June 6th – There’s a splendid display of orchids this year in the meadows, wetland margins and by the canal – but sadly many have been destroyed – or stunted – by the agressive local towpath mowing schedule by the Canal and River Trust.
Can they not tolerate a bit of uncut grass for a few weeks while these bee-attracting beauties thrive? Perhaps they could use the manpower to fix some of the leaks and failing infrastructure instead…
June 4th – The flower display is continuing. So much stuff is appearing now it’s very hard to keep track, but canalside and meadow orchids are looking beautiful, dog roses and x-eye daisies all caught my eye on my commute.
There really is no better time to be on a bike, right out here in the outdoors during great sunny weather.
I have waited so long for this.
May 31st – A very poor photo with lousy focus, but another first for the season: My beloved beauties the orchids are coming into bloom.
They don’t last long, so keep an eye out on canal embankments, meadows and wetlands. We have a number of varieties, and these mall flowers are always tiny perfection.
The slug seemed to be enjoying them too – this example was on the bank of the new pond at Clayhanger.
June 11th – A terrible end to a ride that started really well. I headed out in sunshine to visit a new coffee shop in Stowe by Chartley, run by a local lad. I headed up over Chasewater, up through Cannock and was just running down Abraham’s Valley on the Chase when a critical part of my drivetrain failed irreparably and I had to call for a lift home.
You can’t prepare for all eventualities, and some things can’t be fixed out on the road, but I felt cheated as I’d had a great ride, seen orchids and red deer, blue skies and The Chase was gorgeous.
It was sad to fail so unceremoniously and I felt irritated and cross at not spotting the issue in advance.
The bike was soon fixed at home and I cursed myself continually while effecting the repair.
Ah well, there will be other sunny days, and the Chase will still be there next week. Keep the coffee pot warm for me.
June 7th – A lovely, chance find whilst riding through Victoria Park, Darlaston. Part of this urban oasis, right in the centre of Darlaston, has been left to wild and apparently spread with wildflower seeds. Just as I rode past it, I spotted a small purple flower that demanded closer study. I wasn’t disappointed.
A lovely orchid growing right there. What a glorious, pretty and wonderful thing!
So good to see after so many years of these important flowers being so rare…