Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flowers and Bugs and Perimenopause

I really struggle with indecision these days. I seem to spend hours - precious hours that really can't be spared - waffling over the simplest things. Am I losing my mind, or is it all just part of the general misery that is perimenopause? (No need to be coy about it - we're all friends here.)

The fact that I wrote the above paragraph in less than 5 minutes is quite an accomplishment. I can't seem to write anything lately without obsessively re-reading and questioning every word. Or, worse still, not being able to think of the word I want. My vocabulary seems to be disappearing along with my hormones.

This makes blogging difficult. I struggle over the Hurdle of Indecision, only to flounder in the Swamp of Aphasia. (Thank goodness for Google. I had to open another tab and type "what do you call it when you can't think of the word you want to say" to get "aphasia".)

Things could be much worse than they are. After all, I've never had a hot flash. (Really. Not one.) But the mood swings are killing me. Life turns suddenly unbearable for about an hour nearly every day. I'm sure I turn unbearable too, while the fit is on. The only thing that helps is reminding myself (and the people around me) that it's just the hormones talking. Maybe I need to hang a sign around my neck: "Sorry, Temporarily Out of Order".

Enough of that! Time for some cycling photos. :)


The weather has been following its own sweet will over the first half of June, with temperatures up, down, and all around. Some nights we've slept in heavy socks and pyjamas, with extra blankets piled on the bed. Then the mercury jumps and we find ourselves at the other extreme of minimal nightwear and a single sheet. People have already started complaining about heat and humidity. Ah, almost-summer!

Warm or cold, I don't mind - as long as the wildflowers keep blooming. Here are some from a recent Sunday ride.

June 5 is hot, clear, sunny, and windy - so windy I don't know how I manage to get any flower photos at all. It's a case of waiting for pauses between gusts, or holding the flower in one hand and the camera in the other.

Clockwise from top left: Orange Hawkweed, Butter-and-Eggs (toadflax),
Canada Hawkweed, Wild Columbine

The trees are laughing and holding up their hands to the wind:

A blackbird sits on a tall stump:

I stop to visit the pedigree pigs that live next to our egg supplier's house. As soon as I get off the bike, they come trotting from all corners of the pasture to grunt "hello" before burying their snouts in the soil:

Just up the road is a Favourite Tree:

Across the way, drifts of buttercups billow in the wind. Other flowers grow there too, including a rather straggly-looking variety of fleabane that's new to me (see photo below):

Clockwise from left: Buttercups, Northern Bedstraw, Common Eastern Fleabane (I think)

Nearby is a plant I don't recognise at all, and haven't been able to identify (see below). Does anyone know what this is? It looks like a baby shrub of some kind:

Mystery plant with woody stem and spikes of tiny pale-green flowers

I'm back on the bike and heading up the next grade when a doe runs across the road ahead and disappears into the woods. Then twin fauns come stepping out from the grassy verge:

They stand and stare at me for several seconds before turning to amble across. (I have a mental vision of their mom beckoning frantically from the undergrowth, hissing "You two get over here right now!")

At the top of the hill is a lovely barn with swathes of orange hawkweed lining the road before it:

A right turn to cross the high prairie, then down and up and down again on a rolling road under near-summer skies:

More flowers spotted:

Left, Hairy Vetch; right, wild daisies

I've been riding mostly south and east under blue skies and scattered clouds. But when I turn for home, ominous clouds are rolling in quickly from the northwest:

The rest of the ride is a race against the oncoming storm. I make it home with a few minutes to spare before the heavens open. A thunderstorm is a great motivator to kick things up a gear. :)


Concerning bugs: I never used to like insects, and for most of my life I've rather avoided them. But they seem to be crawling all over my flower photos, and now I'm learning to like them.

Especially when they do things like this:

Common Yarrow with bike wheel and photo-bombing bug

It's a fascinating world we live in.

What's happening in your corner of it?

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