BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘north’

#365daysofbiking Morning due

October 24th – I had to be in work very early and woke up bleary and grumpy. The cold air, clear skies and empty streets as I seed through north Walsall though were gorgeous.

Cycling through sleeping suburbia I heard alarms waking folk from their beds, and watched the day coming to life and I felt a bit like a low rent Dylan Thomas without the talent. There’s something special about being out legitimately obscenely early. I always love it.

The church visible from North Street bridge was beautiful against the sky as was the college and listening skyline.

Riding a bike can really set you up for the day.

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#365daysofbiking Regrouping:


February 10th – there were a very large number of deer on the north heath – loafing in the marsh, and up in the woods towards Fly bay. There must have been 45 or so.

Of course, they always regather in herds in spring, and the animals were content to browse the scrub, meadow and heather and doze in the copses.

I still can’t believe we have these wonderful animals right here on our doorsteps. They are so beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Oh deer!

August 27th – Nice to see my deer magnet is finally working again. It’s been a while since I saw any deer close up, and it was nice to see them on the dam at Chasewater on my return. 

It’s amazing how bumping into these lovely creatures can change your day.

September 21st – Returning home after a long day through north Walsall I caught a gorgeous, soft golden hour.

We are in the season of great sunsets and tonight, this was just a warm up for better to come.

There are positive aspects to autumn, you just have to be open to them.

June 25th – I wasn’t expecting much when I headed to Chasewater; battling a strong wind and drizzle, the place was all but deserted and my circuit of the lake looked set to be dismal.

However, I was to be proven wrong; first of all I spotted a group of three red deer browsing the north heath contentedly, and they were happy for me to take pictures, even seeming to pose. But the real treat was waiting on the brow of the hill.

There was an adult female plucking greens from the trees, and after stopping to photograph her too, I noted she had another adult and two fawns with her. They progressed down to the marsh and loosely joined with the earlier three.

The antics of the fawns – never still for a moment – were lovely and the deer weren’t a bit shy or skittish. I watched them for a long time, even thought the rain was pretty steady.

However used to these gentle, beautiful beasts I become, I still can’t remove myself from the shock that we have them here, living on our green spaces. A wonderful, beautiful spectacle.

May 5th On the way home I took the canal from Darlaston, in the hope of avoiding the worst of the wind. Nearing the factories near Pratts Mill Bridge, I noticed this swan, ostensibly asleep but clearly monitoring me on the far side of the canal, nurturing it’s clutch of eggs.

I wonder if it’s the swan couple that in previous years have nested in the old Gasworks Arm and Anson Junction in Pleck? No sign of them up there this year. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch sight of one of the parents leg-rings soon and find out for sure.

December 1st – Unusual to see cats about more than fleetingly in the cold, dark evenings, but passing through north Walsall I was accosted by this lithe, shiny coated cat who mewed at me softly.

I thing he or she was waiting for their owner to come home and looking for a little fuss. I obliged, admired and ear-tickled as demanded. 

July 12th – A much better day. I got on top of, if not actually beat my technical issues. My stomach was improving, and I didn’t feel quite so bleak. 

I spun out to Chasewater late afternoon, and rode the full circuit, which I haven’t done for ages. The sun was bright and strong, and the heaths and meadows rewarded me with bee buzz, grasshoppers ratting away, damselflies, birds and deer, as well as a wealth of flowers and fine views.

Just the tonic I needed.

March 1st – On a distinctly un-springlike day, I headed into Pelsall in the morning, and came back along the canal via Nest Common. The canal here is as stark and beautiful as it every is; a shimmering sky-coloured ribbon stretching off on three directions. However, the journey back – along muddy, churned towpath until I reached the better surfaced part at Ryders Hayes – was awful. 

Walsall Council and the Canal & River Trust are said to be investing, like Birmingham, in canal routes that don’t need surfacing, while ignoring spots like this and the canal through Rushall. It doesn’t make sense to me.

January 18th – For the first time in weeks, my deer magnet was on an working well. Crossing the north heath at Chasewater, I spotted a female red deer laying in the scrub by the fence, then as I approached, about seven others became evident, loafing in the scrub, including a young male. The were tolerant, co-operative and in no hurry to go anywhere. A lovely sight.

Turning to leave, I noted three darker reds up on the bank 100 metres away. They were more skittish, and I’m not convinced they were from the same herd… they certainly didn’t seem friendly with the ones on the lower pasture.

A brilliant sight on a great ride; how I love these graceful, peaceful animals and the fact that they roam wild in my hometown.