The last time it was nice enough for a decent bike ride was April 12th. I’m writing this two weeks later (April 27th) and publishing on May 1st (Hooray, hooray, the first of May…), and the forecast for this week calls for cloudy skies and rain just about every day.
I am sincerely hoping that I am publishing this AFTER the Highland Howie Thursday night bike ride with the BSBC (Bay Shore Bicycle Club) but I’m not optimistic, because it will probably be raining.
Given that, I thought I would post the pictures I took on April 12th, with a little story to boot. I follow a blog called The Travel Tales of Life, where my alter ego Sue (also married to a Dave – Great Sue’s think alike) posts tales of her many visits to other countries, often on the seat of her bicycle. A few weeks ago, she was in Scotland with her hubby, and while he was busy with work stuff, she asked the locals what she should go see while she was in Aberdeen. Being locals, their response was “Not much here to see” to which her response was “Rubbish!” (don’t you love saying “rubbish”? It’s really an awesome word. I must find a way to sneak it into my day-to-day conversations.) And her blog is filled with photos of treasures she has found while traveling, that perhaps the locals take for granted.
So, my post is basically this: Traveling is wonderful if you have the time and the resources. But if you don’t, remember to seek out the beauty in your own back yard. You don’t have to go far to find it. Sometimes it’s the way a stark tree silhouettes the sky, or a fall blanket of leaves in a cemetery, or pelicans riding the thermals while the sun reflects the dazzling white of their feathers, or the single green shoot of a spring tulip.
When I ride my bike, that is what I love the most – chancing upon the treasures God leaves for me to find in the beauty of the earth. Even when the world seems like it has been gray for so very long, I know His laws of nature are furiously working in the background, just out of reach, and that soon the sun will shine and when it does, my eyes, my ears, my skin, and my heart, will feast on richness of His design. (Was that not just one of the most smarmy paragraphs you have ever read? But it’s true – and the hope of spring is about the only thing that is keeping me from pitching myself into my moat right now.)
Meanwhile, Dave and I walk the neighborhood and pick up trash left over by winter winds, constructions sites, and plow trucks. We pond-stalk the geese and blue teal ducks and hooded mergansers. We walk at twilight and hope to see the deer herd running along the ridge, and carry binoculars in case the eagles are out.
So enjoy my photos of the blue sky, the sun filtering thru the trees, and a bit of left over snow and ice, and take heart knowing that the snow is now gone and the ice has moved off the bay. Spring progress is being made beneath all this grey. And when you see the sun shine again, you will have so much more to see.
See you in a week!
These are photos (above) of my grandparent’s cottage. Well, it used to be theirs. It hasn’t been in the family for years, but all of us grandchildren have many memories of fishing on the dock with Grandma and the bamboo fishing poles; walking out to swim while navigating large seaweed covered rocks; the huge spiders that hung outside the windows and by the boat house that we begged Grandpa to kill; finding crayfish skeletons and dead alewife while walking the rocky beach; playing croquet on the lawn, and crazy eights at the big table inside, all while drinking bug juice and getting noogies from Uncle Jim. If I shut my eyes, I can hear the bang of the wood screen door, smell the damp cedar, and hear Grandma calling us from in the kitchen.
The following photos (below) are from Bayshore Park.
There are a few trails along the cliffs at Bayshore Park. I found this one to the left of the main entrance.
Walking down in clip shoes was probably not one of my brighter ideas. Doing it while wearing prescription sunglasses without bifocals didn’t add to the brilliance of the decision. I had the nasty sensation of the ground trying to float up to my eyeballs a few times before I got smart and just took them off. I can see decent enough without them.
Speaking of these sunglasses – they cost me a fortune, but I had leftover money in my flex spending account and had to spend it on something before December 31st. Well, when I stopped to take pictures at the cottage, I set the sunglasses on my bike bag. I totally forgot to put them on when I left, and almost lost them along the side of the road. Before that, they were lost in the move – I found them by chance in the glove box of my car. Not sure why I put them there, because I bought them for biking so one would think I would have stored them with my bike stuff, which is where I spent the last four weeks looking for them.
Such a pretty place to fall on my head. Thank goodness for the rails.
So, I’m huffing and puffing up and down these steps, talking to myself and crashing thru the brush and twigs, when I spot some guy standing on the rocks just above these steps (He’s not in the photo. That would have been rather stalker-ish to take his picture). I felt like a complete idiot, because here was this guy, probably trying to get a little peace and quiet on a Sunday afternoon woodsy hike, while this buffoon in a blinding yellow jacket is stumbling about below him, carrying on a conversation with herself like a crazy person. Then, I got a little nervous, because what if he was really a serial killer, just waiting for his next victim, and there I was, in non-bifocal sunglasses and clip shoes, a catch as easy as a B-movie actress in a mini skirt and high-heeled shoes? As he ran in the other direction, I realized my crazy talk was too crazy for even a serial killer. Chalk one up for menopause.
This greeted me at the top of those steps and around the corner. No clue what it was made for. Besides hiding bodies, I mean. Anyone have any ideas?
Here are a few more shots of it.
I love knarly old trees like this (above).
View from a rest stop on Nicolet. You can still see a little ice left on the bay.
A shot of the fence at the rest stop. Pretty sure these pillars are really old, and not just manufactured to look old. No clue when they were built. I suppose I could find out by going to the library. I think I might have to do that. Get a my research on, baby!
And finally – a picture of my Road ID. This is to prove to Kay that I actually do wear it. It’s yet another of those items I frequently misplace, and never have it when I need it. For you runners and bikers out there – it’s a smart idea to have one, especially if you run or ride alone. EMT’s don’t have to search you for vital information, and it saves time and could save your life, too. Get yours here: ROAD ID
PS- I was right – it was raining. No ride tonight. 😦