BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Ogley Hay’

#365daysofbiking Living on the skyline


Tuesday February 16th 2021 – Time for a favourite tree update.

The tree I love most of all is this particular horse chestnut, visible clearly on the skyline at Home Farm, Sandhills from the Wyrley and Essington Canal at Catshill, not more than 100 yards from Anchor Bridge.

I love it’s shape, the way it punctuates the rural landscape here, right on the very interface of the urban West Midlands with rural South Staffordshire.

It’s also my gauge of the seasons. I follow it’s colours as it weathers the the year: At the moment it is resolutely bare, but it will be in bud, and soon, from my distant towpath vantage point, I will see the familiar sheen of bright green emerge, before it comes into full leaf.

Usually it lags behind the fields and hedgerows, always the more eager neighbours, and so it is this year, with the field between us bright green with fresh crop growth.

I live for this view, this skyline. And that tree.

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#365daysofbiking Roadside delicacy

Sunday February 14th 2021 – The snowdrops are shaping up excellently this spring, I must say. I had thought the cold weather might stunt or harm them, but that’s not the case.

Coming up a very windswept and damp Barracks Lane, these delicate little flowers growing beside the vet’s paddock at Warrenhouse were just the beautiful thing I needed to see on a grey, late winter Sunday.

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#365daysofbiking Home guard

Wednesday November 4th 2020 –  Working from home I left at sunset expecting to find a great sunset, but was thwarted by cloud; the disappointment was lessened, though by the lovely pink fading light over Home Farm at Sandhills.

Working from is difficult for me. I don’t mind it on odd days, but I need my commute and fresh air, and I need to be in my place at work with my things around me; during the first lockdown working from home made me very low indeed. I’m determined no to go there again.

I will continue to enjoy sights like this and must have my air and light. This time around, with another lockdown coming, I will of course obey the rules but I cannot allow myself to get as low as last time.I will continue to ride as long as I can.

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#365daysofbiking Bleat it

Wednesday, September 23rd 2020 – I note sheep are grazing on some fast growing crop planted swiftly after the late summer harvest at Home Farm, Sandhills. It looks like some brassica or other, probably kale.

Sheep are an unusual sight here, as the land is solidly arable, but every now and again, a winter crop like this is grown and sheep from another farm are let loose to feed upon it for a few weeks. I guess it must me a good earner; last time was Christmas 2018, I think.

Nice to see them. Wonder if we’ll get the escapees again on the canal towpath this time?

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#365daysofbiking Silly things

May 19th – I’m finding working from home impossible, if I’m honest. It’s very hard to keep focus with family life happening around me. There is no separation, I miss the commute; and I constantly find myself needing things from my den, or elsewhere in my workplace that would make tasks easy but without them they take forever.

I need to go back to work.

In the mean time, my daily outdoors fix is essential, and this evening I spent probably longer than necessary admiring my favourite tree, at Home Farm, Sandhills. This handsome horse chestnut is currently in bloom and looks gorgeous in the Tuesday golden hour.

Some things are markers in the madness. These fields, the canal, the sun, and that tree. They save me from nosediving. Silly things, but there you go.

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#365daysofbiking Softening

April 21st – The evening exercise rides are getting a bit samey and I think I need to vary my palette a wee bit – but it’s quite hard with beauty like this not five minutes out of town.

I took a spin up to Ogley Junction from Brownhills: Just a short, lazy loop from Silver Street. The canal and fields near home farm looked spendid in the warm, softening evening sun.

Machinery is once more on the half-ploughed field, which is interesting, and the oilseed rape is now in full bloom, too.

I never, ever tire of this place. It’s so gorgeous.

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#365daysofbiking Home front

April 17th – A quick ride on a day that had been decent, but started to darken as I left the house in the afternoon, and actually came on to rain as I arrived home.

I nipped to the canal at Ogley Hay to check out the oilseed rape at Home Farm: Still not quite fully out but looking beautiful all the same.

But what really shocked me was my favourite tree: The handsome, beautiful horse chestnut on the skyline near the farmhouse. I tell the seasons by that tree and it’s rapidly come on to leaf.

A new bright green jacket smartly adorning an old friend.

Spring is definitely on her throne!

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#365daysofbiking On the western skyline

April 10th – I dallied so long in the lanes I caught a great sunset over Sandhills to Ogley Hay.

To the west, beyond the horizon and telltale silhouette of Humphries House, the town I love, largely silent like most of the country right now.

What I’ve realised this last week is twofold, in that human life is separate from the environment, and that nature will always see me through times of the worst stress and madness.

Whatever troubles the world, or bothers me, the seasons wheel keeps rolling on. The clocks still go forward, the light returns, flowers bloom, the days get warmer.

And in the evening, on the western skyline, there will always be that chance of a decent sunset, and somewhere peaceful to watch it from.

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#365daysofbiking Spring flower power:

April 9th – And on my return, the spring flowers spotted in gardens and on verges around Brownhills were stunning.

There is colour everywhere at the moment, from the fragile beauty of tulips to the tiny majesty of the smaller blooms.

Work is still mentally very punishing and it’s not getting any easier – and when working from home I miss the commuting rides terribly – I need light, air, space and engagement with my beloved natural world.

But seeing these beauties makes it all seem worthwhile.

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#365daysofbiking Into white

April 8th – And as I predicted, within twenty four hours that same cherry was absolutely perfect.  The clumps of flowers were huge, and stunning against a spring azure sky.

This blossom will be short lived and soon fall like snow, but oh my heart sings for that one sunny morning when I could just stand beneath and drift off, into white.

Things might be OK, after all.

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