Missed an unseasonably warm day for a ride yesterday; this morning it was a seasonable 21 degrees F. But was ready to get out and see whatever might be there, prepared with hand warmers (two of them!), toe warmers, layers, balaclava.
This morning was eager to go (on Blue) somewhere I hadn’t been for a while: to see whether the possum remains I’d seen several times at the NE corner of the High Cross Road bridge over I-74 were still there, and if so, in what condition they might be.
Set out on Blue and got about half a block away when the creak of its chain was just too much–turned back to the house and gave it a couple if squirts of lube. Aaaah!
Headed north and east as the morning light was coming up. Realized that there are certain better places to see the sun rise (and set, if I could focus on it at that time if day), even in town. Main Street in downtown Urbana actually is a pretty good place to see the sun rise. Here is this morning’s.
Hardly made it to downtown and already the northerly breeze was a challenge to my cycling comfort and a distraction. Ok. Just a little at a time.
Fortunately, the sky, which seemed at first to be just clear and plain, provided a compelling little drama for me to anticipate and follow, to compete with my cold face and fingers for my attention. It was lovely to be riding directly into it as hints of pinks and mauves bloomed into orange and gold.
Got a shot of the former Solo Cup plant, which, since the last time I took a photo has been renamed “Dart.” Noticed that the front of the
plant has been cleared of obstructing vegetation even beyond leaf drop, like they intend to stay in operation for a while. Not sure whether they still make “red Solo cups” there, if in fact, they ever did, or at least did recently.
Stopped for a sunrise shot of Weaver Park and was tempted to go in and look around, but fought the urge. Really wanted to see the
bones, which would be a satisfying, quick endpoint. Got back on the bike, only to stop again to photo two little crab trees, a nest in
Thought maybe the trip was long enough, and was ready again to go home, but pushed on. Did a lot of taking the fingers out of the glove fingers and holding the hand warmers. Brrrr!
Made it to the I-74 bridge and rode up into a stiff northerly breeze. Oh, man. Had those Antarctic thoughts. Even wondered if it was safe to be doing this on a busy-ish road with my attention so taken up with being cold. My hands were so stiff I couldn’t change gears; had to just climb slowly on cruising gear. Just focused on the task, with patience and persistence. But then it was exciting, being in the wind, up over the interstate, which provided some warmth, I think.
And on the north side of the bridge, just over the east guardrail, there were the bones!!
They were almost all clean and disarticulated, and rather jumbled, no longer held together with skin and fur, gruesome and grimacing, as they were when I’d first seen them in May, but perfectly suitable for viewing by general audiences. Was interesting to see also some of the same debris accompanying them as I’d seen through the summer. Actually felt a kind of reverence for the bones, these remaining smooth, dry shapes that once together supported a living, moving, moist being, honored that I was able to observe as it went through the process of coming apart and returning to the earth. It was a good place to turn back, and I was glad to have made it here.
Glad no cars came by while I took pictures. It’s really not the best place to stop.
The traffic heading west on Main street was quiet, less actually than it was for a while earlier heading east. Wasn’t a problem
On the way back, the sun lit up this sycamore. Ah, morning!
Got a shot of a road hazard I recalled being as bad as ice (sweet gum seed “balls”), though this particular collection seemed pretty much flattened by the wheels of motor vehicles and safer than when they’d been newly fallen and round as ball bearings.
Cold, yes, but oh so good to be out!