BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘wildflowers’

#365daysofbiking First

Wednesday March 30th 2021 – Sorry for the grainy phone photo, but I found something on my way home tonight on Clayhanger Common that always fills me with joy.

First cowslip of the year.

I know cowslips will never win any wards for complexity or outstanding beauty, but these humble members of the primrose family are so gorgeous, and herald the spring like no other flower.

Coming as the daffodils fade, they assure you that summer is indeed on its way, and when I was a child, were very rare in these parts.

Thankfully, due to declining weedkiller use, improved habitats, and guerrilla seed scatterers like me, Clayhanger Common and other grassy areas are now awash with this wonderful wildflower.

Seeing the first one of the year is always a joy to the very soul.

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#365daysofbiking Flower power

Wedesday March 17th 2021 – On the cycleway near Stafford Park in Telford, the blackthorn is heavily in blossom, and it’s beautiful. The first of the major blossom shows, it’s only beaten here by the odd ornamental cherry that would have come into flower a month ago.

Blackthorn – the once sought after sloe, beloved of home brewers – is interesting as it flowers before coming fully into leaf (much of the greenery here is an interleaved hawthorn).

Lovely on a dull, chilly morning.

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#365daysofbiking An annual treat for the initiated

Saturday February 20th 2021 – Just north east of Chasewater dam, behind the houses that were once the homes of mine managers, there’s an early spring spectacle every year that’s a must see for the initiated – the annual snowdrop glade.

Sadly, in all the vears I’ve visited it, I’ve never caught it on a sunny day.

But even on a dull Saturday, these carpets of what must be tens of thousands of tiny white wildflowers are stunningly beautiful, on land that was formerly industrial.

And visible from here, people pass by on the dam and nearby footpaths without realising the beauty they’re missing not 50 years away.

It’s just a secret for those who know…

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#365daysofbiking A low blow

Wednesday January 13th 2021 – Someone complained to me today that my 365days was a bit down in the dumps of late. I guess it is, a little. It’s always hard to stay positive when you’re in midwinter and inspiration, and daylight, are hard to come by.

I will try and make it a little more positive in coming days and weeks: but that shouldn’t be as hard, because we’ll soon have lighter nights, daylight commutes, and spring flowers.

On the way back to work after an errand I spotted this roadside daisy in Pleck. It was open, beautiful, and optimistic.

I think I should learn by it’s example.

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#365daysofbiking Flagging it up

May 21st – I adore flag irises. They are lovely yellow harbingers of summer, and when they appear at the margins of the canal I know the peak of the very best of seasons is upon us.

Unfortunately they give me appalling hay fever and consequent sneezing fits.

I tolerate them though, as you cannot avoid the waterways when everything is just so beautiful.

So if you see a cyclist with streaming eyes, sneezing his head off and cursing profusely, it could well be me enduring my love for flag irises…

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#365daysofbiking Ubiquitous

May 13th – It’s cow parsley time again: This prolific edgeland and hedgerow dweller is a member of the carrot family, and is plentiful everywhere I go.

Sometimes mistaken for Queen Anne’s lace or the truly horrible, much taller giant hogweed, cow parsley or keck is an innocuous, edible and some consider medicinal plant that tastes a little like chervil.

The white flowerheads make for a gorgeous, if very overlooked display at this time of year. A pretty and misunderstood plant.

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#365daysofbiking These lanes are mine

May 10th – It’s been a long time since I was out this way, and it was wonderful to be back. From the old bridge at Handsacre to the rugged charm of the church at Hoar Cross, the afternoon and evening were thoroughly gorgeous.

It was lovely to see the wildflowers in that churchyard, with the bugle putting on a particularly fine showing this season. But the view over the valley and the residents keeping careful watch on me were all part of a fantastic, rejuvenating ride.

Most summers, these lanes are usually mine, yet somehow in the chaos, illness and fatigue of recent months, I’ve let them slip from my grasp.

It’s time to rectify that.

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