BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘urban’

#365daysofbiking Explorations

October 3rd – I drove to work and rode home – sadly I chose a really, really unpleasant evening to do so. Again, drizzle and a punishing headwind – but at least the town looked beautiful in the glistening, dripping night.

I decided to quickly try the camera and the phone for a comparison.

Top, the iPhone 11 Pro Max in night mode, which since a beta firmware upgrade on Wednesday evening seems a whole bunch better. It’s not as hyperreal, but is still very strange, but beautiful I think.

My preference is still to the warmth of the Canon G5X, below, which is altogether mellower without losing detail.

Further explorations to come, I think.

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#365daysofbiking Old and new


September 27th – A meeting in Birmingham at lunchtime meant an afternoon meeting with a pal and a small photo expedition around the business quarter and Cathedral Square, and also chance for tea and cake.

There had been a large rainstorm, but the sun was out and the city shone like a diamond: It the soft sunlight it felt like a summer evening.

Birmingham proves as it always has that old and new architecture can coexist, clash, blend and combine to be wonderful. I adore this place.

An unexpectedly fun afternoon.

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#365daysofbiking Nothing but a bind

September 25th – There are a few flowers left, to be fair, one of the most profuse being bindweed.

Every time I mention this beautiful yet pervasive weed, I send gardeners into fits of apoplexy – they hate this crawling, strangling plant with a passion.

But I stick to my guns: Where I see it most – on towpaths boundaries, trail edgelands and scrub, it’s a beautiful, white flower that’s really under appreciated.

Sorry.

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#365daysofbiking Urban explorer

September 10th – Up in Pleck, Walsall I spited this brisk, urbane puss who was stalking ratty  in the rubbish on the opposite canal bank by Scarborough Road Bridge. Nervous at first, I thought he was going to run away, but he found his courage and faced me while I caught him on camera.

This large black and white puss may be rooting through the rubbish but he was neat an tidy and very lithe.

Clearly one has to look one’s best, even in the most grim conditions…

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#365daysofbiking Berry well red

September 4th – Also in the bright berry department, this bright red example grows in similar urban situations as the firethorn, but has much more spread, larger berries in smaller clumps more evenly spaced.

I was surprised to find that it’s actually a type of cotoneaster – plant that I’m used to having tiny leaves and berries.

It’s certainly very beautiful and the birds are already clearly digging in…

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#365daysofbiking Beaming!

September 3rd – Hornbeam trees are fascinating. Often mistaken (particularly by me) for beech, the leaves are perfectly ridged and beautiful, but the seeds, in long drop chains a bit like sycamore, are fascinating.

They’re ripening now and will soon be dappling the cycleways, pavements and industrial estate backways with golden brown mast.

Autumn’s colours may be more muted, but they’re still gorgeous.

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#365daysofbiking Changing places

August 30th – I headed into Brownhills to pick up a takeaway on the way home.

Riding up Pier Street from the canal, I realised how changed this area was. With the new housing on the former market site, this now feels way less desolate at night and actually looks quite warm and cosy.

The design of these homes is pleasant and care was clearly taken with line and materials to extend the line of the street.

I like this very much – and more people living in the centre of town can only be good for the place.

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#365daysofbiking Corruption

August 21st – My goodness, this is strange.

Y’all know I love and am fascinated by insect galls, right? Well the robins pincushion galls on the wild rose I’ve been watching grow for weeks just took an odd turn.

There are several galls on the same rose now, the only plant in the thicket to be affected. Most of the galls are large, colourful and dramatic. But one weedy little on at the end of a twig seems to have got into a bit of a mess.

The photo isn’t great, but one can see that corruption from the implanted wasp egg has not been concentrated in one leaf node; it’s spread to several and there are bright red patches of furry spines all over the adjacent leaves.

Wonder what went wrong there?

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#365daysofbiking Inhaling green

August 16th – Another place I love is Kings Hill Park in Darlaston, one of Walsall’s little known, minor parks.

Sadly in the last couple of years it’s not had the maintenance it formerly had, with resources going to the borough’s ‘Green Flag’ parks instead: We no longer get the planters maintained as beautifully, and the attention to upkeep is more cursory.

However it’s still beautiful and has some gorgeous flowers – just not so many as it did, sadly.

To be here, seeking space from work on a wet, blustery summer day, in peace and quiet with industry just metres away, is bliss. You can stand here, take five and just inhale the green.

A beautiful park, a credit to the town and those who care for it, but it needs more resources sparing for it.

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#365daysofbiking I know it’s under here somewhere

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August 13th – Spotted at lunchtime on an excursion from work to the hospital, a heron loafing on a wall in one of the most urban, industrial bits of Walsall: Pleck.

I adore herons for their impressive fishing ability, their shabby, almost mad appearance and their raw, appreciable character and individuality. They are endlessly entertaining to watch.

This large adult bird was preening, being slow, methodical, and thorough. It paid me scant attention as it picked at whatever underwing irritation was troubling it, but for all the world it looked like it was searching for a misplaced wallet or pair of glasses.

A welcome distraction on a lovely day.

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