This morning at 8 it was 47 degrees F under cloudy, foggy skies as I wheeled out Shadow for a ride, at least to Meadowbrook Park. Been trying to get back to a little mileage in my rides, though still am working on shaking off the fatigue of a tenacious winter virus.
The first sign of early spring greeted me on the pavement of the street just around the corner from my house:
Silver maple flowers! They are very early bloomers, but they mark the beginning of a process that soon will clothe the landscape in vegetation.
The fog lent a bit of drama to the familiar path to Meadowbrook.
At the park, enjoyed speeding downhill toward and over the rabbit-statue bridge, Shadow’s smaller-than-road-bike (26, as opposed to 27-inch) wheels easily handling the sharp turn left on the path.
Then doubled back to get the customary shot of the confluence of Davis and McCullough creeks.
Just past the little bridge over Davis creek saw a pair of ducks in the fenced-off pond.
Loved the softness of the fog
Then cut over to the “short loop” along McCullough Creek and stopped at a years-old beaver-fallen tree.
Along McCullough Creek noticed a lot of dead (standing and fallen) trees.
I think some of that is intentional riparian management, but it reminds me that there seem to be so many diseased trees around these days.
Everywhere I look
I see dead and dying trees:
Climate change at work.
Farther along, in the Meadowbrook sensory garden, pussy willows (don’t think they’re native) were in their early stages of bloom.
Also, there were some winter aconite (also not native) blooms emerging from beneath the mulch of fallen leaves.
Then got back on Race Street and rode through the fog a little while south. Turned back at Curtis Road and stopped at the sign welcoming travelers to Urbana, just above where Race Street crossed McCullough Creek.
Likely there will be more cold weather ahead, but the rise of green and the other colors of plant growth is not far away.