Saturday 28 November 2015. Cloudy Skies Over  Kauffman Lake and Heritage Park 

This post-Thanksgiving Saturday morning was full of time-slots liberated by the holiday, and I filled the first one with yoga. 

Though there always, always is more yoga that could be done than time in which to do it, felt reasonably calm this morning about temporal limitations. 

Promised myself to methodically work  through the Neck and Shoulders book, which I opened and came upon a pose (Pavan Muktanasana) with variations that I hadn’t much studied before. Lo and behold, it was exactly what I needed just then. The rest of practice was calm and reasonably focused, and, as I try to facilitate for my students, felt much better when I left than when I’d arrived. 

It was 9:00 am before I got Rhododendron out on the road, heading west for Kauffman Lake in Champaign. The traffic was light for 9 am on a Saturday, but still planned not to come back on Springfield.

There was not much to grab my attention until close to First Street, the somewhat “dressed-up” Boneyard retention area,

  looking toward downtown Champaign. 

Looked into the water and saw a couple of somewhat unusual sights: three white (escaped domestic, presumably) ducks  

 and another waterfowl that made me think “bufflehead” or “hooded merganser.” 

 Wow. Could be anything from this pic. But decided it was the later. 

Rode and rode (it was nice, and not too cold!) to Kauffman Lake (which actually is labeled “Clear Lake” on the Google map, and is next to Copper Slough, a headwater of the Kaskaskia River.)

 Was tempted just to turn around from there so I could more quickly get down to coffee and blogging, but let curiosity lead and turned into the park. 

Rode between the lake and the train tracks to another point of decision: under the Interstate where the path was interrupted by gravel  

 and the structures covered with graffiti. Gave me pause, and a real shot of apprehension, as I didn’t really want to meet the artists, just then, anyway. 

Again curiosity won, and I forged ahead in spite of my fears to where a paved path  reappeared and went under a very low bridge,

 and past more graffiti.  

 Made me wonder when it was that the artists worked. 

Then suddenly looked out on a tidy, open park:

  

Heritage Park. Rode on the path by the creek (Copper Slough), stopping for lichens 

  

and mushrooms. 
  

Took the sidewalk at Bradley Avenue and also at Mattis–there were no pedestrians and was careful crossing parking lot entrances. Then turned east on University Avenue. There noticed a ginkgo that had shed its leaves recently enough that the pile of them on the ground still was bright yellow. 

  

And did not plan to stop at Trevett-Finch Park at Prospect Avenue, but that Osage orange tree is just too compellingly peculiar to not try to photograph. 
 Then rode on and made a stop at the bakery for coffee and blogging and things for a couple of deliveries of baked goods. 

It was a full morning!  And my heart was very light as I rode, after stopping at my son’s apartment, toward the middle of the quite unattractive (in my opinion) campus business district

 as a light rain started to fall. Really enjoyed the ride through the cold ang the grey–go figure–and felt very grateful for that.

Closer to home saw what looked like more graffiti, though perhaps the artist didn’t  consider it so.  

 

Made me wonder about human imposition on nature and what it means to “spoil” something. 

Was content for today just to appreciate being outside on the bike, able to take in the ordinary wonders between home and Kauffman Lake. 

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