Welcome to Velo du Jour’s 100th post! It’s been a joy to record and share my adventures. Hope to keep it up (even if less frequently) for a long time, and hope it has something for you to enjoy.
Took a long time to get out of the house this morning because I sat for a while at the computer trying to figure out how to connect the path along Copper Slough through Heritage Park with the path along the creek in Robeson Park. Finally figured out that they don’t connect (the Robeson Park creek is a branch of Copper Slough that joins at Staley Road and about Windsor). So opted for the Phinney Branch ride, which I took via Meadowbrook Park.
Finally got out on Blue. Not far along on the way, there was something interesting: lots of bees in the moonflowers. It
immediately struck me as unusual –don’t usually see bees active this early in the morning–and I thought that moonflowers were pollenated by night-flying moths. But there were the bees, humming away. Maybe in this drought year there were fewer of their usual flowers available, and they were working “extra hours” with different flowers.
Rode to the Windsor/Vine bridge at Meadowbrook and checked for beavers but didn’t see any, alas. No frogs, almost no bird song. Just field crickets.
Meadowbrook Park along Windsor Road featured some lovely Gaura, which spread its thin, branching stems pink and white
among the prairie dock, tall Coreopsis, a few remaining rosinweed and compass plant blooms. Still lower down among the
prairie plants were many cream gentians, many of those with open blooms. Haven’t found any blue ones in this area.
On Windsor Road, heading west toward my destination realized I’d forgotten my bike helmet!?! Thought briefly about going back to get it, but suppressed my regret by pretending I was the helmetless, carefree college student that had put many accident-free miles on her bike many years ago. The wind-in-my-hair was nice, but still didn’t like setting a bad example for other cyclists, and missed that protected feeling the helmet gives. Life is so not perfect.
Passed right by the City of Champaign prairie on Windsor near Neil. Can’t always take in everything!
But one of the lessons Velo du Jour has taught me is that even one wonder observed, even if I’m brain-dead with distraction or discomfort for the rest of it, can make the whole trip a pleasure and a “success.”
So got on the trail at Robeson Park, at Duncan between Windsor and Kirby. Right away there was a lovely dip and turn. But the narrow path was crowded with walkers, so I got off to take some photos of the shore of Phinney Branch.
The cloudy morning once again made me feel moody, my attention going to the inside and erratically to the outside. Made me feel glad I wasn’t Lewis or Clark, or even, maybe especially, Sacagawea. They had to have a sequential, organized description (or at least a mental picture) of where they went and what they saw. On Velo du Jour, I can just talk about what most grabs my attention.
The wooded trail behind peoples’ back yards crossed Phinney Branch several times, back and forth, each with a dip, a turn, a little bridge. It was lovely and made me want to stop and investigate, but the going was pleasant also. Could tell that Phinney Branch received some form of sewage, though the faint aroma didn’t completely distract from the otherwise lovely course.
Came out by Westminster Presbyterian Church (Crescent Street near Kirby), a different place than I’d ended up from this trail when I first discovered it a couple of weeks ago. I look forward to more exploration.