It was 28 degrees F (yes, below freezing) under mostly clear skies with a northerly breeze this Easter Sunday morning at 7 as I steered Shadow toward Brownfield Woods.
The sun was still low but well clear of the horizon and asserting its brightness as I headed east on Main Street.
Must say it took a little pushing against inertia to get going: my cycling groove has gotten rather shallow lately. And my mind was drawn more toward coffee and catching up on these blog posts than on the road!
But once I got going the joy of pedaling out in the morning began to kick in! Did not get drawn to many images, which was fine for conciseness and for my cold fingers.
Did not see any foxes across Main from the Dart plastic factory.
Did stop in front of Weaver Park because of all the bright yellow horse nettle (Solanum carolinense) fruits among the brown/grey thatch.
And noticed a frosty thistle rosette.
Was glad to see a bike rack and new signage at Weaver. Maybe there will be improved trails there soon!
Headed east on Main and north on High Cross.
It was good to see Brownfield Woods, even before there was much floral action, but noticed dead trees, piles of trunks, limbs, branches.
Are trees dying at a faster rate than in the past or am I just more aware of them?
Did not see any bloodroot or Dutchman’s breeches along Brownfield Woods as I have at least once before on Easter morning (though did see plenty of trash, alas).
It was like coming to the tomb on Saturday: the anticipated event had not yet happened. It’s been a long wait for spring this year. Though personally I prefer that to having it go too fast. I have faith (and years of previous experience) that the flowers will appear.
Had a very happy surprise view of a lovely bird with reddish-brown sides, white underneath, and mostly black above.
an eastern (rufous-sided?) towhee! And it kindly sat to have a distinguishable picture of it taken. Good consolation for the lack of flowers. Which no doubt also will get here eventually.
Turned back at Oaks Road.
Got a view of the morning sun reflecting on the wet, pre-planted, rich Illinois soil.
On the way back noticed the ditch along the road was quite full.
Heading south heard an animal sound, vaguely canine though maybe not quite, in a field to the east, as a raptor (hawk? owl?) sailed west to east over High Cross Road. Then a group of six deer went galloping across the road straight toward the source of the strange sound. As if it were a deer distress call, and these deer were answering.
Enjoyed the tail wind but now my fingers and especially toes were getting cold.
So a warming “song” came to mind:
“Warm blood, flow into my fingers
Warm blood, flow into my toes,
Warm blood, fill the extremities,
Keep this body warm!
It worked well enough.
At High Cross and University, hopped on to the beginning of the Kickapoo Rail to Trail and back to Main Street. Noticed some erosion on the trail and hoped it would be a reasonably easy thing to rectify and would not get worse.
Then on to home and Easter.