Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Three Rides

In the last few weeks the weather has run the gamut of thunderstorms, heavy rains, fog, near-freezing nights, and a few precious, sunny, summer-warm days. Flowers are bursting out everywhere, birds and frogs are giddy with passion, and the sound of the lawnmower is heard in the land. Spring, in short, is At It.

For a wildflower-lover like me, this is the time of year when every ride is filled with hope and the joy of renewing old acquaintance.

Two Sundays ago:

It's a sunny, bright, blue-and-white day. I've been watching eagerly for the first blossoming tree, and here it is:

Streams are swollen with rainfall:

Here, the water covers the feet of the trees:

Around the corner, maple blossom (I think) hangs over a marsh:

I head to the spot where a favourite wildflower grows, hoping for blue blossoms, but find it still at the budding stage:

Miles later, we pass a cow standing in a temporary pond:

Around a few corners, on a busy county road, Tallulah spots a painted turtle (or, as she puts it, "a Very Distant Cousin") sitting in the opposite lane. We stop to offer help, but the turtle seems very shy and doesn't respond to Tallulah's cheerful advances.

"Hi there!" says Tallulah.

While Tallulah struggles to get acquainted with her unresponsive cousin, I keep my ears open. At the sound of an approaching car, I snatch up both turtles and run for the side of the road. Tallulah yells "Whee!", but the cousin merely shoots out its legs, wriggling wildly.

I set the turtles down in the grass, and Tallulah asks the Very Distant Cousin if she can pose on its back for a picture. (No response.) Taking the VDC's silence for compliance, Tallulah climbs aboard, and I snap a quick photo:

Then we ride away, leaving the Very Distant Cousin in the grass at the side of the road. "Still silent," I remark. "But unsquashed," says Tallulah.

Deep grey clouds are piling up in the west, and looming over a favourite barn:

A mile or two later, we're home.

~ ~ ~

A week ago:

A sunny afternoon and a short ride squeezed in between work and errands.

Water is slowly receding from the streams and marshes, and Marsh Marigolds are in bloom:

It's violet time (lovely phrase!), so I'm scanning the roadsides for likely photo candidates. Though violets are thick in our yard at home, they're just beginning to blossom out here:

Violets with cyclist

A little farther on we find a pale lavender variety:

Serviceberry trees are blooming too:

Around the corner, another small tree has burst into a glory of white:

Tallulah buries her nose in a flowery cluster:

"How does it smell?" I ask. "Like Spring," she replies.

We ride on, over the bridge of a stream gradually shrinking to its normal size...

...past deep-green fields under streaky white clouds...

...and so home.

~ ~ ~

Last Sunday:

It's a mostly cloudy, warm-seeming day, but plagued with a chill deceptive wind that seems to blow every direction at once.

On the way out I pass Mr. M, who left before me and is on his way home:

A little farther on, I find that last week's wildflower buds have opened:

Jacob's Ladder or Greek-valerian

Other small flowers are blooming too. We see garlic mustard and winter cress, and patch after patch of wood anemone sparkling like small stars. I never knew until today that the wood anemone's buds can be pink:

Wood anemone in bud

As we approach our favourite sheep farm, we can hear the occupants a-hollerin' and a-bellerin'. ("Maybe they're having a Sunday hymn-sing," says Tallulah.)

Just up the hill, past our egg-supplier's house, is the home of the pedigreed pigs, where we find two batches out to pasture.

Little ones:

And big ones:

Both batches are friendly and rush to the fence to pose for photos.

Photo time over, they turn to gossip through the fence:

Then Tallulah and I ride away and the piggies return to their rooting.

Around the corner is a place where violets grow thick every spring, so of course we stop for photos:

Why yes, I do like purple and green together.

Then on we go, around another corner and up a hill where the sweet scent of plum blossom stops us in our tracks.

Miles later, near the edge of town, we pass a pair of sandhill cranes in a field:

Later, when editing the photos at home, I find that there was a third sandhill crane, whose presence we overlooked:

This is the second baby crane I've seen this year. I'm hoping for wild goslings soon.

~ ~ ~

Whew! This month has gotten away from me. Now that the cycling season is warming up, I need to post my ride photos more often. (The next I-cord installment also needs to be posted.)

Is May flying quickly for you too?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  1. May is definitely flying by. I have been inspired by Tallulah to let Creepy-Cranky Christmas Guy come along on a few of MY outings. He hasn't been out of the cupboard since our ORLANDO days!!!! He says it is time for a little spring PAR-TAY!!!! LOL

    Oh my ---- that barn. I just cannot get enough of that red barn!!!

    1. You should definitely get Creepy-Cranky Christmas Guy out of the cupboard! Maybe he won't be so cranky if he gets out a little more. :)

      After seeing my turtle photos, Mr. M was talking of carrying a mascot, but couldn't come up with anything other than a Hot Wheels car.

      I love barns too, especially red ones with wooden siding. The unoccupied ones are slowly falling down all over the state (probably all over the country), so I try to get photos of my favourites whenever I can.

  2. Yes, May is flying by.. I had so many things happening from our trip to Victoria BC at the end of April and when we got home it was one thing after another.. finally things have slowed down a bit. I'm looking forward to the CGOA!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    1. OH.. and I think you're wonderful for saving that turtle from being crushed and the photo of Tallullah on his back is priceless. :-)

    2. Thanks Teresa! I've always felt bad about turtles getting caught on the road, so this time I decided to do something about it.

      Looking forward to seeing you too! It will be July before we know it. :)

  3. What an absolute hoot! I don't know which I love best, because all the photos are so awesome, but I think that baby sandhill is going to win. Still, Tallulah and cousin are marvelous, and those piggie shots!!! My goodness, you had a great few rides! Love the springing forth of color!

    1. I wish you could see the baby cranes, Deb - they are so darn cute. There's a small flock I pass on my way to work, and out of 10 cranes they've produced one chick so far - tawny-coloured and all legs and beak. It's adorable.

      Isn't it nice to see the flowers and growing things? :)

  4. I like the purple and green together too. Love Tallulah and her cousin. Mac says probably a female looking to lay eggs, it's that time of year.
    Always enjoy your rides and how you know the names of all the wild flowers.

    1. Thanks Janet! I asked a turtle-raising friend about this one, and she too said it was probably a female. She (my friend) told me all sorts of fascinating facts about how the females can influence the gender of the eggs by where and how deep they are laid, and how by choosing just the right moisture level and soil acidity they can supply whatever gender is lacking in the current generation. It's pretty amazing.

      Hope you're having a good week!

  5. Ohhh I so love your photos. The wild flowers always make me smile. The purple ones, yes, they are certainly my favorite. The pigs were too cute. Love that Tallulah got to meet up with a distant Cus. I do love the Tallulah stories and adventures, so glad she lets you tag along, too. :) I can't wait to see snaps of your next adventures sweet friend. ((hugs))

    1. ....lets strike out Cus, and make that Cuzz....apparently, I am not as "street" as I think I am. :)

    2. I would never have known if you hadn't told me. I'm not "street" at all. :D

      Thanks Vicki!

  6. Oh those piggies! I love your posts. You'll be proud. Since my horseback riding plans have changed, (I didnt enjoy riding enough to pursue it on 5/6/18) I decided to ask fireman to ride bikes with me in the afternoon yesterday. We did hills and we enjoyed the farmland. My goodness am I going to begin to cycle? I hope so. For many reasons!

    1. Woo hoo! Keep it up! There's so much to see and enjoy out there. Happy riding!

  7. SO beautiful Sue. I am a turtle rescuer myself, any chance I get. Have a beautiful weekend.

  8. All green here too. May is quite nice to me. Although I'm missing its blue sky today. Enjoy your rides. Regula

  9. I enjoyed this post so much! What a beautiful part of the world you live in!

  10. What wonderful Spring blossoms you have! Everything has almost bloomed out now here and it will be full Summer soon, by tomorrow looks like!
    So happy you helped the turtle across the road and to also discover the baby crane was there after you looked at the photos later! That's great!
    Keep on the sunny side! :-)


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