BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘wild’

#365daysofbiking A beautiful mystery

Wednesday March 24th 2021 – I have no idea what the two species of flower in this photo are, but they’re thriving in the spring flower patch planted a few years ago in the grass beside the entry to Kings Hill Park near the old chapel.

Gorgeously violet and china blue, the crocus and miniature daffodils are passing now and handing the baton to these delicate wonders.

I don’t know who planted that patch of  flowers there but they did a beautiful thing.

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#365daysofbiking Worth the wait

Thursday March 18th 2021 – Attentive readers will remember back six weeks or so I noted the camellia I’d found in a neglected front garden in Darlaston. It had loads of flower buds on it and seemed totally unnoticed by the world around it.

I’ve been watching it carefully, and the first large, rich pink flowers are emerging on this stunning, beautiful shrub.

I would guarantee it’s not known care for at least four or five years; yet it’s a stunning, healthy, flower-laden picture of health.

A beautiful splash of colour in an otherwise dull urban environment. Wonderful to witness!

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#365daysofbiking Roadside delicacy

Sunday February 14th 2021 – The snowdrops are shaping up excellently this spring, I must say. I had thought the cold weather might stunt or harm them, but that’s not the case.

Coming up a very windswept and damp Barracks Lane, these delicate little flowers growing beside the vet’s paddock at Warrenhouse were just the beautiful thing I needed to see on a grey, late winter Sunday.

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#365daysofbiking A king’s ramson

May 10th – The weather was still excellent the following day so I decided to ride out to another of my great restoratives – the Needwood Valley and Hoar Cross.

On the way, I came through Hanch, the tiny hamlet between Longdon Green and Handsacre.

This small cluster of large houses is old, and there’s a brook flowing noisily alongside the tree-lined lane. In the margin between the two, a veritable forest of wild garlic, or ramsons.

The smell of garlic was strong and heady, and very appetising. This common wetland plant can be used as a substitute for normal garlic and is tasty in stir fries and can make for lovely jams and sauces.

I picked a little for later…

A treat for the senses.

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#365daysofbiking In the pink

April 23rd – It’s appropriate for St. George’s day I guess that apple blossom is now out. For all th frilliness and glamour of the ornamental cherries, you really can’t beat traditional apple blossom. Pink and white, it’s a gorgeous spectacle, and very British.

It smells rather nice too.

It’s in hedgerows all over, but this lovely specimen is on the canal between Clayhanger Bridge and the Black Cock.

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#365daysofbiking Purple wonder

January 27th – After the darkness of the weekend, a bright, sunny and chilly morning.

I stopped on the industrial estate near work to answer my phone on the way in, and looking down as I chatted, I noticed these tiny, tiny purse flowers in the bed at my feet.

They are truly gorgeous and a lovely colour.

I have no idea what they are, but they’re lovely. Can anyone help, please?

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#365daysofbiking Here it comes


January 15th – In Kings Hill Park not ten minutes later, a vital discovery, my first snowdrops of the year.

Not hugely populous yet, just the early ones, the advance party; but strong, bold and yet delicate. There are here in enough numbers not to be a fluke, and instead cheering me with the realisation that there will soon be glades of these gorgeous flowers all over the place, and that yes, it may still be dark, mostly wet and chilly, but spring? Yeah, it could well be a thing.

How fantastic!

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#365daysofbiking Daisy, daisy

October 19th –  A puzzle. I found this flower growing from the brickwork at the canal edge in Walsall. It’s clearly day-like, but not a daisy. But it’s delicate and very, very lovely.

My curiosity was piqued by the colour. In the soft autumnal sunlight it appeared to be a very, very light purple or pink. But I can’t actually tell for sure.

Any ideas?

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#365daysofbiking Interdependence


September 2nd – The Darlaston Robins Pincushion Galls are looking really amazing right now – the one on the main ‘trunk’ (stalk? Branch?) of the wild rose is the largest I’ve ever seen, and still growing – now the size of a tennis ball, but elongated. On the outer leaves, the one that clearly misfired across multiple leaf nodes is causing odd, isolated patches of gall growth on leaves and twigs that look almost tumourous in nature.

This is an absolutely fascinating thing and I make no apologies for regularly featuring it. This is part of the wasp gall’s lifecycle and it’s absolutely stunning that such a tiny insect should co-opt and corrupt the growth of a plant to create such a host for its larva.

Amazing stuff.

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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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