BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘seasons’

#365daysofbiking Shroom to manoeuvre

Monday, September 28th 2020 – This journal is now so venerable that I feel it has seasonal traditions, and one of the most important to me is it’s devotion to documenting the fungus season with the many photogenic and interesting varieties of toadstool, ball, mould and slime that abound in autumn.

The mycology is tragically overlooked – it’s a huge kingdom completely different to any other, and without it life on earth could not function at all. And when it blooms and fruits, it’s stunning in its otherworldly beauty.

So far this dry autumn, there hasn’t been much fungal action but with showers in recent days hopefully the shrooms will have the trigger they need to emerge.

I’ll kick it all off this year with these humble but beautiful honey fungus, spotted by the canal in Darlaston on my way to work. Hopefully the first of many this year.

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#365daysofbiking Tones of home

Sunday, September 27th 2020 – It was a lovely autumn day of sunshine, and I wanted to be out: But fate had blessed me with a bad cold (yes, it really IS a cold…) and I felt enervated and weak.

I tried, but I just managed a slow, lazy loop of Chasewater and Chasetown, and trundled home.

The colours of the season were gorgeous in the soft sunlight, the tonal palette of which seems to be mainly shades of dark green and brown, but also blue, too.

Chasetown High Street and that remarkable hill still captivate me. It manages to look frenetic and busy even when there are few cars and even less people. An impressive achievement.

Some days you go a long way, some you barely orbit home. Today was not a day for venturing far, but near home was reassuring and gave me all I needed.

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#365daysofbiking Slipping from one thing, into another

Tuesday, September 22nd 2020 – On the way home from work, a journey along the Black Path that runs from the Parkview Centre in Brownhills, up through Holland Park to the Watling Street.

This well known and popular route between areas of the town has existed for many years, and at the turn of the century, was incorporated in the National Cycle Network, whereupon they split it as shared use with one of those daft central kerbs that only serves to wrong-foot pedestrians, annoy joggers and wake up sleepy cyclists, like me.

Here in a quiet, leafy corner of what is after all, central Brownhills, it’s quite clear that with rain earlier and a drop in temperature, we’re slipping solidly into autumn now.

With the pandemic madness aside, it wasn’t a bad summer, meteorologically. I’ll miss it.

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#365daysofbiking Overnight mooring

Sunday, September 20th 2020 – The closing in of the evenings means that there will be more night shots here as the season advances, and there are a few favourites I return to, for no other reason than I love the images they make.

At the top end of Brownhills, on the border between there and Walsall Wood, the Anchor Bridge is lovely at night. I adore this view.

The colours and light of a night shot can, counteiintuitly, be gorgeously vivid.

Quiet, contemplative scenes like this moor me through the winter until the light returns. Therapy, I think.

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#365daysofbiking Maybe it’s the breath of Autumn on my shoulder…

Tuesday, September 15th 2020 – First of all, thanks for all your positive words and encouragement over the last few days. I had no idea so many of you were reading this rambling pile of cobblers. Thanks so much, it has meant a lot.

I’ve started going to Telford again as the pandemic eases, but now, instead of going the longer way around by train, I tend to ride to Wolverhampton and hop on the train there, to minimise my use of public transport. It works better, if I’m honest and the ride to and from Wolverhampton is nicer than I would have expected.

Actually in Telford, the cycleway I love – up from the station to the Priorslee crossing – is showing a beautiful lack of hedge maintenance as my favourite green tunnel starts to turn for autumn.

Boughs brush my head. Squirrels and rabbits dart out of my path. Hips, haws and berries glow colourfully in the dark green.

Not all effects of the pandemic have been bad. I’ll be a bit sad when they get around to trimming this back… And the gentle feeling of autumn is not so grim this year. I’m quite enjoying it.

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#365daysofbiking Family values

May 7th – It may be just me spending more time by the canal this year, but we seem to have a larger number than usual of waterfowl chicks about. It’s lovely and heart warming to see – and let’s face it, we all need a bit of cute and heartwarming at the moment.

The Canada geese have been particularly prolific, and everywhere I go on local canals I see gorgeous balls of fluff bobbing along between proud, defensive parents, or I meet hissing, protective aggression that requires careful negotiation.

A beautiful and very positive reminder that life goes on.

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#365daysofbiking Still high

May 2nd – Chasewater’s water level is now just below the weir top in the Nine-foot Pool: But only just. Not even an inch. The continued seepage from the dam and around the penstocks in the canal outlet valve will be steady, slightly and continually draining.

It’s been dry now pretty much a month or more, and at one stage last winter it felt like the world would never be dry again. The rain was such that it became a state that just was: I continually dressed for it and it didn’t trouble me much. But by god it was relentless and grim.

I’m glad that period has passed, and at the moment I’ll take any positives from life I can find.

Chasewater remains high, but is falling slowly.

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#365daysofbiking Climbing, slowly

May 1st – A ride down into Stonnall and the lanes. It had been a rollercoaster of a week emotionally, but at least we seem to be getting the virus under control. Things don’t seem as terribly threatening as they did.

Winching my way up Castlehill out of the village onto the Chester Road, the lanes here – severed by the straightening of the Chester Road many decades ago – are leafy and peaceful, and diverge oddly.

But in the quiet of a lockdown spring evening, with birds singing and soft sunlight coming through the leaves, this was close to heaven, and like my body, my mind was climbing, slowly.

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#365daysofbiking – Multiplication

April 24th – A short exercise ride, still working from home, mostly. Despite the strangeness in everyday human society, the natural world continues as normal.

Nice to see the moorhens pairing off to mate. Such humble, unassuming little birds.

I keep saying it, but it’s the normal, beautiful events of spring that are keeping me going day to day at the moment.

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