Monday, March 18, 2019

If John Denver Had Been a Cyclist Living in Wisconsin... of his songs might have gone something like this:

Almost springtime, Mid-Wisconsin
Sound of birdsong, swiftly-melting snowpack
Life is new here, waking up the trees
Calling to the cyclists, "Ride! You will not freeze!"

Bumpy roads, take me home
To the place I belong
Mid-Wisconsin, cycling blogger
Take me home, bumpy roads

All my longing centers on her
Vintage road bike, sleeping through the winter
Crochet turtle hanging from the bars
Lord, I get so tired of travelling in cars

Bumpy roads, take me home
To the place I belong
Mid-Wisconsin, cycling blogger
Take me home, bumpy roads

The sun is warm, and the wind is soft upon me
Water flows and gurgles through the fields by my side
Winter's long and grey, but on such a bright March day
I will ride, I will ride

Bumpy roads, take me home
To the place I belong
Mid-Wisconsin, cycling blogger
Take me home, bumpy roads
Take me home, bumpy roads
Take me home, down bumpy roads

(A fond parody of Take Me Home, Country Roads by Bill Danoff, John Denver, and Taffy Nivert Danoff)


Last Thursday we had half a warm day, which Tallulah and I celebrated with a ride.

A few days of rain combined with above-freezing temps was causing a very accelerated snowmelt and plenty of local flooding:

Water literally poured out of sloping fields, filling the ditches, rushing under (and in some places over) the roads:

Not all the snow had melted. There were still plenty of piles like this to be seen:

Marshy areas had turned into lakes:

No fear of trespassers here:

(Look at the red-twig dogwood in the background. So beautiful!)

Swarms of geese were whirling and swirling on the horizon, and flying high overhead:

Songbirds filled the air with gladness:

And we heard sandhill cranes!

Tallulah and I were so happy to be back on the road, we couldn't help singing too. Here's a wobbly (and somewhat breathless) recording of us working on the lyric to our Country Roads adaptation / parody:

(Tallulah's voice was drowned out by the wind, but the birds in the background can be heard clearly. Go figure.)

By Thursday night, temperatures were back in the low 30s. I took another short ride on Saturday, and nearly froze my ears off in the 25F wind chill (no photos of that ride, I'm afraid, as I had left my camera at work).

Now the temps are creeping slowly upwards again, which means more rides to come. I can hardly wait.

Happy Almost Spring!

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Catching Up, a Coral Scarf, and a Winter Walk

February was an interesting month, in which we fell victim to what I think was walking pneumonia. Whatever it was, it lasted for weeks. And weeks. So persistent was my cough that I was tempted to name it, and dithered for days between George and Urk*. (Never did make up my mind.)

But March is here, and we're (mostly) through with coughing - hooray! Now we're trying to catch up on all the things we didn't do last month. For me, this includes blogging.


A pattern of mine was recently featured in an online article over at I Like Crochet. The pattern is the Eden Eyelets Scarf, published in I Like Crochet's Ultimate Scarf Collection.

Left photo courtesy of I Like Crochet; right photo is mine

The Eden Eyelets scarf features alternating long rows of Y-stitch and granny clusters, and is trimmed with tassels at each end. A surprise edging technique ensures perfectly matching tension on the long edges.

The sample was made with KnitPicks CotLin DK, a pleasant cotton-linen blend that blocks to a beautiful drape and softness. The colorway, Conch, is perfect for spring, and also happens to be a close match for Living Coral, Pantone's Color of the Year.

Head over to I Like Crochet for this pattern and many more!


Our weather over the last several weeks could be summed up as: snow a lot, melt a little, freeze, repeat. Sometimes, for a change, it would rain a little, melt a lot, freeze, repeat. The overall result has been ice - lots of ice - and less-than-ideal walking conditions.

But on Sunday the sun shone so brilliantly that I couldn't stay inside. Here are a few photos from that walk.

The snow was piled high at the start of the trail; my feet and lower legs disappeared at every step.

The sun shone through the branches of a favourite oak:

Animal tracks crossed and criss-crossed the fields:

After a few hundred yards of plunging and wallowing through knee-deep drifts (great workout, but very tiring), I reached the packed surface of the snowmobile trail. What a relief to be on firm footing!

After winding through a little wood, the snowmobile trail cuts across the prairie restoration project, between wide fields of winter-bleached grass and flowers. Goldenrod is a common sight there:

As is knapweed:

I followed the trail around a few corners to find a forward-thinking tree that had decked itself in buds in preparation for Spring:

The buds themselves were dressed (like me) in wind-proof jackets with fuzzy underlayers:

A little farther on, the snow was zebra-striped with tree-shadows:

And every tree stood in a little bowl of snow:

From here on, the wind became so icy that I had to pull my scarf up over nose and mouth. (Which caused my breath to steam up my glasses, making it hard to spot photo ops.)

A very cold walk, despite the brilliant sunshine.


This is the time of year we start to feel slightly desperate for warm weather and cycling. But winter still has a firm grip here; night-time temps have been below zero all week. It's hard to believe that calendar Spring is only two weeks away.

I wonder when real Spring will arrive?

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

*George, in parody of a classic Looney Tunes scene ("I will name him George, and I will hack him and cough him...."). Urk, after a character in Cold Comfort Farm, whose name sounds like a cough. :)