Sunday 21 December 2014. Down the Hill on the Shortest Day of the Year

It was 33 degrees F and the sky back to its almost-uniformly grey state at 7:30 this morning as I departed on Rhododendron from Carle Hospital, where I hope soon not to spend so much time.

Remembered that today is the winter solstice, when, close to the North Pole, the sun will not appear all day and, near the South Pole, it will not set. And it will be the longest time of darkness in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest time of daylight in the Southern Hemisphere. Marveled at how people could have figured out what really was going on there. The senses certainly did not provide that information directly. Cognition and logic extend and expand the information of the senses. Perhaps other kinds of processes do, as well.

Stopped for a shot of the Crystal Lake Labyrinth,

but did not stop to walk it. Headed past the county fairgrounds to “my” dear little hill at the northwest corner of Busey Woods and stopped (because it was pretty early on a Sunday morning and not busy) for a photo of the top.

I’ve found that it’s difficult to capture the sense of incline of a hill (at least around here) because it requires the inclusion of the right points of reference.

Took another shot

but don’t think this one told it quite, either. So just enjoyed (a little less because of being alert for the oncoming car) the ride down, between the woods and the cemetery. Thought of death (“where is thy victory?”) only briefly. Talk about the senses not giving the whole picture…. It came too close recently for me to devote much attention to it just then. There were more pressing matters of survival and health.

After riding around the corner onto Broadway, cut back into Crystal Lake Park at the pool entrance to follow the meandering of the Saline Branch before heading home.

Discovered this path riding to the pool in the summer. For this little stretch you wouldn’t know you were in central Illinois.

Really liked the swaying path above the stream.

Stopped to look over the bank and there were ducks!

They hurried along when they saw me observing them but did get a photo.

A little farther down spotted a really large, at least 18 inches in diameter, shelf fungus,

which was hard to investigate more closely because of the dense undergrowth.

Was not so observant of things around me as I may have been on another morning, but it was as good as ever to be out in the world on the bike!


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