March 23rd - A mystery that’s been puzzling me for a long time has been solved.
This time of year, I always note floating roots in the canal, often sprouting foliage. I had thought they were the way reedmace spreads, but discovered this was incorrect last year, so they remained a mystery.
Thanks to someone I work with (thanks, Dagmar) I now know these are the way a water plant spreads, but not rushes or reeds, but water lilies.
These roots are water lily rhizomes, from which the clumps of the delightful summer flowers spout. I never realised that under the water, they were linked in clumps.
March 11th - Unusually for a Saturday, I was at work all day, and returned on a pleasant ride that started in daylight, and finished in darkness after a trip to the supermarket.
Hopping on the canal at Bentley Bridge in Darlaston Green, I noted the resurfacing of this section of towpath was well underway, and a nice job it is too - although more beneficial than the previous stretch, the towpath wasn’t that bad here and I don’t really see the point - but it is nice and I’ll use it more.
The sweep over the derelict arm bridge near the Anson Branch rolls wonderfully and will be fun at speed.
At Pleck I was puzzled by the graffiti sprayed on the wall behind the wine warehouse - anyone any idea what this is about? I feel it’s genuinely historical rather than just being the work of some addled stoner but can’t put my finger on it.
March 20th - One aspect of springtime in Walsall that’s always worth a mention are the fantastic displays of daffodils on public land - grass verges, open spaces and parks are full of cheery patches of which-growing gaffs, and are always a joy to behold.
Here at Shelfied, where the railway once ran, white blooms form a positive sea of colour. Planting them was clearly very hard work, and an inspired act of beauty and felicity.
Thanks to those who did so, and those who are careful not to mow the deadheads down afterwards, thus protecting the following spring’s showing.
June 17th - I cycled past the coos of Jockey Meadows at half six. It was clearly knocking off time. It had been raining and everywhere was grey and dismal. But something about these gentle, inquisitive beasts always cheers me up.