BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘trees’

#365daysifbiking An early delight

February 14th – Unexpectedly encountered on a Telford cycleway, this hedgerow blossom. It’s lovely, crazy white, and almost insubstantially thin, like apple blossom.

I have no idea what it is. the tree is certainly flowering before its leaves have grown.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen this before, but the tree isn’t alone in its flowery beauty; so it’s not just an aberration.

Speckled with water droplets from the quite thick mist, this was a beautiful and unexpected delight.

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#365daysifbiking Unshed

February 4th – I’ve always been puzzled why it might be that some deciduous trees don’t shed their dead leaves in autumn; the summer growth dies and goes brown, but doesn’t drop.

Someone asked the same question on social media over the weekend, so I thought I’d look into it.

The characteristic is called marcescence, and is exhibited mainly by oak, beech and hornbeam in the UK. It’s not clear what the evolutionary purpose of this curious feature is; it could be to shelter leaf buds from browsing animals like deer, and indeed, some oaks are only marcescent on lower boughs. Another theory says that the leaves attached to the beaches have their goodness absorbed back into the tree over winter, which is more efficient than them dropping and relying on conversion from leaf litter.

So I’m not really much wiser, but at least it has a name – and this marcescant oak was showing it’s dead leaves well beside the cycleway in Telford as I passed this morning, making me smile.

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#365daysifbiking Alder time

January 17th – Signs of spring continue to seep into my daily commute.

On a bright, sunny, blue-sky morning fresh, alder catkins are growing, ready for spring next to last year’s fruit – female catkins which grow to become Coe-shaped and release seeds in winter, in the same was as pine cones.

Catkins are some of the first tree blooms of spring, and always a welcome sight.

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#365daysofbiking Colour me surprised:

November 10th – A late afternoon round trip to Aldridge and back to Pelsall was started along the canal, and in the dying afternoon light autumn had caught the trees of Walsall Wood on fire.

The autumn colour has been unusually and surprisingly vivid this year. This was absolutely beautiful.

#365daysofbiking The world spins, me a apart of it:

November 1st – My worry was misplaced. I had good news from the hospital, and rode gently back, taking in the air which with my inbuilt mood filter switched off, was now sunny and cheering.

What better time to enjoy the parks of Darlaston, Victoria and Kings Hill? What better time to sit and appreciate the leaves, the dog walkers, the birds and my beloved Black Country?

It made a change to have lightness in my heart. That’s been a rare thing of late.

#365daysofbiking Falling in love:

October 24th – It’s hard not to love the Black Country right now. The canals are beautiful, the leaves are turning and there’s a slightly soft quality to the light which is truly gorgeous.

I’m hating the dark nights and mornings as usual, but when you catch the daylight it really is rather lovely.

#365daysofbiking Falling, down::

October 20th – I was very down today. At the moment I’m working hard, long hours and it caught up with me when everything I attempted failed, or had proven to need more stuff than I had to do it with: From DIY to bike repairs, the day was an utter failure.

I slipped out at dusk, and in a half-light Brownhills, unusually my mood did not improve at all.

The gorgeous avenue of trees on The Parade few locals seem to realise is there is as photogenic as it is every autumn, and the M6 Toll and Chasewater are always good for the photographic, darkness soul.

But today, rarely, cycling didn’t help.

#365daysofbiking Stars of the fall:

October 17th – It was a beautiful crisp, clear evening as night fell, and I was pleased to see in the western skies the stars were out, just discernible beyond the trees.

I might not like this time of year that much, but the sunsets are well worth it.

#365daysofbiking Sweet thing:

September 25th – Again returning through Stonnall, I stopped to take a look are the venerable, reliably productive sweet chestnut that is always so beautiful on the corner of Main Street.

Always laden with nuts in their prickly, fur lined husks the tree is healthy and always fruits well; but sadly the climate in the UK isn’t favourable for producing sweet chestnuts, so the kernels are always small and thin.

They’re still beautiful, though.