BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘seed’

#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 Thistle and down

August 8th – Winching myself up Shire Oak Hill past Sandhills at the end of another long day, I noticed the thistles in the hedgerow, now gone to seed.

The breeze will soon catch those tufts of fluff and carry the attached seeds on the wind, hopefully to fertile fresh soil.

I loved how silly and beautiful the downy, soft seed carries were and how they caught the light. Thistles really are beautiful plants.

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#365daysofbiking Alien carrots!

August 6th – A couple of weeks ago I featured a new plant here – wild carrot. This curious, cow-parsley like edgeland weed was readily identifiable by a single dark flower in the centre of the umbel.

Wild carrot is just as distinctive when it goes to seed. This is a seed head; slightly redolent of a clematis, it’s odd, skeletal spines and hairy seeds are quite, quite alien and rather fascinating.

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#365daysofbiking Until next year, my springtime companions


May 20th – On the subject of things yellow, a seasonal sadness.

I guess it’s coming on summer now, and the first flush of flowering is well and truly over: the daffodils and tulips are long behind us, and late spring flowers like bluebells are dying off – as is my personal favourite, the cowslip.

Cowslips for me epitomise spring and the optimism of a new growing year; bright yellow, delicate and prolific now, they were once rare and I cherish seeing them as I ride around the area.

The ones I set on by guerrilla seeding at Clayhanger are going to seed now and I’ll have to wait 11 months to see these jolly characters again. But it’s be oh so worth the wait.

In the meantime I’ll carefully watch the seed heads develop and dry until the precious seed within is ready to collect, and I’ll gather a fair amount and sprinkle it in places where I think we need more springtime joy.

Until next year, my springtime companions. Until next year.

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#365daysofbiking Fluffbomb

February 26th – Reedmace, bullrush or cat tails as they are variously known have a fascinating mechanism for deploying their seeds.

This time of year, if you can find one, just rub the head and it will explode into a huge ball of fluff – wind borne seeds.

Setting them off is compulsive and fun, but you do get covered in the stuff…

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August 17th – I see there are patches of scum on the canal again in various spots. These seasonal bands of detritus are ugly, but are organic in origin – usually pollen, blossom debris or seed mast. 

I couldn’t work out what was generating this one, and it’s sporadic, but suspect it’s connected with nearby trees.

It’s a sign of the much cleaner times that such events are now so noticeable.

July 25th – The thistles are still in flower, but now going over to seed too. This is great for many songbirds like goldfinches who like to eat the seeds, which are spread from the seed heads by the breeze, and to this end are attached to fluffy wind catchers to transport them in the air.

The fluff thistles generate – along with rose bay willowherb, or old man’s beard which is also in seed at the moment, was always called ‘fairies’ when I was a kid, and it was considered lucky to catch a ‘fairy’ on the wind.

They are actually rather beautiful.

July 3rd – I noticed this tree on the way to work and I have idea what it is. Can anyone help? Curious looking bloom, I thought. In fact, Im not sure if it’s a bloom, or a fruit head.

I have no idea. 

Help grateful received.

May 30th – A sign of the advancing season is the collection of seeds for a little guerrilla planting. Clayhanger Common has large patches of cowslips like these going to seed – the seeds are not ready yet. But when the heads dry and turn golden, I’ll be out shaking a few into a back for the precious black seeds within, which I’ll then spread to other areas that might benefit from a bit of cowslip love.

That’s how most of these delightful yellow flowers got onto Clayhanger Common in the first place…

April 22nd – An odd sight in spring is always the first wind-seeding wildflowers, in this case I’m not sure what it is, possibly hawkweed. It seems almost incongruous to see seed heads at this time of year, but most flowers who seed this way do so throughout the season. 

Such beautiful, silky fluff on this one.