Saturday 20 May 2017. Meadowbrook Before the Rain

It was 54 degrees F and cloudy at 7:00 this morning, with the wind from the east.

Missed the sunrise, but it was not spectacular because of the low cloud cover.

I’ve been slowed down by various things lately and really was ready to ride. Not only do I miss observing the word from the bike but I’ve come to take the physical activity for granted and don’t like having less of it. Even so, a long ride was not in the cards.

Thought, paradoxically, as I aimed Shadow south on Race Street that time demands can turn even a bike ride (or yoga practice, fo that matter) into something I “have to” rather than “want to” do. Usually, if I take some effort to re-arrange my thoughts and re-focus, it’s at least partly possible to restore the the joy to the once completely joyful activity. Makes me wonder whether I can bring that attitude to other things that have to be done and infuse them with more joy.

It was good to see some of my favorite neighborhood perennials in bloom:

Cabbage roses,


A very fancy Clematis,


and Asian poppies

which seem to exude the very spirit of my late friend Nancy, who loved them so much.

Rode south on familiar Race Street and crossed Windsor Road with little waiting at the traffic lights. I think the city traffic authority must have adjusted it. It no longer seems to disturb my enjoyment of the morning ride. At least not lately.

Rode right to the rabbit-statue bridge over McCullough Creek

the banks of which are becoming quite lush, then crossed over and rode just far enough to spot a blooming spiderwort.


Considered taking the rest of the loop, but heeded the raindrops and distant thunder and headed back.


Not long after, there was electrical activity and lots of rain.


Thursday 9 June 2016. Brief Contact with the Morning

At 6 this morning it was 63 degrees F, with gaps in the mostly cloudy skies.

Missed most of the sunrise but wanted something of the morning outside to be present for and to keep.

So took a quick southward spin on Race Street and stopped for a shot of the pink cabbage roses.

And of the more abundant yellow ones.

If these were the only beautiful things I saw today, they would still get me through pretty well.

Decided also to check the Amanita muscaria mushrooms under the spruce trees.

Many were declining but others still coming up.

Was glad to see even this fraction of the population, past its “first fresh fruiting.” It’s more knowledge of this life form, an intimacy with it.

Was reminded that even though long rides are lovely, it’s possible to connect with the morning, with the outside world, in a very short time.

Saturday 14 June 2014. Up and Coming Purple Coneflower and Baptisia and a Flock of Goldfinches on Philo Road

On this slow-starting Saturday morning it was 54 degrees F and clear at 5:45.

Did not resist the cabbage roses.

Took a while to feel comfortable and present this morning–felt a jealousy or something for past rides and their ease and pleasure. So far this one was fine but not exactly unencumbered. Guess the coming day’s schedule was weighing on me.

Today’s goal was Sidney, to the south and east, but wasn’t sure time would allow the full distance.

Saw a dark animal cross the street–it seemed darker than a fox but longer-legged than a cat. Hmm.

Stopped to photo the umbrella-like underneath of the elm tree on Race Street.

Rode along the Windsor Road edge of Meadowbrook Park and stopped for a few shots. The spiderwort were not profusely open and the Penstemon were still declining. But there were lots of purple coneflowers

20140614-083449.jpg and Baptisa, with pasture roses peeking through.

20140614-083536.jpg that were just starting to bloom. Looks like the Baptisia could be numerous this year.

The prairie this morning showed not a spectacular but more a subtle beauty.

Rode out Windsor to Philo Road and saw a little flock, I guess you could say, of goldfinches! Happy enough to see one or two, but this was a bonanza–counted nine of them!

At Old Church Road turned west instead of proceeding toward Sidney. Stopped at the Barnhart Prairie restoration but didn’t brave the tall grass and poison ivy to get a closer shot of the Baptisia and purple coneflowers there. Did get a shot of real wild parsnip on the edge
to reinforce the distinction between them and golden Alexanders in my mind.

Loved speeding down toward Race Street and toward home, just in time for the rest of the day….

Tuesday 11 June 2013. The Death of Possums and Other Images of a June Morning.

Been trying to get out of the house before 5 to really see the light come up, but still only managed 5:04 this morning, when it was 63 degrees F, under mostly clear, calm skies.

Tomorrow, so the sign says, Race Street will be closed for construction. I’ll miss checking on the roses across from the high school (see photo) but it will be Crowded Pink Cabbage Roses good to have to go another way.

Farther along Race Street, just outside of Meadowbrook Park,
saw what looked like a road-killed possum. Wondered if maybe it was only “playing possum,” though it seemed to have a large wound in its abdomen. But closer inspection revealed the “wound” to be its marsupial (yes, like a kangaroo) pouch, and in the pouch were squirming, pink baby possums. It was horrifying, disturbing. So didn’t include a photo but just a rough sketch of it. 20130704-084830.jpg Wondered if something could have been done to save the possum babies, but they were so small and still pink and apparently blind, and without their mother didn’t seem to have much chance to survive. It gave me a visceral sensation of orphanhood, of the kind I think that, at some level, adoptees all must have.

The image of the possum was distracting, kept me from noticing the usual things. Even the sunrise seemed obscured.
MB Formerly Good Sunrise View
By the southeast corner of the big loop, however, my attention was drawn to two deer inside the loop. A couple or bucks, as it turned out. Their antlers were small and fuzzy.
Mid-June Buck in Distance
Got to see one bound in its graceful deer way across the snowy Penstemon toward the east. Struck me how a buck deer evokes both masculine and feminine images: it has those “masculine” weapon-like antlers, yet also “feminine” large eyes and sleek lines. Made me wonder, if the Disney story of Bambi had continued, what would the other bucks have called him–“Bamb?” “The Bamb?”

The bounding deer reminded me of life running in abundant parallel with death.
 Nestbox, Penstemon, Mostly Clear Sunrise Sky
Thought later that maybe a coyote or hawk (or vulture?) had a needed meal of the possums. Hoped anyway that they didn’t just become part of the road, though I know that often happens. I suppose there was a small chance that the mom actually was “playing possum.”

The imminent lead plant blooms, surrounded by bright, golden Coreopsis, were another sign of life going, surging, onward.
Lead Plant in Bud w:Lots of Welcoming Coreopsis