September 20th - A busy, draining day. I had urgent and unexpected stuff to attend to in Redditch, so headed out early. Expecting a quiet journey, it was horrid, and the task I had to undertake didn’t go smoothly either. At 11:30am, I left Redditch and had to go to Tyseley, so to get a bit of perspective I cycled up the Arrow Valley cycle route back to Redditch Station. It’s interesting how, even in this most unusual of years, some things have prospered. One of those things is hawthorn. Everywhere I go, hedgerows and trees are laden with deep red berries. Some say this is the sign of nature preparing for a hard winter.
The fruits themselves are edible but quite bland, and not actually berries at all; they are pomes, the same structure and type of fruit as apples. Haws are said to have health and fertility promoting properties, and can be used to make wine or jams. Birds love them, and will survive on this plentiful, sugar-laden bounty during the long months of winter.