#365daysofbiking The united colours of autumn:
October 3rd – After the rain of the night before, the morning commute was warm, dry and almost humid. I made the very best of it by riding the canal the long way, and wasn’t disappointed – the autumn colours are very beautiful this year, and the canals and wooded areas of Darlaston are absolutely gorgeous.
There are some upsides to the time of year after all.
June 21st – Another high summer day, the longest as it happens, and from here on in, the days shorten to darkness; but there’s plenty of summer left and it’s been glorious so far, so I’m not too sad.
On the Walsall Canal heading for Darlaston, life is busy hunting, blooming and multiplying, with herons hunting on the far bank, families of geese making their way through dense waterlily beds and flowers looking gorgeous in the hot sun.
A Walsall Top Lock, basking on a piece of drifting wood, I even saw a terrapin, about the size of a saucer. Sadly, it slipped away before I got the camera out but these poor creatures, often released into the wild when too large for captivity are becoming a common sight in canals and pools of the UK.
A great day to be on a bike in the place I love.
May 26th – A lovely, warm shirtsleeve ride to work on a gorgeous morning, with the wayside wild roses fully in bloom and bees busy, even at an early hour.
I know I keep saying this, but this is what I look forward to all year. I know many don’t enjoy the heat and humid conditions can be wearing, but this really is the best kind of day.
April 8th – Spotted in the meadow at Waterhouses, this venerable, grumpy looking puss.
Peak District cats are a tough breed, and often look as weathered as the landscape they inhabit. This white cat was just sat, taking the air and enjoying the sun (one presumes, although the expression doesn’t give much away). I like to think it was taking stock, and looking forward to another summer of hunting, stalling territory and snoozing in the sun.
As befits any older cat, really.
March 8th – Another somewhat unusual sign of more clement weather was spotted in SHelfield this morning. Going just on the edge of a front garden on the A461, glistening ink cap toadstools.
Not seen any since last autumn – things must be improving.
Seems the warmth is waking everything up!
December 13th – Returning late again from Birmingham, this time to Shenstone, back to my beloved rural station. The weather was damp, but warm again and the riding was easy, which is just as well as I was exhausted.
This is the busiest pre-Christmas I’ve had in a long, long time: normally about now I’m winding down and getting stuff ready for the new year. This year I’m doing none of that yet.
I’ll be so glad when I finish work.
October 4th – I was surprised to note that the warm autumn, which has seen dead-nettles enter a second flowering cycle, odd aberrations of occasional foxgloves still in bloom and dandelions still out in pastures has resulted in some unusual sights, but I was surprised to note this ladybird still quite active on Clayhanger Common.
One thing’s for sure – when the cold sets in, it’ll be a shock to the system…
August 17th – Too many cats I hear you cry – sorry, but I adore them. And with the warm weather, they are everywhere; dozing, loafing, strolling, patrolling, stalking or just watching.
When the warm spell is over, they’ll be mostly gone.
Returning home from work this evening, I passed this relaxed guy in Pleck. He was in the same place this time yesterday.
It’s clearly a hard life, but he’s bearing up, best he can.
July 30th – A warm afternoon run to Chasewater on the canal: even though its getting on to high summer, there are still plenty of wildflowers looking beautiful, and the wild sweetpeas are still showing well around the derelict coal-chutes of Anglesey Basin.
At Chasewater itself, wake boarding was still in full swing despite the suspected bloom of blue-green algae the week before. I’m not into that kind of thing much but that does look like the most wonderful fun…