Wednesday, June 13, 2018

On the Cusp of Summer

How did it get to be the middle of June? Spring has flown past so quickly that I've fallen behind (again!) on posting cycling photos.

It's been an odd spring this year - late to start, and with temperatures extremely mercurial. The final week of May was sweltering, with day after day of 90+ degrees. Lilacs came and went like a purple flash, and many other flowers were thrown off schedule by the unseasonable heat.

Allergies are a doozy this year - all the most sneeze-inducing trees and grasses seem to be seeding at once. Between allergy-induced brain fog and menopausal brain fog, I feel as though I've been barely functional for the last few weeks. But I see by my photos that I've taken a few rides during that time, so grab a cup of something hot or cold (as befits your weather), and get ready for lots of pictures.

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Way back in the middle of May, on a day of bright blue skies and cold wind, I saw red-velvet leaves growing on a shady bank:

The first wild geranium, pale and shivering:

A small forest of leafy spurge:

And asparagus!

(Lots of asparagus.)

Those jersey pockets sure come in handy sometimes. :)

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A week later, things were heating up. A shot of refreshing green on a hot sticky day:

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On Memorial Weekend, it was hotter still.

I found a new-to-me wildflower:

Fringed Puccoon

Felt patriotic as I climbed a hill and rode past a flag-adorned fence:

Enjoyed a bit of Americana:

And traveled round a favourite bend in the road:

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Memorial Day, a sizzling 95 degrees. Over the last few years I've grown to like riding in really hot weather, especially when the humidity is low, as it was that evening.

Shadow shot:

Wild geraniums looking cool in the shade:

Locust tree in bloom:

Vine-wreathed fence on a country road:

Deer sightings were plentiful that evening:

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A week later, temperatures had dropped sharply. On a chilly Sunday ride in early June, I found oodles of wildflowers:

From left to right: Spiderwort (top), Hoary Puccoon (bottom), Columbine, Balsam Groundsel

A  bug on a leaf:

More wildflowers:

Clockwise from upper left: Dame's Rocket, Wild Rose, Wild Geranium, Golden Alexanders, Common Yarrow

Some horses at pasture were startled by my passing, and ran thundering across the field while I fumbled for the camera:

Red-winged blackbirds, young and old, were holding a concert in the marsh:

Along came a road-hogging piece of farm equipment:

Wildflowers spotted in the last two miles of the ride:

Clockwise from upper left: Mystery member of the pea family, Meadow Anemone,
Penstemon, Buttercup

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And that brings us nicely up to today. A truly gorgeous day it was, windy-warm and blue-skied - the kind of day that gives June a good name, and makes me grateful to be alive and riding in such a beautiful place.

Yep, the sky really was this blue:

Windmills turning on the high prairie:

Giant hogweed flourishing on a shady verge:

A favourite barn, with decoration:

A lovingly-preserved one-room schoolhouse:

The biggest collection of farm buildings I've seen anywhere (so big that the only way to shoot them all is from a mile up the road):

Buttercups and bicycle spokes:

Blue flag iris growing wild in a wet ditch:

A good day for a ride.

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It's nearly 9 o'clock in the evening as I write this post, and the sky is still fully light. Rosy clouds drift like bits of sheer ribbon over the house, and the western sky glows with an opal flame.

O wondrous almost-summer!

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