#365daysofbiking Optimal:

October 19th – The Japanese parasols are still bursting out a fresh crop every morning outside work on the industrial estate grass verge. They need to do this as these tiny, delicate fungi peak for a couple of hours but decay to nothing within 24.

It was lovely to see that in the October sun, I’d just caught these ones at their most perfect.

A lovely start to the day.

July 22nd – Not much riding today, which was sad. I had a lot of maintenance jobs to do on the bikes, and I had to be at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Brum in the late afternoon. I took my bike on the train.

Leaving in the early evening, I noticed the bunnies on the edge lands near a path through the hospital site. I’m glad I caught them; they were skittish, and in all there must have been more than ten. 

Sorry, the picture is a wee bit poor due to the speed and the camera being at full zoom.

I love to see wildlife thriving in urban settings like this. A joy to the heart.

July 3rd – Growing along just about every lane, track, cycleway and footpath at the moment, a very much overlooked purple wildflower.

No, not thistle, but knapweed. Similar, knapweed is not hostile or prickly, but flowers similarly in strong purple, a favourite of pollinators and a great source of high quality nectar, it’s seeds feeding many songbirds too.

Sometimes the best flowers fly under the radar.

May 18th – I adore this time of year. Every day a new discovery to delight and cheer me.

Today, I noticed the first birds foot trefoil of the year – as kids we called this egg and bacon due to the colour.

A gorgeous yellow flower that loves verges, meadows, lawns, edgelands and anywhere there‘s grass, it’s a delightful, cheery flower that really lets me know summer has started, and will be here, quietly spreading the yellow love all summer long.

Welcome back old pal.

April 17th – Every day, new flowers and leaves. This is fantastic, and just what I’ve been waiting for. All I need now is the sun to do it’s thing…

Spotted in a roadside verge near Lower Stonnall on Gravelly Lane – one of my all time favourite spring flowers – muscari or grape hyacinth. A garden favourite, I’m not sure if they’re native here or a garden escapee. But they are so very gorgeous, tiny blue arrangements of even tinier obovoid flowers.

Welcome back.

April 16th – One thing that has been extraordinary this year is the show from the daffodils. They’ve been out for weeks and are still going strong, and in this morning’s sunshine made even the dull industrial estates of the Black Country beautiful.

April 9th – on a verge on the same estate, these cheerful souls need no introduction.

With a bold sun burning up the mist, their perfection was inspiring, beautiful and a lovely boost in my day.

Such a lovely thing to see.