BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘wildflowers’

#365daysofbiking Heliophile

September 28th – Out in the afternoon for an errand in Lichfield, and I noticed that the deer had trampled a gap in the hedge near Home Farm from the canal towpath at Catshill, again returning a good view of my favourite tree – the magnificent horse chestnut near the farmhouse.

Surprisingly, it has yet to become very autumnal.

However, a lone oddity in the foreground caught my attention: A solitary, large sunflower going at the field margin.

A truly wild specimen, it can only have got there via the mechanism of bird digestion.

What a fine serendipitous thing!

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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 Toadily over

September 16th – It’s all about autumn now. The change seems to have been very rapid, but in reality it’s been actually quite slow and by almost imperceptible daily degrees.

There are fewer and fewer flowers now, and those that are left are the world-weary late summer soldiers, hanging on for a bit of late pollination – willow herb, dandelions, ragwort, evening primrose, bindweed and like this bedraggled specimen, butter and egg or toadflax.

Beautiful but sad, I bid them farewell for another year and look forward to regaining the colour with the spring. That seems like a lifetime away right now.

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#365daysofbiking Sugar me

September 2nd – Another product of wayside roses that’s beautiful but dare I say it, a little more mundane: The sugar-laden rosehips.

Rosehips are loved by jam, syrup and wine makers and, of course, many birds who devour the energy laden confections to fatten up for winter – and thankfully there seems to be a good crop this year.

They are beautiful colours, too…

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#365daysofbiking An unexpected flash of orange



August 21st – Returning from Birmingham, the train unexpectedly terminated at Tame Bridge due to a line fault or something, maybe the elastic band snapped.

I couldn’t be bothered with the ride home up through Walsall so hopped on the Tame Valley Canal and then home via Rushall Junction, Park Hall and Aldridge.

Passing through a nondescript bit of towpath near the Birmingham Road, a flash of bright, vivid orange caught my eye.

A gorgeous par of feral marigolds, just trying to make me happy.

They succeeded in their aim.

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#365daysofbiking Thistle and down

August 8th – Winching myself up Shire Oak Hill past Sandhills at the end of another long day, I noticed the thistles in the hedgerow, now gone to seed.

The breeze will soon catch those tufts of fluff and carry the attached seeds on the wind, hopefully to fertile fresh soil.

I loved how silly and beautiful the downy, soft seed carries were and how they caught the light. Thistles really are beautiful plants.

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#365daysofbiking Alien carrots!

August 6th – A couple of weeks ago I featured a new plant here – wild carrot. This curious, cow-parsley like edgeland weed was readily identifiable by a single dark flower in the centre of the umbel.

Wild carrot is just as distinctive when it goes to seed. This is a seed head; slightly redolent of a clematis, it’s odd, skeletal spines and hairy seeds are quite, quite alien and rather fascinating.

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#365daysofbiking Feet first

August 5th – Birdsfoot Trefoil is a staple throughout summer from the earliest of the season until autumn. It dapples lawns, verges and meadows with yellow and red patches, and is one of my favourite flowers.

Not many folk though realise how this plant got it\’s unusual name – it’s because the seed pods look like a bird’s feet.

This gorgeous flower is so very ubiquitous that it’s one of the few wildflowers I love that I’ve never bothered to collect the seed of and spread.

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#365daysofbiking Dark centre

July 18th – Yesterday, I found a plant that I considered may be wild carrot due to the presence of a tiny, dark flower in the centre of it’s otherwise creamy white umbrel. I wrote:

The reason I think this is wild carrot is the presence of a tiny dark flower in the centre of the head to attract insects – I’ll have another look tomorrow to verify this.

That is definitely a tiny, dark purple flower, so this plant is indeed wild carrot. Another baffling, wondrous feature you have to wonder the path towards.

This lovely wildflower was certainly keeping the overflies busy too.

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