BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

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#365daysofbiking Sunshine yellow

April 19th – Spring is mostly about yellow for me. Cowslips, daffodils, oilseed rape and dandelions, the latter two painting the fields different shades of gorgeous on a diving evening.

Near Chesterfield, Wall an untouched meadow of dandelions looked superb, and will make most wonderful hay or grazing.

At Sandhills, the oilseed caught the dying sun wonderfully and lovely as ever, smelled of Swiss cheese.

Glad to have better days here at last.

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#365daysofbiking Another milestone

April 19th – On a spin out on a bright, sunny bare-arm afternoon, I noticed that not only was my favourite tree at Home Farm, Sandhills now green with new leaf growth, but the field before it was being ploughed and laid in a lovely swirling profile.

Welcome to high spring, and it’s going to be a most excellent weekend.

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#365daysofbiking Peace, at last

April 18th – The end of work for a few blessed days, good weather in prospect and time on my hands. Bliss.

This of course meant the last working day was everything busy, at top speed. Finally nearing home as darkness fell, I stopped to look at the canal as I crossed Clayhanger Bridge.

Blossom is out, the trees are that bright, lucid green they only achieve at the very peak of spring, and things were calm and quiet.

It’s only been a few weeks since Christmas, hasn’t it? Yet here, in the light, the green, and warmth again.

And me, myself, at peace, at last.

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#365daysofbiking The remains of the day

April 17th – An absolutely gorgeous day and the first jacketless commute of the year didn’t come a day too soon.

Sadly I was indoors all day, but riding home in the still warm golden hour, I caught the sun throug the canalside trees near the Black Cock Bridge and the remnants of the sunny day were precious.

It’s good to have the warm days back again. I hope they stick around.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting for a fluff explosion


April 17th – On the way to work near Greern Lane, Shelfield, I notice the sallows are flowering now, and this is one of the more interesting blooms of springtime.

Sallow or goat willow is a member of the wider willow family, and grows profusely hereabouts. After the initial pretty male catkins have passed – pussy willows – then come the female catkins that were so well on show today. Once these peculiar green flowers pollinate, they generate wind-borne seeds in a few weeks: these evolve in the form of a large cloud of fluff that for a few days will coat the canal, towpaths, woodland paths, verges and road margins.

For now though in the spring sunshine of a warm, lovely morning – they look like something prehistoric, and in reality, probably are.

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#365daysofbiking On a springtime tip

April 16th – I had to nip to Tipton at lunchtime. Just as the rain came, which was a bit of a bugger if I’m honest.

Still, I donned waterproofs; the day seemed to be warming up and the wind had died away, so the steady drizzle wasn’t a bind.

Then, as I arrived in the town centre, this astonishing bed of spring flowers; a riot of colour on a grey, miserable afternoon.

I don’t know who planted them or who looks after them, but my goodness they are spectacular.

Take a bow, whoever you are – and thank you.

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#365daysofbiking Long live the King!

April 15th – At the end of February, I was sure I would never see this fine gentleman again, for it seemed the flat where Sam, the elderly, toothless and thoroughly grumpy Kings Hill Park cat lived had been vacated.

I was heartbroken, and wished him well in this post.

I needn’t have worried. I spotted the old grump a couple of weeks ago in the bay window of the flat BELOW the one being refurbished, snoozing as one would expect. I obviously couldn’t take a picture, but was so relieved this venerable old lad was not gone – after all, his sleeping habits last summer entertained me on many a day and I’d become, well, somewhat attached to him.

I finally found him today in the roadside garden of the flats complex where he lives. He’s thinner, but his coat has a beautiful gloss and his wonky eyes were bright and keen. His whiskers were immaculate and Sam clearly is reclaiming his place as monarch of the Kings Hill summer.

I think he might have remembered me, or perhaps not. But I’m glad though that this old cat can sleep, hopefully undisturbed – through another warm, peaceful summer dreaming of his kittenhood and youthful exploits.

A fine lad whose return I am very glad to see.

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#365daysofbiking Full time mum

April 15th – Always nice to spot the first mallard chicks of the season and these today were spotted near Bently Bridge in Darlaston.

Clearly new hatchlings, these energetic and busy little ducklings followed mum as she puttered in the reeds. There seemed to be 12 in total, but it was difficult to keep count with several stragglers!

You know it’s spring when the ducklings arrive…

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#365daysofbiking Restful

April 14th – After a very long day, I needed to slip out for a dusk ride. Just a quick shot up the canal to Catshill and back.

My favourite tree – the majestic horse chestnut at Home Farm, Sandhills – looked soothing in the dusk, still waiting for it’s leaves to sprout forth.

It’s been a hectic weekend but it finished on a very good note.

Sometimes you just need five minutes of solitude.

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