Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Tired Ride and Three Good Things

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Making a friend of an unexplored road
Green upon green of corn and oats and trees
Wild roses like pale pink stars in the ditch

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I really struggled to come up with "3 Great Things" about this ride (hence the modified rapture - "good" rather than "great"). The countryside was as beautiful as ever; the day was sunny and bright: the problem was me. I just didn't feel good. Headache, stiff neck, sore shoulders, tired legs, spinning head, and - despite a hearty pre-ride lunch - I was hungry. (If it hadn't been for the hunger, I would have thought I was coming down with a virus.) By the time Iris and I limped home, after just 26 miles, I wanted to lie down and die. Allergies perhaps? My head is still spinning and feels heavy and full.

But I did get some pictures  (you can click on them to make them larger):

A lone tree is always appealing. I like the tractor marks in the grain
at the right of the photo.

A very typical view:  rolling cornfields, barns on the horizon

Sandhill cranes stalking in a wet field.  Their cry
is eerie and prehistoric-sounding.

And just across the street from the cranes:  a beautiful sloping
field of corn and wheat.

This little red-winged blackbird followed me
down the road for quite a ways.  He would swoop along
behind me, and when I stopped to take pictures
he would stop too and sit on the wire.

These flowers are everywhere right now.  They look like yellow
cow parsley, if there is such a thing.  This plant was as tall as I am.

Heading down a new road today - it leads to a wildlife preserve
and wetland restoration project.  I was feeling pretty wonky
by now (only 10 miles into the ride) and the shade ahead
looked very inviting.

Bird's foot trefoil spilling over the roadway

And a little farther down, some ox-eye daisies (?)
growing out of a crack in the road.

A beautiful treeline up ahead...

With some very tall pine trees stretching up towards the sun.

This is why they're stretching so high...the forest is pretty crowded.
(A little thinning might help.) I like the way the trunks look though.

Cow vetch and red clover

And a beautiful giant puffball (about 3-4" across).
The goldfinches love these.

Several miles later, I pass under a railroad bridge in a small town.
Too bad there was no train!

A marshy stream flowing through more wetlands...

...with the sun reflecting off the water.

Iris taking a break while I take pictures and decide whether to keep going
or turn for home.  I opt for home.

These flowers are just coming on, but in a few weeks
they'll be everywhere.  Heliopsis I think.
Very bright and cheerful.

A peaceful country graveyard.  I thought about lying down
here;  it would have felt appropriate!
Six miles later, I was home and very glad to be there.

Mr. M has just told me a very large storm is headed our way. Maybe that's why I have so much pressure in my ears and jaw. Let's hope it's gone by morning!

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  1. I hope you are feeling better today. Along with everything else you are discovering we have in common, I wasn't feeling too cool during the end of yesterday's ride, only mine was heat and too small of water bottles!

    You did much better than me taking so many pictures. I took only a couple. Your train bridge photo brought back fun memories of my kids going back and forth under one of those while the train was slowly crawling over. They thought they were superhuman, crossing back and forth on their bikes beneath the train!

  2. What lovely pictures, I love to see pictures of other places, especially the States since its been so long, too long since seeing it. Hope you are feeling better!

  3. Most of those pictures could have been taken in Britain, they look so similar to here.

    I hope you are feeling better today?

  4. Yes, much better, thanks. Whatever it was it didn't last more than a day.


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