This morning of the longest day of the year (and Fathers’ Day) it was 70 degrees F and, surprise, surprise, cloudy at 6:00. Wonder if I would have had better success at being up and, (this was the hard part) out the door for the precious extra daylight of this time of year if the sun had been visible on the horizon. Even with the delay caused by the clouds it just was hard to attain escape velocity any sooner than at the habitual time. Which still is early enough to enjoy the light and open space of a morning bike ride. So enjoy, already.
The iPhone weather ap said there was a 100 percent chance of storms at 6 am, which threw a wrench in my plans to put on some miles this morning. Oh, the uncertainty! So settled for staying close and focusing on the flowers just coming into bloom at the Florida and Orchard prairie garden and on a quick trip to check on the lead plants at the City of Champaign Prairie Restoration on Windsor Road near Neil Street.
Planned to take Rhododendron, but found that, incredibly, the front tire was soft!?! Thought I’d solved the problem of the previous repeat flat (glass embedded in the tire, which I removed, for crying out loud!). It wasn’t flat, but neither was I going to just fill it up and ride. Time for a visit to the bike shop.
So off on Discovery II I went, stopping for a shot of the new apples on “my” tree.
At the Florida Avenue prairie garden, the dominant color was green, followed by the yellow of black-eyed Susans and false sunflowers.
On closer inspection, there were Monarda,
as well as hordes of mosquitoes. The speed with which I was covered with itching bites made me marvel at the methods to which creatures resort to sustain themselves and how absurd the concept of theft is to them. Made me consider that the mosquito is as unconscious of the suffering it causes me as I am, most of the time, of the suffering caused by e.g., my purchase of goods, e.g., perhaps this nifty iPhone, made by underpaid workers. Of course, the mosquito is not equipped with the means of consciousness that I am. Funny how the long chain of steps between me and suffering can muffle that consciousness.
So didn’t stay long, even though the diversity of flowers was tempting.
Rode on down Florida Avenue and turned south on Fourth Street, which only recently had been continued to Windsor Road. It was quite a lovely road that swayed pleasantly and, I’m sure, intentionally back and forth on its way to Windsor.
Then turned west on Windsor and was delighted to see the lead plants in mid-bloom around the sign for the City of Champaign Prairie Restoration.
And maybe next year I’ll be out for the solstice-time sunrises.