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.
May 18th – I said last week, somewhat stupidly, that the blossom season was passing. That was completely and utterly wrong – it’s still in full swing.
Not with the brassy, brash cherries, apple and other fruit blossoms that entertained for an all too short period a few weeks back, but with the more subtle blossoms of humbler hedgerow soldiers – in this case hawthorn and rowan.
Both smell remarkable. Both creamy white, but very different. And both rarely deemed worthy of a mention, but criminally overlooked as they’re beautiful, especially close up.
May 18th – Another beautiful blossom that’s rarely looked at closely despite it’s obvious beauty is hawthorn, or May blossom.
I often incorrectly think go it as being the last blossom of the season, but it isn’t; but it’s so profuse in hedgerows and scrubs that when the flowers die off, everywhere seems quite barren without it.
Not so missed is the scent, which is strong and peculiar in that way that some flowers are, a strong organic odour that one could easily find offensive.
It’s hard to think that we’re only a few weeks now off the middle of the year, and the seasons are rapidly advancing with spring rolling into summer.
Just where has this year gone?
October 2nd -It was a gorgeous autumn day – chilly, but still and the the sun shone, it was warm on the face. I finally solved a pressing technical issue on the bike, then headed out to Middletn Hall for tea and cake, then up the canal to Tamworth and back through Hints and Weeford.
It was the kind of ride that makes you realise autumn isn’t that bad after all, and in the golden hour travelling through Shenstone, with the church occupied and a service ongoing, even the looming dusk seemed magical.
May 30th – I wasn’t well today. The long ride of the day before had maybe taken a toll, but I didn’t sleep well, and suffered a migraine in the morning. The day was a bit wolfish, too, with a strengthening wind, so I confined myself to a trip to Chasewater and back over the common and canals mid-afternoon.
I haven’t been this way for ages, and I’m sad, as it was absolutely beautiful; Brownhills wears it’s spring jacket beautifully, and the buttercup meadows on the farmland to the rear of the old Rising Sun pub have to be seen to be believed; but also at The Slough, the hawthorn blossom is beautiful.
I still felt damned ropey, but at least I felt better about myself.
May 29th – A day of remarkable colour and beauty. I set off in the early afternoon for a ride not really sure where I was going, but headed to Middleton Hall for fuel in the form of tea and cake before heading southeast into the wind, over to Ridge Lane via Kingsbury and on to Mancetter, a place I haven’t been for years. From there, out to Sheepy Magna, then Orton on the Hill, up to Twycross and then down Salt Street to No Mans Heath. Returning in a glorious golden hour via Clifton, Harlaston and Whittington, the sunset over the railway at Hademore was remarkable.
It was a long ride but I felt power in my legs and really, really enjoyed it.
May 25th – Another thing that’s abundant right now is the May or Hawthorn blossom. Creamy white, with a distinctive (and not always pleasant) scent, there’s a huge amount this year, which on occasions is meeting the cow parsley in the hedgerow and just forming a white cascade, like here at Clayhanger.
This time of year is so wonderful – it’s just a shame it doesn’t last longer.
November 26th – Yet another wet, miserable commute, and I feel I must surely soon develop webbed feet. The squally, blustery conditions have now stripped all but the most stubborn remaining leaves from the trees and scrub, and revealed some interesting views not visible in summer.
Also revealed at Bentley Bridge was this fie display on moss on a hawthorn bush. There seem to be several strains and various shades. I’m curious as to why this particular bush, in this spot, but it is rather fascinating.