BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘mast’

#365daysofbiking Sensations in the dark

Boxing Day Saturday December 26th 2020 – Unusually, we’d had a family walk in the morning, in the Needwood Valley and around Hoar Cross, which was lovely but grey and very muddy. So instead of the usual Boxing Day afternoon blowout, I grabbed my pal and we headed back to The Slough and Old Cement Works bridge to try the new camera on the canal scenes there.

From the eeriness of the former railway trail in nothing but bike headlight, to the pool of spilled illumination on the canal footpath near the Jolly Collier Bridge, it was great fun.

A storm was coming in and the cellphone masts rattled and whistled in the wind. The whole ride filled the senses and felt edgy and intense.

The results speak for themselves. This camera loves low light. That’s the first digital camera in 22 years experience I can truly say that about.

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Prepare to be fluffed

April 20th – I see on the canal near Walsall Wood that the sallow trees are coming into blossom. These spiny female catkins will soon start spewing huge amounts of fluff.

Sallow or goat willow is a member of the wider willow family, and grows profusely hereabouts. After the initial pretty male catkins have passed – pussy willows – then come the female catkins that you can see here. Once these peculiar green flowers pollinate, they generate wind-borne seeds in a few weeks: these evolve in the form of a large cloud of fluff that for a few days will coat the canal, towpaths, woodland paths, verges and road margins.

Sallows are not the only willow to do this peculiar thing, but they are certainly the largest group to do it hereabouts.

Bizarre, but fun…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Radio activity

March 7th – Spinning over to Pelsall on at errand at dusk, I passed under the Old Cement Works Bridge at The Slough, and noted the radio masts there, the larger of which has always been a bit more than the average cellphone mast.

There since the days of analog mobile phones, it was the first cellphone basestation in the area and has been repeatedly upgraded as technology improved. I also carries on the same structure some microwave transceivers and what looks like maybe VHF telemetry antenna. It’s a busy mast for one lurking in a car park of an average, fairly remote trading estate.

Next to it of course, the three armed mast of a Tetra node, the UK emergency services digital network.

Antenna and masts fascinate me. And they never look better than against a dusk sky.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Feeling exposed

January 29th – Up on the old Cement Works Bridge, time to have a think and play with long exposure photography. With the lightening morning sky the results were remarkable.

I love how the trees seem out of focus as their extremities moved with the wind.

It was going to be a tough day. But at least I’d captured something interesting to kick it all off.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Signal to noise

October 22nd – On my return that evening, I crested Kings Hill during a pink and blue sunset of the most striking kind, and grabbed a chance to catch another of my muses: The Kings Hill cellphone tower with the sky and lights of the Black Country behind.

Antenna, aerials, masts and suchlike have always fascinated me. I know how they work, yet they are still mysterious: Still yet powerful structures exchanging electromagnetic radiation with the atmosphere: Ever present, unchanging yet sinister and secretive.

And particularly beautiful against a sunset or dawn sky…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Tenant of the latticework

February 27th – This time of year one view that always snags my attention is that of the cellphone transmission mast at Kings Hill with a sunset behind it.

Tonight it looked particularly fine.

I always admire radio masts and installations – like pylons, always the minimum necessary to support their load, but rarely inelegant. They stand solid, conversing in energies undetectable to human senses, buzzing with commerce and electrical energy, but otherwise silently exchanging data with the atmosphere.

Hardly anyone notices them, but they a a huge necessity of the modern age, and they fascinate me.

This journal is moving home. Please find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr

August 17th – I see there are patches of scum on the canal again in various spots. These seasonal bands of detritus are ugly, but are organic in origin – usually pollen, blossom debris or seed mast. 

I couldn’t work out what was generating this one, and it’s sporadic, but suspect it’s connected with nearby trees.

It’s a sign of the much cleaner times that such events are now so noticeable.

July 25th – The thistles are still in flower, but now going over to seed too. This is great for many songbirds like goldfinches who like to eat the seeds, which are spread from the seed heads by the breeze, and to this end are attached to fluffy wind catchers to transport them in the air.

The fluff thistles generate – along with rose bay willowherb, or old man’s beard which is also in seed at the moment, was always called ‘fairies’ when I was a kid, and it was considered lucky to catch a ‘fairy’ on the wind.

They are actually rather beautiful.

May 11th – A dull day without much to commend it, and a rather nagging wind. Coming back through Brownhills along the canal in the evening, I noticed in the very beginnings of a rain shower that the canal was developing one of it’s periodic organic scums – this time it looks like a mixture of willow fluff and may blossom petals.

This comes also at a time when many junctions, bends and winding holes are also covered with floating, dead reed stakes and leaves, making the canal as a whole look pretty untidy.

It’s nothing to worry about though; such detritus will disappear as quickly as it came, as it does every year. It’s just curious while it lasts

October 3rd – I’d forgotten my camera, I was heading home late and flustered, what an unfortunate time to witness an astonishing sunset. 

Looking from Kings Hill west to Wolverhampton, across the ether the cellphone mast silently talks endlessly to, the sky was bright crimson, rippled and utterly stunning.

And the phone didn’t capture it at all. Bugger.

Ah well, there will be other sunsets that hopefully, catch me better equipped.