January 29th – Kings Hill, my workaday home.
Light is just edging into my evening commute again. I am nearing the season of the early spring sunset. Tonight, I caught the dying light on the twin sisters, and saw the Kings Hill communication tower trading it’s secrets with a glowing, clear ether.
It’s been a cold, grey, horrible month: With the shoulder injury and that awful bug, coupled with atrocious weather riding a bike has been a battle since before Christmas. But tonight, I was fluid again. Speed, like the light, is returning.
I hope this darkness has reached it’s end.
October 3rd – I’d forgotten my camera, I was heading home late and flustered, what an unfortunate time to witness an astonishing sunset.
Looking from Kings Hill west to Wolverhampton, across the ether the cellphone mast silently talks endlessly to, the sky was bright crimson, rippled and utterly stunning.
And the phone didn’t capture it at all. Bugger.
Ah well, there will be other sunsets that hopefully, catch me better equipped.
August 12th – An run out after a busy day saw me investigating a few things I’d been meaning to locally. It was a bright but slightly hazy evening, and I took the opportunity to try some familiar zoom shots from near Fishpond Wood above Stonnall, and the perennial favourite Lichfield from the quarry gateway.
It was a bit too muzzy for Lichfield, but Wall came out beautifully, unlike the familiar towers of Shenstone. I suppose the mist and haze must have been sitting in a depression or hollow between us, unlike Wall.
Wonder what the science is here?
February 17th – I noticed something today I’ve passed many times but never stopped to look at – Wood Green Church. Stranded by the road system of Junction 8 of the M6, it remains gracefully marooned in the old village of Wood Green between Pleck, Wednesbury and Bescot.
I have never noticed the elegance of the sharp roof, the beautifully red stone from which it’s built and remarkably detailed spire – and those clock faces are just wonderful.
I need to go and have a closer look – I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to notice this gorgeous building – I’ve been passing it for decades now.
The Black Country gives up it’s surprises slowly, and that’s why I love it so.
May 21st – Up on Cannock Chase, I went looking for a fire tower I’d heard had been rebuilt. These watchtowers are scattered throughout the forest, and I thought they’d slipped out of use; when I last visited this one up near Sow Street high on Wolseley Park in 2011, it had collapsed in the bad weather and was nothing more than a pile of rotten wood. Tipped off by fellow local historian Dave Fellows, I discovered in the week that it had been rebuilt – so I went to check it out.
Sadly, it’s gated at the top so you can’t get in, but it’s a curious thing with an otherworldly feel. As the rain began to fall, the clearing the tower sits in – on the junction of five or six firebreaks for best visibility – came alive. Solitary, quiet apart from the rain on leaves, I realised how much wildlife was around on a dull day; I could hear deer in the wood, and the fungus and flowers were wonderful.
Then the heavens opened – but dry in waterproofs, even that was a sensory wonder.
December 17th – I had to nip into Eddington early in the day, so I hopped on the train and sped down the Cross City Line. As the dawn threatened to break over Hill Hook, I caught this shot of Sutton Coldfield transmitter through an open train door.
This week hasn’t been great weather wise, and in such dark days t can be hard to find beauty. But I was glad I saw this,