At 6:15 this morning it was 52 degrees F and the sky clear.
Took Discovery II today because, though a road bike allows the best position for getting power from the legs as well as for an aerodynamic shape, I missed viewing the scenery from a more upright position.
Again wanted both to link in to the maturing summer at Meadowbrook Park as well as just ride for some miles through the corn and beans, today south on Race Street.
But first stopped for a shot of “my” apple tree with its smallish reddening fruit.
When you observe a living thing many times through the different seasons, especially over repeated years, it becomes like a friend.
Then rode on, wondering what might be happening at the little prairie on Florida and Orchard, or at the Japan House Garden. It’s a full time of year for native flowers in east-central Illinois, but it makes more sense to enjoy what I can fit in than to worry about what I’m missing. 🙂
At Windsor Road, Race Street was closed, as anticipated,
but figured there would be a way for a bike to get in to Meadowbrook Park. There kind of was, though it didn’t appear very official. Just proceeded on toward the rabbit-statue bridge, took a photo of McCullough Creek in the sunrise, with a spiderweb to the left and what appeared to be a spider to the right.
(Another barely detectable image, but it is at least an indication, like the fox last time, of something very cool.
The sun over the creek was lovely, too.
Didn’t see the cardinal flowers right away, but walked down into the stream-side vegetation (which left my shorts and shoes full of little clinging seed-pods), stopping on the way to photograph a wingstem plant
and then, there they were, cardinal flowers.
The topmost buds were large and the flowers were coming to the late part of their bloom. But noticed several plants scattered around the site,
most on the bank close to me,
so didn’t have to cross Davis creek.
Almost got away to continue the trip but was pulled back by another, larger spike of red flowers.
Yes, could easily have spent a long time there!
But moved on to see whether the very first signs of bottle gentians (near the “Marker” statue) might be evident. On the way, saw an abundance of Gaura flowers,
delicate pink and white, quite a contrast with the fiery cardinal flowers! They were unmistakably more abundant this year than last.
Saw many blooming cream gentians but didn’t stop for photos. There will be other opportunities.
Near the Marker statue the grasses were getting taller. Did not really expect to see bottle gentians yet but looked where I’d seen them before. Mostly the search was negative. Then, saw a couple of tight but plainly bluish buds–here they were!
Looked forward to coming back to observe the bloom develop. Ah, hard not to slip away from the present in anticipation of the future….
On the way back to Race Street these thistles against the Black-eyed Susans near the rabbit-statue bridge caught my eye.
Another eye-catching image near the bridge was a fluffy, brown and white striped feather resting on a leaf, just above eye level.
Turned back toward Race Street (took the official exit) and headed south. It was good to ride. The simpler the landscape got, the smoother my breathing became. It felt good to push the speed a little and breathe deeply.
Couldn’t resist stopping just long enough to catch the mighty late-August corn with its ears beginning to bend back away from the stalks.
Noticed that I was getting colder: feet, hands and ears, as I rode along, exertion and deep breathing notwithstanding. Walking through plants in the morning means getting wet feet. Closed shoes probably would be good as fall approaches.
Stopped (per the sign) where Race Street ran into country road 900 N.
When there is more time will jog to the left or right and keep going.
On the way back noticed these huge utility poles that hadn’t yet been strung with wires.
Made me wonder how they accomplish that. Could be that they’re actually wireless, I guess, like the wifi I’m using to work on this post. Must return and see what they look like in a couple weeks.
Enjoyed the continuous stretch on the way back. There is something comforting about the familiarity of the way back. There is something comforting about letting go of thinking for a while and just residing in the physical motion.
Closer to home, observed that the U of I egg sales place on south Race Street was open for business–just then it happened to be within the three and a half hour window each week when it’s open. So stopped and bought a dozen.
Aside from being cold, was very pleased with this morning’s ride grateful that it included both great scenery and decent milage.