Been trying to make it out of the house before 5, but so far this morning’s 5:04 is the closest I’ve come. The temperature was 64 degrees F, the sky filled with medium-sized clouds loosely jammed together.
Today’s destination was somewhere southwest, but yielded first to the temptation to loop through Meadowbrook Park. It was a good place to see the shapes of the clouds change color as the sun rose.
Saw a picturesque deer browsing in a snowy expanse of Penstemon under the clouds.
Red-winged blackbirds with their graphic red-and-yellow accents decorated either side of the path and made a whole array of different sounds, including one with two notes that kind of reminded me of the beginning of the theme from The Bridge on the River Kwai, though it was not exactly the same interval. Heard one say “Mom!” in a different place (near the Marker statue) as well as in the usual place near the Freyfogel Overlook.
Got a decent shot of spiderwort, Penstemon, and clouds.
Saw my first blooming Meadowbrook purple coneflower, along Windsor Road a little west of Vine. But didn’t get a picture; maybe thought there would be another, better one.
Saw not a sign of other human beings at Meadowbrook this morning. Had a kind of satisfied-greed feeling, like a sweet little time of having it all to myself, of not having to share. (Something left over from being one of seven siblings?)
Stopped at the City of Champaign Prairie Restoration, where there were lots of spiderwort, some Penstemon, the amazing lead plants near the sign, at least one new purple coneflower, and a newly blooming Baptista all around which had been mown. Also there were lots of invasive non-natives (like, e.g., my own people): crown vetch, sweet clover, curly dock, and that pervasive, huge white umbel that kind of resembles Queen Anne’s lace, poison hemlock.
Backtracked slightly and rode down First Street at good speed under the clouds,
in the comfort of the June morning, out to what eventually turned into Airport Road, which ran into US 45, the only way to proceed northward
to Old Church without considerable backtracking. Yikes! But there was a wide shoulder and very little traffic (whew!). Turned west on Old Church to that lovely stretch of bike path that becomes south Prospect.