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Catkins like picots on lacy twigs
Misty green of burgeoning branches
Blackbirds perched in a singing marsh
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It was very hard to pick just three great things about today's ride. Early March, temps in the 60s (calloo, callay!), a south wind, birds in the air, buds on the trees, the call of robins and geese and sandhill cranes resounding across the fields, bits of green grass and tips of new plants peeking through last year's growth, a fresh front tire for Iris ... an all-around good day.
I usually plan my route in advance, but today I went wherever my fancy took me. First, a short detour to the far end of the town lake. I almost never ride this way, but I wanted to see open water. Here it is, through a screen of red-twig dogwood:
Then down one of my usual roads, past marshes and open fields. I still don't know what these berries are, but I love their cheerful scarlet colour:
A few trees over, this small nest tantalizes me. I'd love to peek inside and see if there are any eggs - but I can't reach it, so I take its picture instead.
Looking west, the sky is grey and rather murky. Although the wind is quite strong, this windmill doesn't move. (Just there for looks, perhaps.)
This tree down the road catches my eye. How have I never noticed it before? Just the spot to stash love notes or secret submarine plans.
The hole is rather impressive-looking (like weathered rock at the mouth of some ancient cavern)...
...and surprisingly deep. It would hold a lot of love notes.
Further down the road, a Wuthering-Heights scene - blasted heath, bare black trees against a leaden sky, and a fitful sun attempting to pierce the gloom.
Another short detour to visit these larches. Their golden glory all departed, they greyly wait for spring.
Across from the larches, a tempting avenue of pines (barred, alas, by a gate festooned with "No Trespassing" signs).
A few miles further on, my favourite willows are beginning to put out pale gold streamers.
Chlorophyll in these trees - just under the bark - gives them a hazy, green-veiled effect.
The favourite bend in the road.
Anchor lines (?) for a telephone pole. (I don't know the terminology, but I like the way they look.)
It's hard for me to pass a stand of birch without taking a picture.
Just up the road, this barnyard is full of sheep and lambs making an unholy ruckus. You can hear them long before you see them.
Across the street, as I pass the home of a friend (who is also our egg supplier), I see movement behind a fence. I stop to investigate, and find that she keeps pigs as well as chickens. The porkers are very friendly and inquisitive...
...and happy to smile for the camera.
Looking east, another favourite tree stands at the edge of soon-to-be-emerald alfalfa fields.
Several miles and turns later, I glimpse these silos in the distance. Not exactly dreaming spires, but as close as we get in rural Wisconsin:
The fading red of a derelict barn looks lovely against the spring-blue sky to the east.
A few miles on, I pass a row of rather Mediterranean-looking pines. Here's one, with another barn peeking between the tree trunks to the right (it seems to be barn picture day).
Insulators glowing in the sun...
...and, just overhead, pussy willows. (Aren't they a glorious sight?)
For once I manage to be in the right place at the right time to catch a passing train, but I can't get a clear shot. (Perhaps getting off the bike would help.)
Cranes in a cornfield, very well-camouflaged.
Just a few miles from home now, I pass a large marsh filled with the song of blackbirds. How nice to see them back on duty and hear their trilling chorus.
Wonderful to get out in the open air, and work off a bit of winter. A very good ride.
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