BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘spring’

#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 On a lost day like this

Sunday March 28th 2021 – I had errands to do for a relative. They did not go well, but that didn’t matter really as the weather was windy and often wet, and the wasted time did not matter so much.

The only splash of colour in a grim day – The first of British Summer Time – was found in the forsythia growing by the canal at Catshill that I noticed on my return at dusk, at a pleasing 7:40pm.

Forsythia – immortalised in a great song by the band Veruca Salt that US college rock fans of a certain age will know well – used to be really popular in the UK as an ornamental shrub, but seems to have gone out of fashion. It forms a mass of yellow blossom before coming into leaf, and is truly gorgeous.

The reason for it’s decline I can only guess at, but wonder if people confused it with the highly poisonous and similarly yellow laburnum, which flowers much later but there was much anguish over in the 80s and 90s, leading to it’s steady decline.

It’s nice to see, especially on a lost day 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 Drying out

Tuesday March 9th 2021 – It’s a little bit warmer, a little bit lighter later, and it seems to have finally stopped with the continual drizzle.

As a consequence, the towpaths and trails are drying out, and the riding is getting a little bit easier, and less messy.

This stretch at Catshill has been swampy, mushy and slippery all winter. Good to finally see some improvement.

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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 A symbol of love

Sunday February 28th 2021 – Another local treat to match the Chasewater snowdrop glade – and actually only a short walk away – is the yearly crocus display at St Annes Cemetery in Church Street, Chasetown.

This still maintained, beautiful cemetery is a carpet of purple and white flowers with a small number of yellow now creeping in. They are absolutely stunning, and always a must see locally.

A real token of love and memory to those dear souls interred within. Well worth a visit and a few contemplative moments.

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