BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘pheasant’

#365daysofbiking Certainly not mad, well, maybe not

Monday March 29th 2021 – When I said here the other day that I’d been riding home all the way from Telford I had a message telling me I must be mad. I strongly disagree. I’m getting more bike/open air time, my mental health is improving daily as is my physical heath. This lockdown porkbarrel will not be in a hurry to depart at my decrepit age, I can tell you. It needs this kind of help.

It isn’t that far. I wouldn’t do it in bad weather, or if very tired. There’s always the rail alternative. and there’s the sights one sees: Like today. Riding near Brewood, the plethora of pheasants were tricky from a safety point of view (they have no road sense) but they are such handsome birds and their antics can be hilarious.

But I had most time for the tiny black puss I met on the edge of a stable yard at Coven: In beautiful condition with the kind of piercing green eyes that make you feel guilty for the sins of your elders. Puss sat her ground (sure she was female) and stared me out resolutely. She was gorgeous.

I got home feeling happier, more relaxed and better physically than I’ve felt for weeks. And only 20 minutes later than had I gone by train, and 30 minutes later than driving.

That’s all win while the weather is so nice.

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April 6th – Dipping into Stonnall and the backlanes on an errand on the way home, spring is indeed in the lanes: The first bees are dozy, but about and feeding. Spring flowers are decorous here as well as Telford, and a pheasant pranced in a field, it’s gorgeous golden plumage sparking in the weak sun.

We’re getting there, slowly.

March 26th – Another long ride, this time out to Middleton Hall, then onto the canal, up to Tamworth, then out to Alvecote, Shuttington, Seckington, Clifton and back via Hademore and Whittington. A colder, less sunny day, it was still lovely to be out.

Sometimes, the animals you see make a ride, and so it was here. The Alpacas at Canwell were a delight, as was the feeding station at Middleton. The woodpecker at Tamworth was a lovely spot, too. All around, nature was busy and animals were enjoying the air.

One thing puzzled me though. At the bridge in Footherley, someone had spread seed on the bridge wall, clearly to feed this beautiful pheasant, which doesn’t seem like a normal bird to me: it shimmered and was almost bronze on the back, and his blues were the loveliest colour. 

I wonder if he’s a domestic escapee someone’s trying to recapture?

April 25th – A 45 miler over to Walton on Trent and back through Lullington on what started as quite a bright afternoon but soon turned to rain. I got soaked, several times. It was cold. But the riding was quite fast, and nature really is trying to call on the warmer days – the oilseed rape is out, I found an isolated bluebell wood, birds and animals are busy, and even a few daffodils are hanging on. 

I was really interested to note at Wetleyhay north of Whittington that there are many, many solar panels being erected in the fields there to form solar farms. Great to see, and can only be a good thing for the environment and our energy security.

April 3rd – The curious textures and contour-following lines of a ploughed and planted potato field seen today near Shenstone. The almost Moire-like visual disturbance this causes is fascinating, and really shows the undulations in any landscape.

Particularly impressive was the single cock pheasant clearly feeling a bit superior in the centre. Not the brightest birds but certainly very beautiful.

September 2nd – As I squelched past Jockey Meadows, I stopped to look for my mates the coos. I noted they were on the far side of the meadow as I rode past on my way to work, but they were too far away to make a good photo. On my return, they’d gone, which I was sad about.

However, this female pheasant seemed to be enjoying the opportunity for browsing presented by the freshly turned meadow. Off that she seems to have lost her tail-feathers. Didn’t seem to bother her, though.

May 16th – Second day running with a decent ride, although the weather was quite heavy going on the way back with a nasty headwind. The sun was out though, and I made a good average speed. 

I headed to Coton in the Elms via Lichfield, Whitemoor Haye and Catton, and returned via Lullington, Edingale, Harlaston, Weefor and Shenstone. Everywhere was green and springlike, and the countryside as beautiful as ever.

Try as I might, I still can’t get over the sight of horses in fly masks. I know they can see though them, and that otherwise, flies drive horses mad; but they do so look like wannabe equine superheroes.

A fine ride.

April 5th – I wasn’t terribly well, so with a heavy heart and bad stomach I left in the afternoon for a ride to Lichfield. As often happens, I was on my cyclic antidepressant, and after 30 minutes of riding, felt better. The ride to Lichfield became a ride through Huddlesford, Wetleyhay, Roddige and Croxall. Back to Elford, Whittington and home, it worked out to a nice 45 miles, and I felt loads better for it. It was a gorgeous day.

Early oilseed rape is coming into boom at Elford, where I noticed the stone guy with the club I’d never registered before. The Tame looked peaceful at Whitemoor Haye, and pheasants pottered at field margins. 

The posh house at Thatchmoor had peacocks and other fancy fowl roaming the lawn; anyone know what the peculiar-looking black and white bird is, please?

A great ride that perked me up no end.

June 8th – From Lichfield, out to Croxall, Edingale, Harlaston and back via Hopwas. The countryside is a riot of colour and biordsong right now. The meadows are stunning with dandeliions and buttercups, oilseed rape in still flowering strongly, and all the fresh foliage glows in the sunshine.

I love the view of the wind turbine from Huddlesford: such a graceful machine.