BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘seasons’

#365daysofbiking First

Wednesday March 30th 2021 – Sorry for the grainy phone photo, but I found something on my way home tonight on Clayhanger Common that always fills me with joy.

First cowslip of the year.

I know cowslips will never win any wards for complexity or outstanding beauty, but these humble members of the primrose family are so gorgeous, and herald the spring like no other flower.

Coming as the daffodils fade, they assure you that summer is indeed on its way, and when I was a child, were very rare in these parts.

Thankfully, due to declining weedkiller use, improved habitats, and guerrilla seed scatterers like me, Clayhanger Common and other grassy areas are now awash with this wonderful wildflower.

Seeing the first one of the year is always a joy to the very soul.

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#365daysofbiking Behind me now

Friday March 26th 2021 – After a long day at work, I stood in the dark yard at work astride the bike ready to ride home.

I looked at the bike computer, which gives me sunset and sunrise times and noted sunset had been at a nicely round 6:30pm.

Just one more day and British Summer Time begins – the clocks go forward an hour and light floods back into my evenings. As you all know, I hate the dark in winter, and I’ve never known a winter as dark, persistently challenging and as devoid of light spiritually as the one now behind me.

Unlike many people, a few known to me, who did not make it through this far, I am still here, still riding and made it through. I remember those we lost with sadness every day.

Never have the light, and the summer days been so welcome.

Let’s ride into the warmth and sun together.

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#365daysofbiking The run of the mill


Thursday March 25th 2021 – Another beautiful spring day with a little sunshine warmth – but wrapping up was still necessary.

For the first time in a good while I came back from Darlaston to Goscote on the canal and flipped to the McClean Way (formerly the Goscote cycleway): I avoid this route in winter as the towpaths tend to be very slippery and hazardous despite their recent resurfacing.

But they’ve dried up now, and a lovely potter back through Walsall getting acquainted with old friends. No sign of swans nesting yet, though.

Birchills lock flight looked splendid in to the low sun, as did the millennially constructed flats complex forming part of Smiths Flour Mill, which up until the 1990s was a functioning flour producing plant.

Outsiders would never suspect Walsall had such splendid spots right in its heart like this.

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#365daysofbiking It’s all going on

Friday March 19th 2021 – Crossing Chasewater on a dull Friday with raindrops on the wind threatening a soaking that thankfully, never materialised, I stopped on the motorway bridge and looked down to the lake.

It was good to note the emergence of the leaves on the trees in the copses and hedgerows flanking Pool Lane. It didn’t feel like spring, but it was certainly coming.

Busily, quietly, the time of renewal is getting underway – it’s all going on.

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#365daysofbiking Light in the distance

Monday March 15th 2021 – I’m spending more working time actually at work now, and things seem to be getting more back to normal, albeit a different form of normal with social distancing and masks.

Things after the pandemic will never, of course, be the same again but as spring comes, and I find I’m starting to commute in light at both ends of the day it feels like the world is waking up again. Just a little. Infection rates are falling, less people are being lost and hospitals are less full with virus victims.

The vaccine seems to be having an effect and things look positive, for the first time in twelve months.

Crossing Catshill Junction on my way to the High Street in the dusk, I stopped to capture the dying light and reflected on what a difficult year it had been – but also, on how at last, there was light in the distance.

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#365daysofbiking Welcome return

Friday March 12th 2021 – In my desperate search for signs of spring, a major achievement: The hawthorn leaves are coming out.

This may not seem like much, but it means a familiar, bright green sheen will soon be upon the hedgerows, and the gloom of the bare branches will be pushed back into the background. It means it’s time for blossom to start – Blackthorn initially – and for catkins and sticky buds.

But most of all it means, seemingly against the odds and in this hardest, bleakest of winters, nature has restarted as usual, and there will be a spring.

I carried on to work, a good deal more bouyant than when I set out.

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#365daysofbiking Pushing on

Thursday March 4th 2021 – Home again, and a chance to catch the sunset on the exercise ride.

It was an interesting one: A decent sky colour, but not terribly dramatic. I took lots of pictures, but it looked best from the canal at Catshill over the trees.

I could feel maybe a little – just a little – warmth in the air and warm long days are not far away now. For now, I’ll keep pushing on into the dusk, and think longingly of them.

These things, like good sunsets, get me through.

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#365daysofbiking Mothering

Monday March 1st 2021 – Good to see the spring lambs are being born and growing well now – this playful pair of siblings were spotted near Stonnall on the daily working from home exercise ride.

I’m always amazed at the attentiveness of the mother, and their ability to locate their family in a flock.

And of course, they’ve got cute in shedloads.

Such a wonderful, joyous sight at this time of year.

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#365daysofbiking Glad to see it


Friday February 26th 2021 – It looks like I was right: The period of fine sunsets has commenced.

Some springtimes, it’s better than others, but that’s the luck of the weather.

I spotted it coming on, and powered up the canal on the daily exercise ride to Chasewater where it looked superb, and despite the biting cold, it was fabulous to witness. Catching the moon over my favourite tree at Sandhills on the way back was a real bonus, too.

We really do live in a wonderfully beautiful area.

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