Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Windy April Ride

Hello, strangers! How was your Easter? Mine started out well, but ended with a severe attack of the collywobbles. The Micawber innards were unsettled for a week, but by last Sunday Tallulah and I were ready to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

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The Sunday after Easter is a day of sun and wind. Quite a lot of wind, as a matter of fact - 15 to 30 miles an hour, with gusting up to 40 - the kind of wind that makes a cyclist think carefully about her route. On the bright side, it's actually warm enough for shorts. After a careful shave (and the first nicks of the year), the Micawber legs are ready to stun the world with their blinding whiteness speed.

Several days of much-needed rain, followed by balmy temps, have brought a haze of green to the fields. The sandhill cranes have been back for a few weeks now; if you look closely you can see a pair in the photo below:

It's good to be out and about again, especially on a day like this. Old red barns show up spectacularly against the blue spring sky:

We pass an interesting-looking pair of sheep. (Yarn on the hoof, thinks the fibre-lover.) The one in the foreground watches me closely as I go by, but as soon as I stop for a photo it turns away....

... and quickly scurries to a place of safety behind its pal (who never stirs a step the entire time - obviously the braver of the two).

Fraidy-sheep may not be brave, but he's got an amazing set of horns that reminds me a bit of Snowcatcher's bighorn sheep.

We turn onto a road that runs through a marsh, and here we see the first catkins of the year. Some are pale green with tiny yellow tips:

Tallulah is rather taken with them...

...but I fall in love with these rosy-tipped beauties a little farther on:

Everywhere the soft tints of spring are slowly taking over from the browns of winter.

More catkins, seen through a screen of red-twig dogwood (with bonus hawk flying far above):

While taking the above, I get my first mosquito bite of the year. Yep, winter's over.

We turn another corner and climb up to the high prairie, where the wind fairly shrieks across the fields. Friendly cattle turn to look as I pass:

After battling the wind for a few miles more, we stop under a tree for a snack and a rest. The wind is at our backs (for the moment) and the overhead view takes a lot of beating:

There are blackbirds at the end of the road, enjoying Sunday meeting:

Clouds have been massing behind us, and the sky takes on a murky hue as we turn towards home.

We pass an old prairie school, now closed but still lovingly tended:

About five miles from home, the wind eases up a bit (whew!) and the clouds begin to break.

We pass through another marshy area and stop to listen to the frogs. Encouraged by the warm weather, they're a-courtin' with a vengeance. This quiet-looking pool is positively throbbing with amphibian passion:

Now that the sun is out again, we can take a shadow shot:

Then it's back on the bike and over the last few miles to home, where it's a relief to get out of the wind and into the quiet.

A good ride.

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How have you been?

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  1. Very well, thanks for asking. It's wonderful to be back out there isn't it. Lovely photos, and how amazing to see cranes. We have a few common cranes locally, but they're very rare and only recently re-introduced after a long absence, it's always nice to see them. Glad you had such a good ride, the first of many I think. CJ xx

  2. How have I been? Don't ask! LOL.
    Love your photos, and the "throbbing with amphibian passion" made me laugh but also marvel at your perfect description!
    I love that shot of the prairie schoolhouse and it reminds me of a book that I would like to do a post thank you! xx

  3. You were brave to venture out into that wind! But the gorgeous temperatures made it worthwhile, eh? ;-)

  4. What beautiful countryside! Gorgeousness abounds.
    I am sorry to hear about the collywobbles, but so happy to know you are feeling well now.
    (I thought my mother was the only one who used the expression collywobbles.)
    xoxo, Ellen.

  5. Welcome back, glad you're feeling better. A one-room school house, as an old, ur, retired teacher I've often wondered what it would have been like to teach in one. Once had 40 kids in a class with abilities running from pre-school to high school and that was a 3rd grade class.
    Glad that Tallulah enjoyed herself, loved the sheep, not just wool on the hoof, but lanolin too.

  6. I love the horns on your sheep, Sue! And they have better (more yarny) fiber than my sheep. I wouldn't mind following these guys around with a brush... :)

    So glad you got out! We have snow yet again today, so no ride for me. But this weekend is supposed to warm back up. I should stop and take gorgeous pictures of the scenery like you do instead of just plowing boringly on!!!

  7. Sorry you were not feeling well. Those sheep are just amazing, those horns are incredible.

  8. LOVE your idea of Dread Pirate Roberts. That's funny because his nickname at the breeder is BIG BELLY BOB.
    Yes we will have to have a DPR someday!
    I thank you for your cycling advice. IM getting there. Maybe we can meet and ride together someday! oh and bring our knitting

  9. There is just something about a red barn :-) Good to see Tallulah up and about.

  10. Several weeks ago I had a bit of a cold, but not the collywobbles I am sorry to hear you had, Sue :( At any rate, I'm glad we are both better! Thanks for sharing the amazing photos: beautiful catkins, blue skies, charming Tallulah, the yarn on the hoof; and thanks for the apt description for what has been going on down in our ponds..."throbbing amphibian passion"... I should have known :) xx

  11. Glad you're feeling better and were able to get out and about beautiful pictures I do like those sheep. :) xx

  12. It looks like a fantastic ride! The picture show was awesome too. I especially like the catkins. The woody plants in the photo just before the old school look like they're doing a little jig or something. Perhaps they're putting on a spring weather dance.

    A very nice post!

  13. The pictures are so inviting. I love it when you take us all along on your rides. Hope you are feeling better now sweet friend. I think Spring might have finally showed up after all! Yay! Looking forward to see what is on your hook lately. Blessings always

  14. I was so busy planting my raised veggie beds that I missed your blogpost and lovely windy ride. I got 250 boxwood cuttings into rooting boxes today, but there is still much weeding and potting ( whew, that sounds illegal) left to do before the heat hits us down here. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  15. Great that you got out despite the wind. Looks like it was well worth it. Juliex

  16. I haven't ridden a bicycle in a very long time but your posts always have me wishing I still owned one.


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