Was totally psyched to ride to Meadowbrook Park this morning. It was 48 degrees F (!), with yesterday’s rain still in evidence. January, and already it’s ” mud luscious.” Yes, the evidence of global warming is disturbing and requires what response we can make, but I’m trying hard to accept the day’s weather as it comes. Today’s was making it easier to do something I liked to do; hard to complain about that.
The sky was full but not packed solid with large but mostly thin clouds. Loved the way the hint of color crept across the sky from the
horizon as the sun made its way up. But that was before the “official” ride, which did’t happen till 8 am, when the sun made a yellowish streak amid grey clouds.
Stopped near the beginning of the trip to photo some fallen apples that I’ve been observing since late summer. The decay process
(aided, no doubt, by recent freeze-thaw) is underway.
Strangely enough, felt cold! Seemed to be appropriately dressed (details in mild weather don’t seem necessary), but the southerly breeze (or was it just ” biker’s breeze?”) seemed to rob my heat. Just wasn’t all joyfully engaged at that point. Realized I missed the regularity of my rides. It’s probably more important in winter to ride a lot so one can be comfortable in different conditions. Alas.
There were so many people at Meadowbrook (though did not photograph them). Saw several people I used to see first thing in the morning in summer, and lots of others. Thought it was strange till I remembered that it was late enough for the not-quite-so-early risers to be there, and also that it was a beautifully mild, beckoning kind if day to be out.
Made a big loop and caught sight (actually was alerted by someone walking the other direction) of several deer, large, antler-less, and
grey-brown like the dry grass and leafless shrubs. Again, missed the old camera’s zoom.
Noticed the Santa hats were still on the “Processing Difficult Emotions” sculpture. (The hat from memory was way too small.)
Parked Blue at the play structure rack and walked to the Windsor/Vine bridge. The water was clear and the surface moved with some kind of animal life beneath, but long as I looked, couldn’t see a single tadpole or fish. Was it all the human company that made it hard to focus? The angle of the light?
Walked along the path near the creek (the “small loop”) and then in all the way to the bank where worn paths connected it with the main path. Noticed a lot of green moss on the ground near the stream. Does it grow more green in winter (at least on relatively warm
days) or does one just notice it more amid all the color-drained dead vegetation?
Noted and photographed the chewed alders, the holes in mounds near the banks, and what looked to be entrances to burrows from the
stream-bank. Saw ducks a ways downstream but no beavers nor any tracks in the mud that were clearly beavers’. Saw, floating, a thick
piece of (alder, I guess) stripped stick that looked very much like a Flaming Hot Cheeto, or maybe a carrot.
Noticed how different it was, from the last time I was there, to observe the same sites, even the same structures, from the other side of the creek, in warmer weather, with less solitude.
Was amazed that I never noticed the alder trees by McCullough Creek. Never noticed how both their pollen- and seed-producing structures remain dangling on the tree all year, as could clearly be seen in this example right by the Windsor/Vine bridge. Was amazed
at how orange an alder’s cambium (beneath the bark), exposed by beaver teeth, could be.
Rode back through the Peg Richardson Hickman Wildflower Walk and heard a woodpecker tapping, not the rapid-fire of excavating a home nor of calling a mate, but just slowly tapping, I assume looking for food. Tried really hard to get a photo of it that was at all
recognizable, but was unable, alas! The tree-tops and sky are nice enough, I guess. Do miss that zoom capacity of my lost camera for documenting shy critters.
Saw, on the way home, in the field on the west side of Race Street, a couple of crows chasing off a hawk.
Looking forward to catching up on my old posts, which I hope to do this week!