The Mad Old Baggage

The Mad Old Baggage

More ramblings.....

9 notes

brownhillsbob:

August 22nd - The sun came out, and whilst riding over Anchor Bridge I’d noticed the swan family were headed off up the canal at a determined pace. I snatched a frankly awful picture, then went on my way. My mission in Brownhills aborted, I doubled back to get some better pictures, and quickly found the swans in a morass of at least 200 Canada Geese on the canal between Catshill Junction and Silver Street. 

The swans are in fine fettle - I had been concerned last week after not seeing them awhile, and there had been a surplus of white feathers on the water near the bridge, but it turned out volunteers had been ringing them. According to reports, they spent a couple of days sulking in Aldridge, then came back.

Quite what’s attracting the numbers of geese here, I have no idea. I note there’s some outrage about Sandwell having undertaken a cull recently, but with few predators, goose numbers are skyrocketing, which increases pressure on food supplies. It’s a tricky question I guess.

After all, one does get so attached to these birds…

6 notes

balltobuild:

Sunday 14th August 2014

" Round Rutland "

This trip was initially scheduled for last weekend ! but the wet weather put a stop to that, so even though this weekends weather forecast wasn’t great we took a chance and headed up there for a ride around Rutland.

We were greeted with fierce winds and an overcast day, but pleasantly warm, we opted for the full 23ml circuit which was to take in the peninsula trail as well. Regular followers of the blog will know that we usually take in a rest stop at one of the local pubs ! todays hosts were the Horse & Jockey at Manton, nice food but awful lager ( flat & lifeless )

All in all a nice ride, although some of the inclines were hard work, but just reward with downhill freewheeling to make up for them. A nice mix of tarmac path / loose gravel / & woodland trails.

6 notes

balltobuild:

Sunday 14th August 2014

" Round Rutland the other bits "

Just a few more snaps from Sundays cycle ride around Rutland water reservoir, this was a 150 mile round trip for us, but certainly worth the effort.

Another one for the to do again list !

46 notes

brownhillsbob:

July 20th - A day coloured mainly by the sad news of the loss of a good man, but as I rode the canal mid-afternoon, taking it gentle, I reflected on life. I noted a family of 4 cygnets and mum - dad seems to be gone - doing well up in Walsall Wood. I think they’re from up the canal in Pelsall. They are healthy birds, clearly getting by just fine.

Further down the water at Catshill Junction, the swans from Catshill still numbered seven youngsters and two parents. Nature is cruel, but the cycle of life continues.

I’ve grown very attached to these birds, have many of the local residents. It’s odd that we take such beautiful but grumpy and obstreperous characters to our hearts, but we do.

We feel great sadness at the toll of nature, and predators. But that’s the roll of nature’s dice, and it was ever thus.

And life continues, as it always has.

2 notes

What better way to spend a hot and sunny (cue what a scorcher headlines - yawn) afternoon than cycling along the canal from Aldridge to Birmingham and return?

Got very hot and very sweaty but oh how beautiful the journey was. Sandwell Valley looked positively Mediterranean in the shimmering light and Birmingham looked at it best. Tourists from near and far were enjoying the bars, pubs and cafes along the canal at Gas St, Broad St basins and Brindley Place. We stopped at what I’ve always considered a gem of a place; Canalside and enjoyed a cream tea. We will be returning soon minus bikes to sample the fine selection of ciders they offer.

The whole journey felt very continental. I love it when it’s hot!

Filed under cycling daw end branch birmingham canalside aldridge sandwell valley

25 notes

brownhillsbob:

madoldbaggage:

This one is for Bob. Spotted today just before Brownhills town centre, Mom swan and just five cygnets. I didn’t see any other swans at all until back by Aldridge marina and that was a solitary adult so it looks as though two of the cygnets have been lost. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Bob

Fear not! This family are, I think, from Pelsall. Yesterday evening I spotted the Catshill brood up by Ogley Junction, and 7 were present in a neat line with mum and dad, presumably heading somewhere to roost.Cheers for keeping an eye out. The youngsters are now nearly the size of their parents. I’ve been wondering when and how they learn to fly - that must be a thing to witness…

brownhillsbob:

madoldbaggage:

This one is for Bob. Spotted today just before Brownhills town centre, Mom swan and just five cygnets. I didn’t see any other swans at all until back by Aldridge marina and that was a solitary adult so it looks as though two of the cygnets have been lost. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Bob

Fear not! This family are, I think, from Pelsall. Yesterday evening I spotted the Catshill brood up by Ogley Junction, and 7 were present in a neat line with mum and dad, presumably heading somewhere to roost.
Cheers for keeping an eye out. The youngsters are now nearly the size of their parents. I’ve been wondering when and how they learn to fly - that must be a thing to witness…

25 notes

This one is for Bob. Spotted today just before Brownhills town centre, Mom swan and just five cygnets. I didn’t see any other swans at all until back by Aldridge marina and that was a solitary adult so it looks as though two of the cygnets have been lost. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Bob

This one is for Bob. Spotted today just before Brownhills town centre, Mom swan and just five cygnets. I didn’t see any other swans at all until back by Aldridge marina and that was a solitary adult so it looks as though two of the cygnets have been lost. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Bob

Filed under brownhills cygnets

4 notes

A short 12 mile ride today along local canals and encompassing Park Lime Pits LNR. It’s the first time for a while I’ve rode alone and so I allowed myself the luxury of stopping often to take photographs. It was a beautiful morning and not too many people were about, which meant I enjoyed the peace and solitude and had time to reflect upon my cycling.

I first cycled in November 2011. Unfortunately Aiden’s accident, horrible winters and ill health have meant that I haven’t always been able to cycle as much as I would have liked to but recently real progress has been made and this week I’ve managed 70 miles. I live in the hope that this can continue and that in the not too distant future I will complete my first 50 miler. It’s been baby steps all the way along but then cycling for the first time just a few months short of my 50th birthday meant I had so much to learn.

I love riding locally and I don’t get bored with the same routes as they change each week, with something different to look at as the seasons progress. We have so much beauty on our doorsteps.

Filed under daw end canal park lime pits cycle

4 notes

Sunsets don’t get much better than this one. About 9.40 pm tonight, my back garden, perched on an old wooden garden chair, pointing and so grateful to get this 

Sunsets don’t get much better than this one. About 9.40 pm tonight, my back garden, perched on an old wooden garden chair, pointing and so grateful to get this 

Filed under sunset aldridge

163 notes

brownhillsbob:

July 6th - I wasn’t in the mood to ride much - I had lots of work to do, so just popped up to Chasewater to check out the Craft & Farmers market, which again, disappointed. I shan’t bother with that again.

I spun out for a circuit around the park, and was taken by the buddleia, water lilies and various marsh orchids, which out here, unlike the ones near the canal, hadn’t gone over yet.

I stated last week that the flowering time was passing; but I was wrong. Things are still flowering well, just in different ways and different places.

This really is a most excellent summer.