BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘pleck’

#365daysofbiking Hawkish

April 1st – Every day now there’s a new flower to see on every journey – even the short ones.

Adding to the bright yellows of spring, a flower at first glance often mistaken for dandelions. Hawkweed.

This beautiful spring soldier is generally yellow but does come in a variety of colours and types. All dwell on edge lands, verges and in hedgerows.

This profusion of flowers is just what I need right now.

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#365daysofbiking Hello, you

February 18th – on my way through Pleck, I spotted this clump of daffodils, a welcome addition to my currently grey and grim commute.

I note daffodils are gradually emerging in parks, hedgerows and gardens, and not just the traditional early patches I’m familiar with – they seem a bit early this year but I’m not sure if they really are.

Whatever they are, they are most welcome. Spring is definitely here when these beautiful characters appear.

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#365daysofbiking Nice ‘tache!

September 18th – Scarborough Road in Walsall is still a veritable catropolis, and I see plenty of fine pusses there. Sadly I can’t often photograph them without invading the privacy of the householders in whose gardens or upon whose window cills these fine felines hang out.

This proud puss – with more than a little of the Adolf-cat about him, have to say – was sat in a gateway watching me ride past.

He obliged me by posing for a picture. Clearly a lovely cat – someone loves this one very much.

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#365daysofbiking Urban explorer

September 10th – Up in Pleck, Walsall I spited this brisk, urbane puss who was stalking ratty  in the rubbish on the opposite canal bank by Scarborough Road Bridge. Nervous at first, I thought he was going to run away, but he found his courage and faced me while I caught him on camera.

This large black and white puss may be rooting through the rubbish but he was neat an tidy and very lithe.

Clearly one has to look one’s best, even in the most grim conditions…

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#365daysofbiking Berry well red

September 4th – Also in the bright berry department, this bright red example grows in similar urban situations as the firethorn, but has much more spread, larger berries in smaller clumps more evenly spaced.

I was surprised to find that it’s actually a type of cotoneaster – plant that I’m used to having tiny leaves and berries.

It’s certainly very beautiful and the birds are already clearly digging in…

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#365daysofbiking I know it’s under here somewhere

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August 13th – Spotted at lunchtime on an excursion from work to the hospital, a heron loafing on a wall in one of the most urban, industrial bits of Walsall: Pleck.

I adore herons for their impressive fishing ability, their shabby, almost mad appearance and their raw, appreciable character and individuality. They are endlessly entertaining to watch.

This large adult bird was preening, being slow, methodical, and thorough. It paid me scant attention as it picked at whatever underwing irritation was troubling it, but for all the world it looked like it was searching for a misplaced wallet or pair of glasses.

A welcome distraction on a lovely day.

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#365daysofbiking Look closer

June 5th – On the wasteland, long unused at the junction of Bentley Mill Way and the Walsall Road at Darlaston, unexpected beauty.

Look once, and it’s a patch of unremarkable, but lush green scrub with gorse flower and a variety of trees – doing well despite last year’s grassfires here.

But look closer.

Lupins. Loads and loads of them. In the full colour range from creamy white to deep, deep purple.

I know this journal is all about the flowers at the moment, but with beauty such as this everyday just waiting to be found, how can it not be?

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#365daysofbiking A tense situation

May 21st – Not many people realise, but one of the reasons we see so many herons on local waterways at this time of year is that these large grey dishevelled fishers will also take young waterfowl chicks – moorhen, coot, ducklings, hatchling cygnets and goslings.

It’s not nice to think about, but herons have to eat too, and it’s why waterfowl have large clutches after all.

Today, in Pleck, Walsall I watched from the towpath as a tense situation developed: A pair of Canada geese with three goslings were heading into the path of the watchful eye of a heron, who was clearly looking for lunch.

The heron stayed put, statuesque, but the parents had spotted it. They halted their progress, and after what seemed like a silent debate between the parents, Dad honked loudly and aggressively at the heron. Heron was clearly irritated by the attention and took flight – the geese shouting what must have been abuse after it.

But, being a heron it landed again, a mere 100 yards down the canal.

Poor goslings have to be lucky all the time, the heron? Only once.

Nature, red in tooth and claw.

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