Sunday 27 April 2014. A Bit of Struggle to First Street

Heard the first avian announcement, the rousing robin solo (How do they decide which robin gets to do it? Is it the same bird for several days in a row or do they take turns? No, in nature they’re more likely to fight over it, I think. Or maybe the early bird is just stuck with it….) at 4:15, no kidding, this morning!

Later, getting ready to go out, heard a white-throated sparrow, though not in the “largo” version, alas.

Made it out by 5:50, when it was cloudy and 54 degrees F, with that strange easterly wind blowing.

Determined, after several days during 30 Days of Biking of short trips to put in a few miles. So headed out for south First Street, even though I still felt a bit under the weather.

Noticed that “my” apple tree was coming back to life, which, together with the quiet of the street in the rest of its spring array, was energizing.

Short trips in the middle of the day can be nice enough, but there’s nothing like devoting the quiet time of the morning to observing the world around one as it is. Even fighting a cold.

Stopped at the prairie planting on Florida Avenue to see what was emerging.

Passed by Japan House and noted that the fabulous cherry blossoms were a few days away from their future glory.
Headed west on Windsor and stopped to check out the Izzak Walton pond at First Street. Saw only a single goose and mallard duck, but spotted a bunch of aligned goose feathers on the ground. Couldn’t imagine how that happened, except maybe that the rest If the goose escaped a predator. (?)

First Street was windy, though mostly with a cross-wind, which didn’t impede progress too much.

Passing the U of I Swine Research facility noted a particularly assertive olfactory presence.

Wanted to ride far enough out First Street to pass all the new housing developments. Not sure I did, but turned back where there were some Angus cattle in the front yard.

On the way back was glad First Street was mostly downhill, because the wind was angling a bit northeasterly. For 54 degrees (and I having cycled through the winter, for crying out loud!), I was rather cold, and not sure whether the joy of being on the road was outweighing the discomfort. It was curious example (though not extreme, as these things go) of pain and pleasure duking it out. Thought of how much more pleasant it would be later in the season. But that was getting away from the precious present moment.

Which now is distinctly a pleasure to recall.


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