BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Sheep’

#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 That’s more like it

Tuesday December 29th 2020 – The snow again came in in waves. Contrary to my expectation, it had become cold and clear and the previous day’s snow had not melted away. new falls in the morning – quite intense, as it happened – topped it up. It still wasn’t much, but it kept the fun up on the bike and I enjoyed riding in it more than the day before.

I went to Stonnall, once more calling at the church, then around Hilton (avoiding the flood), up to wall and down into Lichfield, returning up Cross o’ th’ Hand Lane which was gorgeous, as were Farewell Church and Stonewall.

It looked like I missed driver of the year at Bulmoor Lane, and one tends to forget the hardiness of sheep. I particularly enjoyed the tree growing from the remains of another in Farewell churchyard and the lovely flowers on Shute Hill.

More, please. I love real winter rides like this.

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#365daysofbiking Bleat it

Wednesday, September 23rd 2020 – I note sheep are grazing on some fast growing crop planted swiftly after the late summer harvest at Home Farm, Sandhills. It looks like some brassica or other, probably kale.

Sheep are an unusual sight here, as the land is solidly arable, but every now and again, a winter crop like this is grown and sheep from another farm are let loose to feed upon it for a few weeks. I guess it must me a good earner; last time was Christmas 2018, I think.

Nice to see them. Wonder if we’ll get the escapees again on the canal towpath this time?

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#365daysofbiking Remain in light

August 24th – A bank holiday weekend set for fair weather. This, whilst not unheard of, is a delight. Moreso this time as I hate the August Bank Holiday.

I hate it because it’s the last one before the darkness comes, and the suck of the dark commutes. It always feels final, the end of school holidays, the end of summer. If you haven’t done that summer thing by now, you’re not going to, and so on.

A miserable summer bank holiday drains the soul.

But not so this weekend: A heatwave beckons, and I slipped out at teatime into a glorious golden evening. I went to Hints, somewhere I’d not really been much all year. Shenstone Park was as beautiful and French-seeming as ever, and I took a walk up to Crow’s Castle to survey the landscape.

Over to Hopwas as night fell for a drink by the canal.

All around farmers were working into the night to get the harvest in, and strange machine noises and lights punctuated the ride home and made it otherworldly.

This was a perfect late summer evening, and I’m glad I managed to catch it in some of my favourite places.

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#365daysofbiking It’s about time

March 17th – Finally a day with a more manageable wind, although it was still hard work, and an afternoon mostly without rain, although it caught me on my evening return. But a good ride, none the less.

Rapidly going stir crazy, I was pleased to note a more temperate day – although it was cold the sun shone frequently and the rain was mostly short sharp showers.

I headed up to Cannock Chase for a decent 45 miler, Pye Green and Brocton Field, the dropped into Sherbrooke Valley and on to Milford. From there, up to Tixall, a place I’ve not been in far too long a time. The architecture and atmosphere of this gorgeous place cannot be overstated, yet it’s mostly missed as it exists in the shadow of tourist magnet Shugborough, just down the road.

I continued to Hixon and skirted Blithfield Reservoir via Newton and Admaston, and passed back through Rugeley and Longone as darkness and rain fell.

Spring is really coming on a pace now, with plump spring lambs in the fields and green evident on the hedges, woods and fields; and on Brownhills Common the deer were clearly currently entering the moult and will soon look like threadbare old rugs that nobody cares for, despite being in excellent condition otherwise.

I’d love to know what a solar loo is though…

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#365daysofbiking Resprung

February 23rd – With such fine weather there was nothing for it but to head out on a long ride.

Starting with a call to see the splendid, sun-worshipping crocuses at St Anne’s Cemetery in Chasetown and the deer in Church Street Park next door, the ride took me up through Chorley, Stoneywell, Longdon, the Ridwares, Blithbury, Abbots Bromley for cake and a rest, the up to Newborough, Hoar Cross, Hadley End and back via Lichfield.

The discovery of the old Trent footbridge and tunnel from the canal to Mavesyn Ridware was a wonderful think. It’s a lovely spot.

An absolutely gorgeous 52 mile rode, then ended in an ethereal mist that really gave an interesting tone to the evening.

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#365daysofbiking Glowing

February 2nd – A better, more springlike day was what I expected, and indeed, it was at least decidedly warmer. There was, however, a bitter wind that made progress slow and a the nagging cramps of bad IBS attack niggled at my energy.

Any remaining snow was confined to the shade of hedges and field margins, and the afternoon sun made the red soil of Home Farm at Sandhills glow beautifully.

I note the sheep, now reduced in number, are still working on clearing the field of what I think is kale; its been a real treat seeing them here. IU hope they become a more permanent fixture.

I note the hedges along here have been cut, and as ever, the auto-flail has ripped the hawthorn overgrowth into short, hazardous, thorn-armed fragments, lying on the towpath waiting for a vulnerable tyre.

If you haven’t tough tyres, probably best avoid the stretch between Anchor Bridge and the Ogley Junction Bridge for a couple of weeks or so until the fragments have been cleared or rotted by the weather.

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#365daysofbiking Oh flock

Boxing Day – Another day pressed for time, so another short but fast run up the canal. Intrigued to see that there is a flock of several hundred sheep grazing on what I think might be kale on Home Farm, Sandhills.

I don’t think I’ver ever seen livestock on this land before.

I wonder if the sheep are resident on the farm now, or if the crop has been sold for grazing?

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May 7th – High on Morridge, on a farm access track, a wee lamb was spotted trapped but unhurt in a cattle grid, his momma close by calling mournfully for help with his siblings stood close by.

Approaching gently, the lamb – surprisingly heavy and very muscular, much more so than a dog the same size – was lifted free and offered to the mother gently. He bounded to her, and she bleated loudly, then they all ran off.

I’d like to think the ewe was thanking me, but it sounded more like ‘sod off!’…

Good deed for a long, sunny ride.