still just February and the hawthorn hedges and scrub have new leaves, looking lovely in the rain. Last year this was a whole month later.

Hawthorn leaves when fresh like this are really tasty to chew.

I’m so pleased for an early end to the winter like this – even if this pleasant spell ends soon, it’s been refreshing, like recharging the batteries.

The light and warm days cannot be far away now.

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#365daysofbiking Bugging me:

September 26th – The unexpectedly fine, warm weather has been bringing out some great examples of bugs looking for a last yahoo or somewhere to hibernate until spring. 

On my way to work, this lovely shield bug decided to drop in and say hi.

What a great little creature it is!

#365daysofbiking Still hanging on:

September 15th – Back on the canal in Brownhills on the way back home, the autumn was far more subtle. The hawthorn hedgerows are very, very crimson this year with hawthorn berries showing a particularly heavy harvest,  and the reed beds, grass and waterside trees are still pretty green. 

If I tried hard, I could just forget the oncoming season and still convince myself these were the end days of a great summer.

August 15th – With all the sun we’ve had, the haws – fruit of the hawthorn – are reddening up well and in copious supply. These hard, bitter berries will last right into the winter, and although not a first choice of most birds, they will sustain many when preferable food sources dwindle.

They also provide a lovely splash of noble colour to the late summer and autumn hedgerows.

August 1st – I’ve been enjoying watching the progress of the berries and fruits this year, perhaps more than usual. Mainly I think because with the hot, dry weather I expected the harvest to be very poor, yet it’s far from meagre. Most things seem abundant, and it looks like being a good winter for birds with a bumper crop of haws reddening gradually in the hawthorn thickets and hedges.

These tough, hard berries are a good winter food for many birds, loaded with energy but bitter so they aren’t depleted quickly.

Grandad used to say and abundance of berries meant nature was preparing for a harsh winter.

It’ll be interesting to see if he was right.

July 3rd – Summer ticks on and as I noted a few days ago, we’ve moved from flowing to fruiting. 

Lots of berries are now developing on the branches, from haws to rowan berries and even plenty of ripening cherries.

These will bring with them reds, oranges and purples and a whole range of new colour as they and the season mature.

A wonderful time of year.