Cloud-dappled pale blue summer morning sky
Goldfinches flashing yellow and black
Dew-jewelled corn silk curly and red
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On Saturday morning I gave myself the treat of riding to Madison for breakfast with Mr. M at one of our favourite cafés. (He followed in the car, timing his departure so as to arrive at the restaurant soon after me.)
My route ran along a major highway for the first 25 miles or so, which meant more traffic - and fewer wildflowers. But barns there were a-plenty (and I do love a wooden barn), so I decided for once to shoot as many as I could.
We've had a week of thunderstorms accompanied by some very welcome rain. Although the drought is still in effect across the state, the land is less desperately dry than before. Grass has begun to sprout, like little green shoots of hope.
At 7:30 the air is damp but still in the comfortable 60s. The sky is a clear pale blue, dotted with adorable white clouds like baby footprints.
The sun is still low enough in the sky for a good shadow shot:
There are miles to go and many barns to pass. Neat and tidy barns...
Barns beautifully maintained...
...with charming details:
Here and there a white barn makes a change from the usual red:
I like the large decorative star on this barn, and the lacy shadow of leaves.
Some barns are weathered to a lovely mottled finish (though missing bits here and there)...
...and some stand guard over the long straight stretch of road.
This barn features a very common arched window at its peak:
I pass plain barns...
...and falling-to-pieces barns (this one still holding hay)...
...skyscrapers of the prairie (not really barns, but still fun to photograph)...
...and barns screened by trees:
I couldn't resist slipping in a picture of my new stainless-steel water bottle (in my favourite shade of violet):
Some barns are far away, and harder to photograph with the sun behind them:
This barn is now used as a garage:
A scene of classic Americana, with spacious skies and nearly-amber waves of grain:
Here's a cheerful little corn crib, still in use by the looks of it:
Even the unpainted barns have a certain charm, I think.
Here is a very well-kept horse barn (with the horses unfortunately out of view):
I stop at a gas station to call Mr. M and let him know I've reached the halfway point. This barn is on view between the pumps:
There are tiny barns...
...and very long barns.
Some barns can just be glimpsed over a corn-covered hill...
and some are tottering with age, but still bravely red against the green fields:
The barn above is the last I see on my ride. I've reached the outskirts of Madison and am approaching the airport.
In keeping with the aeronautical theme, the local VFW post has an old Air National Guard jet on permanent display:
A glimpse of the Capitol building in the distance:
A passenger jet takes off right over my head, and I just manage to catch it on camera.
I pass a lush cornfield right on the city border (I must say the corn looks much better here than in my county)...
...with corn in the ear, sporting beautiful curly red silk...
...each strand jewelled with tiny drops of dew.
A few miles later, and I reach my destination:
They make a wonderful breakfast here, and the bakery case is a sight to behold. Cakes, pies, cookies, bars, buttery croissants, scones, muffins, sticky buns, rugelach, gluten-free goodies...I'm making myself hungry just thinking about it.
I ordered quiche (broccoli, cheddar, and sun-dried tomato)...
...while Mr. M enjoyed a Mediterranean Scramble, with sausage and a poppy-seed onion bialy on the side...
...and blueberry-raspberry pie for afters. Mmmmmm.
A very good ride indeed. : )
Calorie count not available
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