BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘hedge’

#365daysofbiking Ice magic

Tuesday February 9th 2021 –  It was very, very cold. There was periodic, not really settling snow but continual sub zero temperatures, and hedgerows near puddles around the area like this one in Green Lane had become ice grottos.

You don’t see this much: Last time I’d seen one this good was a decade ago at Stubbers Green: Every time a vehicle passes, it splashes water onto the vegetation, where it ices up.

Beauty, even in the harshest days.

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#365daysofbiking A thorn in my side

January 31st – I see with their usual subtlety and lack of attention to detail (more on that in a post on my main blog coming up soon) the Canal and River Trust have flailed the hedges along the canal towpath between Anchor Bridge and Brownhills.

This makes for a thorny hazard for cyclists with normal tyres as the flailed thorns are devils for causing punctures.

It’s right to do it this time of year, before birds nest of course, and lord knows, the job needed doing – but the tractor they used has again churned up the grass, and the aggressive mowing has continued, with nascent daffodils cropped along with the grass.

I have no idea what’s motivated the trust to carry out this manic bout of mowing everything to within a millimetre of living but I wish they’d tale a deep breath and think about it more.

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#365daysofbiking Berry well red

September 4th – Also in the bright berry department, this bright red example grows in similar urban situations as the firethorn, but has much more spread, larger berries in smaller clumps more evenly spaced.

I was surprised to find that it’s actually a type of cotoneaster – plant that I’m used to having tiny leaves and berries.

It’s certainly very beautiful and the birds are already clearly digging in…

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#365daysofbiking A taste of honey

July 3rd – As expected, someone has flailed the beautiful, tumbling honeysucklle on the southern flank of the Black Cock Bridge, as they do every year when it’s in bloom. it’s ad, but it’s their hedge, I guess. But I’ll never understand it.

Now, i’ll have to make do with the other honeysuckle growing hereabouts – and there’s a lot of it, to be fair: Another think now profuse that wasn’t really about much when I was a kid.

This example, mingling beautifully in a tangled, glorious mess of brambles, lupins, cow parsley and bindweed, is growing on the embankment above the big house at Clayhanger, just on the edge of the canal towpath.

And thankfully, I’ve never seen anyone trim this one…

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#365daysofbiking Glowing

February 2nd – A better, more springlike day was what I expected, and indeed, it was at least decidedly warmer. There was, however, a bitter wind that made progress slow and a the nagging cramps of bad IBS attack niggled at my energy.

Any remaining snow was confined to the shade of hedges and field margins, and the afternoon sun made the red soil of Home Farm at Sandhills glow beautifully.

I note the sheep, now reduced in number, are still working on clearing the field of what I think is kale; its been a real treat seeing them here. IU hope they become a more permanent fixture.

I note the hedges along here have been cut, and as ever, the auto-flail has ripped the hawthorn overgrowth into short, hazardous, thorn-armed fragments, lying on the towpath waiting for a vulnerable tyre.

If you haven’t tough tyres, probably best avoid the stretch between Anchor Bridge and the Ogley Junction Bridge for a couple of weeks or so until the fragments have been cleared or rotted by the weather.

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#365daysofbiking Portal:

September 18th – Still surviving and developing is the fascinating green tunnel over the desire-path behind the canal overflow at Clayhanger. Now completely overgrown and just the right size for an adult to squeeze through, it’s a fascinating product of what I suspect is a regular dog walking route.

I hope this continues to be used – it’s such a lovely, happenstance thing

January 26th – Returning from Walsall Wood in darkness I’m pleased to see the hedgerow arch over the towpath between the Black Cock Bridge and Clayhanger Bridge has escaped the attentions of the tree cutting crew who’ve been so keen down here since Christmas.

Despite appearances, it’s clear of your average cyclist’s head and is delightful in summer.

And rather spooky in a headlight-lit night…

November 23rd – telford, early. After a stressful train journey that involved missing my usual bacon roll, I diverted from my usual route to visit a cafe for a pause and something unhealthy to fill my belly.

It was a sunny, cold, bright morning, and in a factory yard hedge, by a seldom-walked main road, a beautiful display of what seems to be some kind of rose.

I have no idea, but it pulled me up short with the unexpected beauty.

October 7th – Time for a seasonal warning, I guess. Along the canal from Anchor Bridge to around Wharf Lane Bridge, the hedge flail has been out and the towpath is covered in cut foliage debris and thorns from the hawthorn that constitutes the hedge here. This thorns are just lying, waiting to be picked up in soft tyres where they’ll quickly cause a period of deflation.

If your rubber is a bit thin, best avoid this route for a couple of weeks until the thorny problem has passed.

March 7th – I noticed on the way to work that another spring achievement had been unlocked – the hawthorn hedges are sprouting beautiful, bright green leaves, that smell fresh and look gorgeous.

I always welcome the spring greening and any step towards it, and seeing these fresh leaves this morning was a welcome and happy surprise.

I know we’re not out of the winter yet – after all we had some of the heaviest snows for years in April 2013 – but it feels like the cold and dark is ending now. Whatever happens now will surely only be a transient to something much better.