Saturday 10 January 2015. Cold Ride

At 6:18 this morning, as the clear sky was getting light but before the sun had actually cleared the horizon, the temperature was an even zero. Put on the necessary layers of clothing and slipped toe-warmers into the shoes and hand-warmers into the the double layer of home-made mittens.

The garage door was reluctant to open, but I would not be put off this morning!
Took a little persuasion, but was able to get the door open far enough to be able to take good old Rhododendron out for a ride.

Felt toasty warm, if a bit constrained, especially in the neck area. But rolled steadily southward toward Meadowbrook Park on the largely cleared the middle of the road (not the bike lane, which was half snow-covered) Race Street.

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The “wonky Christmas tree” caught my eye from a distance,

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but couldn’t quite get the effect in a photo. It looked like a prowling creature. Really.

Looked forward to seeing ice below the rabbit-statue bridge, but stopped before that to photograph a nest-filled crab-apple tree with the new morning light behind it.

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With a little caution and a little abandon negotiated the downhill, slightly icy curves toward the rabbit-statue bridge. Got a shot of the statue capped by a bit of snow, bridge behind.

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The ice on McCullough Creek was not a smooth, uniform layer.

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There was snow over the ice, a lot of animal footprints, and an open, unfrozen place.

The downstream side of the bridge was even more interesting. Small animals had been doing something there.

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The overhanging roots near the unfrozen spot upstream sheltered ice crystals.

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Could have spent a long time walking up the creek-bank but wanted to save some warmth for the end of the trip.

Saw (but did not hear!) those waving white dish-towel tails of the eponymous deer, frolicking, it seemed, then receding away from me. Did not see any antlers. My, those deer are quiet.

And it was beautifully quiet as the sun broke free of the horizon. The sun was too brash, already, to photograph directly, but the western sky “blushed” with its new light.

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Was extra glad for the hand-warmers; the big toes were good, that’s where the toe-warmers were positioned, though the outer toes could have been warmer. Forgot that it’s actually better to position the foot-warmers perpendicular to the way they were intended.

Had to remind myself to breathe through the nose, which has a specially designed place to warm the incoming air and just feels better when you
persist in doing it. Another example of defaulting to the less beneficial choice, of needing to apply awareness.

Was happy and proud to connect with this winter morning.

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