BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

October 19th- a busy, fraught and not terribly productive day, I spun out past teatime into a dark, deserted and somnambulant town. I had the little tripod, and I welcomed the darkness back into my life.

I spun up the High Street, over Anchor Bridge, and back down the canal, and didn’t see a soul; there was life on the narrowboats, as the chimneys were gently smoking, yet there were no other signs of life at all. 

I love the new LED floodlights on Silver Court - and Anchor Bridge will always be a muse.

Time to embrace the blackness again…

October 9th - I came back through Walsall and had to make a call in Chuckery. Just as I came over the brow of the hill on the Sutton Road, I caught sight of the moon.
We don’t seem to get normal, plain old moons any more. Every one lately has to be a ‘supermoon’, a ‘blood moon’ or some other silliness. Still, as long as folk look up and see our sole astronomical satellite, I guess it’s all good.
A handheld, spur of the moment shot with a small, consumer camera. Inbetween me, and that big old moon? Just static, and silence. Sobering, and impressive to think about.

October 9th - I came back through Walsall and had to make a call in Chuckery. Just as I came over the brow of the hill on the Sutton Road, I caught sight of the moon.

We don’t seem to get normal, plain old moons any more. Every one lately has to be a ‘supermoon’, a ‘blood moon’ or some other silliness. Still, as long as folk look up and see our sole astronomical satellite, I guess it’s all good.

A handheld, spur of the moment shot with a small, consumer camera. Inbetween me, and that big old moon? Just static, and silence. Sobering, and impressive to think about.

October 9th - I was in Birmingham for an evening meeting. It was dark and beautiful on my return. Cathedral Square and a very quiet station made for some interesting night shots - remarkably, without a tripod. Really pleased with the night performance of this little camera, so much better than previous models. 

The oncoming darkness doesn’t seem so bad this year yet. I’m sort of warming to it…

October 6th - It was a dreadful morning commute, and running late on the way home meant I didn’t have much time to stop. The heavy rains and wind of the morning sapped all my reserves of energy and patience; the riding was difficult and the driving poor. 

Thankfully, by my somewhat late return, it was dry with an interesting dusk sky and what I suspect was a decent sunset, although I couldn’t get in a good place to see it.

From Walsall Station it looked impressive, if a little ominous. As I passed the Black Cock at Bullings Heath later on, it started to spot with rain again, even though the moon was large and clear.

A horrid day for commuting.

October 2nd - The skies were dark and dusk was settling on Walsall when I came from work, tired and finding it hard to keep any speed up. I was loaded with shopping, and unwell, so it was a real drag; but as soon as I looked around me, I realised that I was entering the autumn dusk, and actually, it’s a thing of beauty.

I’m glad to note either my hands are steadier this year, or the camera is better in low light than previous ones, as none of these images was taken with a tripod.

The darkness isn’t all bad.

September 4th - I forgot my camera today, so instead I grabbed it and my little tripod when I had to run a late evening errand. It was quite still in Brownhills this evening, and there were few people around. 

I am fascinated by the new white LED streetlights the council are installing in some places. Unlike the ones in Birmingham, these seem much brighter and clearer than the sodium ones they replace, and the cold white light the spread is somewhat otherworldly, particularly on street corners where old and new technologies overlap.

At the Pier Street bridge, I was fascinated by the lights shining off the surface of the canal, something I’d forgotten in the light days of a summer now passed.

Now autumn is upon us, I must sharpen up my night photography techniques.

August 24th - Aside from the motorcyclists, it was a lovely ride home. I’d been at a family thing, and came home via Chasewater and the canals, hoping to catch the swans again. I didn’t see them, but the fading light made everything ghostly. The canal was still flat as a millpond, and Chasewater wasn’t much livelier.

The light and the water combined to make everything precious, and despite not having my tripod, I managed to get some reasonable pictures.

August 14th - I found myself back in Walsall at dusk, having been on a mad dash to Sutton. Finally relaxed and happy, I enjoyed the evening light and a peaceful ride home with the wind assisting me.

Some days are just frantic from start to finish. But it’s nice to feel a very hectic period come to an end. Oh for a few days off and a bit of blessed normalcy. 

July 31t - I had something to go to in the evening, and returned late. I returned after dark, and it was beautiful, as late summer nights tend to be; it had rained briefly in the afternoon and the damp had drawn out the frogs, toads and gastropods in huge numbers.

This delightful pair were within six inches of each other on the grass by the canal at Silver Street. 

Some people find these creatures of the night slimy and unpleasant; I think they’re beautiful, in their own way.

July 25th - I nearly squished him (I assume it’s a he), but this common toad was quite happy in the middle of the towpath and wasn’t moving for anyone. I lit him carefully with my bike light, and I think the results aren’t too bad.

I love frogs and toads. So full of character.

July 25th - A busy day, but the foot improved no end, and a great meeting with an old friend started the weekend off well. I spun out at sunset, as night fell, to Chasewater. Not a bad sunset, and the warmth and light was a joy to behold.

We are so lucky to have this place on our doorsteps.

July 9th - I’ve worked 40 out of the last 64 hours. It isn’t leaving a lot of time for anything much, but I’m still cycling; it’s my interregnum between home and work, and enables me to straighten things out and relax a bit.

This was my journey home tonight from New Street Station, in snatched photos. 

Stations at night again, I can’t help myself. It’s that Late Night Feelings thing coming to the surface again…

July 8th - It’s been a while since I got a good sunset in the bag. I was tired. I had caffeine shakes. I was a stressed, weary mess. But Cycling home in this really sorted me out.

Divine.

July 8th - Working late. Exhausted, with very sore eyes, I hit Shenstone station just as darkness was falling. Pleased to note this camera takes very decent handheld shots in low light. This rural station is a long-time muse of mine, and I find the station building and environment fascinating, particularly at night.

In high summer like this, working late and catching the dark is a rare treat, and despite my bleariness, I did try and savour the light…

May 1st - I had thought I was alone on the pub terrace. However, an ominous crunch made me look down… and the patio was actually busy with slugs and snails, presumably energised by the damp after the previously dry days. 
I picked up the bike and carefully stepped around them. I always feel pangs of guilt when I hear that crunch. I have a soft spot for these fascinating, bizarre creatures. Hate to kill them.

May 1st - I had thought I was alone on the pub terrace. However, an ominous crunch made me look down… and the patio was actually busy with slugs and snails, presumably energised by the damp after the previously dry days. 

I picked up the bike and carefully stepped around them. I always feel pangs of guilt when I hear that crunch. I have a soft spot for these fascinating, bizarre creatures. Hate to kill them.