BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘pleck’

#365daysifbiking Lining up the cast

February 13th – A ride into work on a pleasant, sunny and mild morning saw me take to the canal from Walsall to Darlaston, mainly to check on swan couple Arnold and Flossie, who had enchanted me last week.

They’re still around, still very much a couple and were just loafing, grazing the canal bottom and green shoots of reedmace. They seem in rude health and only looked cross when they realised I had no treats for them.

Looking on carefully was an enemy they may need to watch out for if they hatch a brood: Grey herons won’t bother a grown swan, but they will take hatchlings. They’ll need to be vigilant.

And so, slowly, the spring sets up it’s cast and characters…

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#365daysifbiking Snoozing it out

February 7th – I have a new pair of pals and I’ve called them Arnold and Flossie.

This pair of young swan mates have been hanging about the canal at Bentley Bridge, between Pleck and Darlaston for a few weeks now and are surprisingly tolerant of human company.

I suspect they may well nest this year, which would be nice to see.

On this windy but otherwise pleasant, sunny morning they were both dozing on the towpath, out sheltering out of the wind when I stopped. They both listened while I talked to them and they allowed me to take photos without too much grumping.

I look forward top seeing more of these gorgeous characters in coming months.

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#365daysifbiking Of course – gorse!

January 31st – on the way to work on a grim, cold morning, the familiar sight of gorse flowers on waste ground near Bentley Mill Way surprised and delighted me. I’m never really sure of the difference between gorse and broom, but the bright yellow flowers – in bloom before Christmas – seem to be around forever and smell pleasingly of coconut.

Such a lovely sight on a cold, grey day.

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#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

December 6th – In an otherwise unremarkable, workaday wall  on a main road in Place, Walsall, one of the UK’s many hundreds of industrial memorials to the lost employees in the Great War.

The fourteen lost souls listed on the memorial worked for the Cyclops Foundry which was near where the plaque is now, and has long since passed into history – but the original memorial was saved and restored by the NHS, who operate Walsall Manor Hospital, opposite, not once, but twice: They refurbished the memorial in 1989, and replaced it totally in 2002.

I’m glad it survived and still stands today, bearing witness to those lives lost, and it’s good to see that 100 years on, people still place crosses here to remember them.

#365daysofbiking Wellness:

November 1st – I’m running behind at the moment, please bear with me. 

I had to go to the hospital for an appointment, and went from work mid morning. I was apprehensive, tense, and sad. I looked back down the Walsall Canal from where I came and noticed the curious, dull sunlight on the yellowing trees.

I felt the very chill of autumn in my bones there and then. However beautiful, autumn is always, always melancholy.

#365daysofbiking Frustration:

October 25th – There was a beautiful sunset as I left work. I saw it through the frosted skylights at work; they’d got a lovely pink colour which signified something interesting was happening.

The trouble is with where I work, there aren’t many decent spots to get the sunset from.

Getting on a turn of speed, I managed to make old favourite the Kings Hill cellphone mast, still trading data with the ether against a glorious sky, and over the ruins of James Bridge Copper Works at Alumwell.

It’s always annoying to see a good sunset yet not be somewhere with a decent view of it…

#365daysofbiking A cautionary tale:

October 12th – Never upset the teddy bear mafia.

Barney here did, and he came to a watery end.

Consider this a warning.

#365daysofbiking Spot on:

October 12th – On the way to work in the season of the storm living up to it’s name: torrential, driving rain and a bastard of a headwind forged on satan’s back step.

I took the canal at my earliest opportunity to avoid the madness of the traffic, and as I passed the bank where the fly agaric normally grow in large numbers but has been barren so far this season, a glint of bright red caught my eye.

The size of a dinner plate, it must be the largest, most perfect specimen I’ve ever seen.

Despite the rain, there was brightness. There always is, if you keep an eye open for it.

#365daysofbiking I’m not sold, personally:

September 5th – Car adverts are getting bizarre, like this one spotted in Walsall.

I don’t envisage a ready supply of fuel for thirsty SUV’s being a feature of any post-apocalypse world.

What a load of cobblers.