At last, at last, the cycling season is picking up speed. Though we're still having our fair share of thunderstorms and rainy days, betweentimes the sun is shining and I'm getting out on Iris (my vintage bike) whenever I can.
The wildflower count is steadily rising - over 50 varieties spotted already, and it's only early June! I wonder if there's any chance of reaching 100? If I can't ride a century this year, the next best thing would be to log a century of wildflowers....
Here are some photos from last week's rides.
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Monday mornng: Sunny but with an icy wind blowing. I set out to do a snappy 20-miler, but since it happens to be a beautiful morning ... and there happen to be new flowers blooming ... and I happen to have my camera with me ... the ride is somewhat shorter than planned. But that's okay.
Salsify, or Western Goatsbeard:
(Marigold, have you been to Wisconsin without telling me?)
Daisy Fleabane, a tiny pink-to-white aster, just opening up:
First spiderwort of the year (look at the lovely shadows cast by the stamens onto the top petal):
Spiderwort Outtake, or, What Happens when the Camera is Held Upside Down and Focuses on the Wrong Thing:
Up the road are the piggies-at-pasture (a rare breed being raised by our egg supplier's nephew). When they see me go by, they come running over for a look. I stop for some photos, and they stand grunting in a friendly fashion while I snap away:
Across the road and up the hill, the Swamp Buttercup is blooming:
Bucolic farm scene with Salsify and Dame's Rocket in the foreground:
And, as a break from flower photos, a shadow shot. Blogger and Turtle on a Bike:
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Tuesday is balmy and bright. Sun and wind are much warmer today - perfect cycling weather.
The sun is warm enough, in fact, to send all these cattle huddling into the shade:
Windmills on the high prairie:
Today I am riding a new stretch of road. It dips into a shady valley lined entirely on one side by huge Cow Parsnip in all stages of bloom. The plants are as tall as I am (some taller), and grow right up to the edge of the road.
And fully open:
The statutory shot-from-beneath:
Honey Locust trees are blooming, sending drifts of pure sweetness through the air:
The first wild roses of the year:
Cattle in silhouette:
I think this is a gravel pit (though "quarry" sounds nicer):
A long and pleasant ride.
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One Friday we're back to gloomy and cold. This is a duty ride (to help burn off a high-fat dinner from the night before). I take the camera just in case, and a good thing too.
Kitty in the ditch:
In another ditch, an entirely new-to-me flower:
Hoary Puccoon. Another one for the list! The flowers are bright gold and trumpet-shaped - so pretty they deserve a more euphonious name. But Hoary Puccoon seems to be the only one available, so we'll have to go with it. (The Latin name, Lithospermum canescens, doesn't sound any better.)
One last shot of my favourite almost-tumbledown shed:
A busy week, so I feel very lucky to have gotten three rides. Short and sweet seems to be the motto for this year's cycling. I would like to be putting more miles in, but better short rides than none at all.
What's your favourite form of exercise?
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