Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Three Rides

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:

White yarrow:

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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  1. Good for you doing so much riding. I fear I'm rather lazy at the moment. I'm amazed that you know the names of all of those flowers. Not me, but I certainly think they are beautiful! Thank you for taking us along on your ride.

  2. My FAVORITE form of exercising is kayaking. But, that's not the one that I do most often. I work with a personal trainer cardio/weight lifting as my usual exercise.

    I would LOVE to get out on my bike more often, but it's just not safe to ride the roads in my area. :-(

    As for your piggie pic ----- is that little string of barbed wire the only thing containing them? Couldn't they just squeeze under it?

  3. I really enjoy the things you see on your bike rides. I swim 3 times a week, but it's back and forth and there are no flowers in the pool.. or kitties or pigs for that matter. But I always come home with a tale of who was swimming in the pool with me - like the lady who is very nice but kicks like a dolphin and makes quite a bit of noise and splashing. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Hi Sue! I have been on the road and visiting here and there this past month and have just now scrolled back to catch up with your adventures. I love seeing all the beautiful flowers you have photographed on your bike rides! If you have a chance please take a look at my last post and see if you can identify the flowers I have been unable to in my Google searches. I am especially curious about the green lip shaped leaves that have orange stamen tongues!
    As for exercise, I am still trying to swim 3 hours a week and do some walking on the off swimming days. I am still having fun making headbands with your pattern, and I admire the shawl/scarf patterns you have had published lately, too. Wishing you healthy, happy days! xx

  5. I walk rather than cycle. We live in a very hilly place so it's still good exercise walking up the steep hills. I love the wild flowers you've spotted. We grow some in the garden to attract bees and butterflies.

  6. Like you, I really enjoy cycling, and otherwise walking. So long as it is all in the countryside I am happy. Although wandering round beautiful architecture is nice too. The wildflowers are fantastic at the moment aren't they. I'm always so impressed with your knowledge of what they all are. I'm trying to learn from you! My eldest is trying to see over 100 species of bird this year. So far so good, I think he in the seventies or eighties. But it has slowed down a lot, just eight new ones for the list in May. Good luck with your count. CJ xx

  7. Oh, the beauty of those wild blooms and I truly love the common names for them. Wouldn't it be a hoot to know more about their "history" and who first named them? (I am sure that those lovely pigs are kept under control with an electric fence. We used those as well when we raised pigs.)
    What lovely rides you have had...thanks always for sharing with us.
    xo, Ellen.

  8. Lovely photos, as always. I'd love to bike a mile or two with you. The piggies are adorable.

  9. Some of the names you mentioned are familiar, so guess what I learned in my Master Gardener's class did stick. Thanks for sharing these great photos and the plant names. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  10. Nice shots. The flowers in your neck of the woods are spectacular. It's a good thing the cat had some white. As for rides, I prefer long trips too. However, short rides are good!

    My favorite exercise includes mountain biking, road biking and summiting high peaks.

  11. I always enjoy seeing your lovely pictures of flowers and wildlife. I like to walk mostly but the scenery around me isn't very inspiring so now that the weather has improved a bit I drive to the coast and have a walk along the beach and then just sit on the rocks and gaze out to sea I find it so peaceful. :)

  12. Pretty cool! Both the rides and the flowers! Our flowers are lush and crazy this year; I will later regret not taking as many photos as you. Does your salsify attract hoards of little bugs like ours???

  13. Three rides sounds great, I have yet to even get a walk in. Love your photos.

  14. Your wildflower count is wonderful. I love spider wart.
    I may ride tomorrow as we are supposed to be in the 70s.
    My favorite form of exercise? Maybe cycling..just maybe.... or horseback riding but there isn't much of that going on here

  15. Giving myself exercise points for coming along with you.

  16. I love your great wild flower shots! My favourite for of exercise is walking the dog, daily... The pigs are gorgeous, I love them a lot! Viola

  17. Hi Sue! I really enjoyed all of your beautiful photos here today. Those pigs are so cute! I met up with a couple of very sweet pigs about 15 years ago. I couldn't believe how smart they were. I immediately stopped eating meat! Happy travels! :)

  18. Now I see your spiderwort again!!! If I'd paid closer attention to the names of each flower when I saw this post the first time, maybe I would have recognized MY spiderwort!

    I ordered seeds...


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