Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sunny, Hot, and Hilly Ride

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Trees leafing out as though they mean it
Honeysuckle's pale pink torches
Warm sun beating down on my back

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Sunday is clear and sunny, and actually hot - perfect weather for a Memorial Day weekend. There's just enough breeze to set the trees whispering in voices that have returned with the spring.

A few miles out of town, dark branches of oak are frilled with bright yellow-green:

Though spring was late in coming, wildflowers are taking advantage of the warmth and making up for lost time. Dame's Rocket is just beginning to bloom....

The pale pink torches of honeysuckle are lighting up the hedges and sending drifts of sweetness through the air:

I stop for a photo of fresh new maple (what was I thinking?) pin oak leaves:

At my feet are blooming the first meadow anemone and wild geranium:

Several feet away is this rather alien-looking mystery plant:

Is it a fern or a wildflower-to-be? Hard to say.

I am treating myself to a long leisurely ride that includes all the hilliest roads I can think of. A few miles on, at the top of the first hill, is an apple tree in full bloom:


Down the hill, across the valley, and up the next hill, to a farm where every wooden fencepost sports an American flag:

On the next hill, I see the first wild columbines of the year:

(Somehow my leg keeps getting into the photos.)

Many miles on, I pass a field where Highland cattle graze. This one watches calmly as I take its photo:

(At least I think it's watching - hard to tell whether its eyes are open or shut behind that shaggy fringe.)

I've been riding on the high prairie for some miles now, out in the sun and wind. I really need to stop for a snack, but would prefer to eat in the shade. I pull off the road, where a lane leads to an empty field, and look around me for a likely spot. Ahead and behind are the open road; to my left are some shady trees. And when I look back towards the field, I see that it's no longer empty:

A young deer has wandered into the open and is staring at me. I slowly reach for the camera and even more slowly take a few photos...

...until the deer decides it's seen enough and turns to spring away.

The lane is damp, with too many buzzing bugs for me to linger, so I cross the road and eat my snack in the shade of a large tree.

The bank below is brown with last year's leaves and acorns, and green with grass and False Solomon's Seal:

I finish my snack, get back on the bike, and just a few hundred yards up the road see this:

Wouldn't you like to go through the gate and follow the trail between the trees? I know I would.

All this time Tallulah has been content to stay in her basket. She doesn't want to pose on the gate or climb onto any flowers.

"Why so timid today, Tallulah?" I ask.

"I'm still a bit shell-shocked from the accident," she replies.

(I never know if Tallulah's puns are intentional or not; she produces them with such a straight face.)

Portrait of Tallulah with shadow shot of me:

Miles later, having climbed all our hills, we take one last photo - of flowering crab in glorious bloom along the side of our road home:

A beautiful ride on a hot Spring day.

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  1. You seemed to have an enjoyable ride. I like so much the variety of plants whihc grow in your area.
    That mystery plant does look like some kind of fern, at least it opens up like fern would.
    And the mystery path... the grass is so green there! I wish to walk on it :)
    Have a nice day Mrs. Micawber! Take care.

  2. Wow, I loved your photos from your ride. It's so pretty there in the May sunshine. This weeks is wet and gloomy here but the sight of your pictures has cheered me up.
    Jacquie x

  3. What a beautiful ride so many lovely things to see , thanks for sharing. :)

  4. Apple blossom, columbines and deer! Dear Sue, it doesn't get much better than that, does it? We catch glimpses of deer prancing through the vineyards both at night and during the day. I always feel as though time stands still in those moments.

    I hope you were feeling a little less wibbly this time round?


  5. What a beautiful post. I loved your descriptions of what you were seeing as you rode and your photos are very nice. Thank you for sharing your ride.

  6. Of course she is shell shocked, she could have been seriously hurt. She will regain her confidence, just tlike you.

  7. I could almost smell the sweet aroma as I perused your wildflower photos! Wonderful action shot of the deer! An excellent training ride on a beautiful day!

  8. I love a good pun . I love all the flags in the country. Keep riding

  9. I enjoyed every moment of this ride, thank you Sue, and especially the highland cattle and deer! I hope Tallulah is soon feeling better again! Your fund-raising for MS is admirable - well done! Joy x

  10. You live in a VERY beautiful area. I love travelling vicariously through you.

    The cow is neat. I've read about those, but to see one? That would be awesome. Great capture on the deer sprint too.

    Have a great week!

  11. I really enjoyed this post, thank you x very glad you are both doing ok x

  12. What a beautiful path to ride! You are making want to get my bicycle out of the garage. So very glad that you are doing better! *hugs* :)

  13. My goodness it looks so lush and beautiful Sue, Apple blossom, Highland cattle, barns and yes I would love to go through that gate and see where the path leads. I love seeing where you live. Glad to see you're back in the saddle and enjoying your rides, take care.

    Claire :)


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