It was 34 degrees F and clear, with barely a breeze at 6:52 this morning as I wheeled Rhododendron down the driveway and out toward the Kickapoo Rail to Trail and St. Joseph.
It was cold enough to worry about freezing (though not literally) fingers and toes so wasn’t sure how far I’d actually get. Would just play by ear and see. Tried to psych up about restraint with photos so as to retain warmth.
Headed east on Main Street and stopped for a view of the oak-grove by the train tracks, across from the Dart plastics factory.
Despite the early start, saw no foxes. It (they) are on a different schedule (or location) for some reason.
Also stopped for a quick view of almost-winter Weaver Park with the sun coming up.
The goldenrod had lost most of their foamy seed-carriers. The scene seemed to call for black and white.
Horse nettle fruit (related to and resembling cherry tomatoes but poisonous) was abundant.
On the ground near the sidewalk were frosted leaves.
Rode on to the head of the wonderful, beloved trail.
Behind Walmart in the wet area were lots of cattails in the process of releasing their fluffy seed-dispersers.
The wooden rail was frosty.
A little farther on, the sun flashed among the thin trees.
Still farther along, seed-head-topped grass lay flattened along the trail, as if in homage to the cyclists,
of which I was one, and thank you!
Noticed tracks (human, canine, avian) in the not completely packed gravel; no doubt there were deer tracks, too. But didn’t stop to photograph them.
Did eventually photograph the ruts being worn into the trail by bike tires.
Not sure whether these might become problematic. Maybe the occasional application of a steam (I’m sure that’s not exactly the equipment anymore, but you get the idea) roller will take care of it.
The ride, except for cold hands and feet, was extremely pleasant. The low sun was far enough to the south to not be directly in my eyes. Birds lifted, spread, wheeled, settled on the brushy vegetation along the trail. Frost spread the morning light across the subtle curves of the landscape. The monotony of the straight trail induced an inward rhythm, an awareness of subtle differences from one repetition of the scene of landscape to the next. But my hands were cold. Brr!
Turned around at 1800 E (Mt Olive Cemetery).
On the way back, on East Main Street, passed a young woman carrying roller skates over her shoulder who was walking along Main Street and stopped to ask something of a couple standing in front of their house. They must have refused because the young woman responded with angry words. I sympathized with the couple and kept riding on. But then I judged that I could handle an interaction with her and stopped the bike to wait, then turned and walked toward her. She spoke angrily at first but then was very apologetic, saying she needed cigarettes and did I have a dollar? She seemed reasonably well-groomed so apparently not far from some kind of stability. But she made me think of people close to me who struggle with perhaps similar problems. Who knows what form of suffering she carried just then? I said I did, fished out two, and handed them to her. She thanked me profusely and didn’t ask for any thing else but wished me well. And I her, and rode on. Really I was not much help. But still was glad for the small positive connection.