BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Roses’

#365daysofbiking Sugar me

September 2nd – Another product of wayside roses that’s beautiful but dare I say it, a little more mundane: The sugar-laden rosehips.

Rosehips are loved by jam, syrup and wine makers and, of course, many birds who devour the energy laden confections to fatten up for winter – and thankfully there seems to be a good crop this year.

They are beautiful colours, too…

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#365daysofbiking The cycle

July 9th – I’m always interested in insect galls as regular readers will know and one of the most interesting in the UK is the robins pincushion gall, which affects wild and dog roses.

Forming the same way as oak galls – from a wasp injecting eggs into a plant bud which are coated in a plant DNA corrupting substance – pincushion galls are brightly coloured and made up of a solid nodule up to a inch or so diameter, covered in hairy spines, which if you look closely are miniature facsimiles of rose stalks, thorns and all.

Numerous larvae hatch in chambers within the gall, eating their way out as they mature.

This year on a rose where last year’s dead remains of a pincushion gall can be seen complete with cavities where the wasps emerged, there are two new ones growing about 12 inches further up the branch.

And so the lifecycle of a tiny but fascinating insect continues.

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July 24th – Also coming on to show well right now are the rosehips – the fruit of the rose flower, either the dog rose, or the feral scopes that dot the hedgerows, canal towpaths and footpaths of the area.

I love the variety of textures, colours and shapes.

They bring a second splash of welcome colour when the rose flowers  themselves have decayed for another year…

May 26th – A lovely, warm shirtsleeve ride to work on a gorgeous morning, with the wayside wild roses fully in bloom and bees busy, even at an early hour.

I know I keep saying this, but this is what I look forward to all year. I know many don’t enjoy the heat and humid conditions can be wearing, but this really is the best kind of day.

July 10th – On the way home, I passed through Walsall and noticed something that takes me by surprise every summer – the roses in the beds at the Arboretum Junction. They’re beautiful, and my compliments and thanks to whoever planted and maintains them.

October 3rd – I’m not a big fan of domestic roses – I much prefer their wild, more fragrant cousins. However, even cultivated blooms look great with a fresh rainfall upon them. I spotted these glorious flowers outside Shenstone Church.

A real splash of colour on a very murky day. There’s beauty everywhere if we’re open to it, I guess.

July 21st – Summer is rolling on, and the Himalayan Balsam had started to appear. This prolific, invasive species loves damp, marshy conditions like riverbanks, streams and wetland, and crowds out anything it grows near. Reaching 2 to 3 metres in height, it bears a pretty, white and pink flower, and has a familiar metallic scent that’s quite unpleasant. It’s lovely to look at but an environmental menace, quite unlike the roses I witnessed further down the canal in central Rugeley, growing on canalside waste ground. Aren’t they gorgeous?