May 30th – This is always a lovely first sighting of the summer – the first orchid. Small, light purple in colour and growing in a solitary position next to the cycleway at Ryecroft this small, pretty flower reminds me that summer is here.
I’m not proficient enough to tell one orchid from another – there are so many different but similar types it can be very hard to tell – but they are all gorgeous, and like cowslips, are one of my favourite flowers.
Look out for them in wetland meadows, towpaths, marshes and the edges of ponds and streams. The more you study them, the more beautiful you will see they are.
31st October – It’s been unseasonably warm – I rode home at sunset in shirtsleeves. Even still, the sunset seemed cold and autumnal. Catching it from the North Street railway bridge at Ryecroft, the view was lovely.
We’re getting some great skies at them moment, but rarely seem to be in a good position to capture them!
October 18th – For the first time in ages, I was in Darlaston. I also had to pop into Brownhills on my way, so I pottered up to Pelsall and on to Walsall via NCN 5 – the National Cycle Route. It was a lovely ride to work, but the southerly headwind was a tad sharp for my liking. I guess readers must be getting fed up of the cliched autumn pictures by now, but today, my beloved Black Country looked gorgeous. Escaping early, I popped into the Arboretum at Walsall to check out the colour. At 4pm, it was all but deserted, which I found surprising. It really is lovely there. Get up there before it’s too late…
January 27th – Today was the exact opposite of yesterday, well, sort of. A beautiful but chilly ride into work, on a very spring-like sunny morning. Then it howled it down on me on the way back home. Since it was such a nice morning, I cut through Cartbridge Lane and hopped on the cycle track at the back of Ryecroft cemetery, then down into The Butts via Mill Lane nature reserve. The sun was gorgeous, going from hazy to bright blue skies. I stopped in Victoria Park to reflect on how fine the view of Darlaston was, and just what a huge amount of culture was encapsulated in one shot. All apart from that bloody metal tree…
August 26th – Depressingly for me, Autumn is clearly now upon us. Elderberries are darkening and the scrubs and hedgerows are thick with them, leaves are turning and haws, conkers, rose hips and acorns are all ripening. Ryecroft cemetery looked particularly autumnal, as did Park Hall. I always find this bank holiday depressing, although soon I will get into the swing and beauty of the season, I always feel like summer is over on this last long weekend.