March 27th – And in Darlaston, near the Black Country Route, the hawthorn is coming into leaf, splattering formerly dull, barren hedgerows with bursts of vivid emerald green.
Spring really is trying her very hardest to please us.
November 23rd – I mentioned this earlier in the week, but it’s deadly at the moment, so bears mentioning again – watch the paths and cycleways at the moment. They’re more slippery than a grease deal dipped in baby oil.
Algea, leaf mulch and general damp slime are combining to make the less well used paths treacherous. I nearly lost the bike twice today. The main reason is.a few days of light drizzle, but not enough rain to actually cleanse anything.
Although the routes in Telford are beautiful, they are to be ridden very, very carefully – and they’ll be in the same state everywhere.
October 29th – As I noted a few days ago, Autumn is a beautiful, but hazardous season. The leaf littler on the cycleways is wonderful to look at but very slippery, and is now turning to a very soapy, lubricant mulch. Added into this are small twigs, various needles and fallen berries and fruits, often concealing potholes and other hazards.
I normally mash up here hard and come back downhill even faster, but with conditions as they are, I take this route very gently at the moment, and avoid using the front brake as much as possible.
October 22nd – Time for a seasonal warning. After raised winds and heavy rain, what can be better than riding through freshly fallen leaves? At Telford, the cycleways are thick with leaf litter, and very beautiful.
This is a cause for caution as well as awe. These leaves retain the rain from the day before, and still contain enough sap and resin to be slippery and form a soapy, friction-reducing goop the will steal your wheels from under you in a flash.
Where the leaf-fall is on busy roads, the pulp mixed with diesel can be like black ice.
Enjoy the beautiful scenes – but hey, be careful out there.
September 19th – After a languid Indian summer, the sudden dull, overcast weather was a shock, but other stuff was bothering me. The air quality seems lousy at the moment, and it was irritating my sinuses making me unusually reliant on decongestant. Visibility wasn’t great either, but the air wasn’t really damp. This is an odd season, to be sure.
The autumn is in full swing, and the colours turning from dusty, tired greens to oranges and golds. Around Clayhanger Common and the new pond, the beautiful, deciduous copses and thickets are a wonder to behold, yet I think few every really study them or note the diversity of species they contain.
If only for a bit more sun to make these colours sing!
April 3rd – the mist, poor air and lack of sun means something remarkable is happening unnoticed. In the last week, the trees, hedgerows and shrubs have mostly been bursting into leaf. The deciduous copse at the rear of the new pond in Clayhanger is alive with willow, oak, birch and elder, all sprouting a variety of foliage. At Catshill, the blackthorn blossom is gorgeous, and everywhere there are the vivd greens of fresh growth.
If the sun would only shine, they’d positively glow.
October 2nd – Sadly, the optimism of the previous day had evaporated with the good weather, and it was back to the damp and grey. Something, though, has caused a step-change; somebody has flicked the ‘on’ switch for the leaf fall. Mainly sycamores at the moment, but trees all over are turning colour, and shedding. For a while, everything will be golden. The best bit of autumn. Here in Telford, the cycleways are beautiful, if a little bit treacherous, as the foliage sheds.