Sunday, June 03, 2007

Exercise, nature, and reflections

I have been in blogging hibernation for a bit, but that will change as my life settles down more.

Yesterday the weather was predicted to be "blah." So I planned to do paperwork. By mid-morning it became clear that it would be a gorgeous day. So, I got my bike ready, packed some water and headed across town to the Chippewa River [Bike] Trail. It was my first time riding south of I-94.

Because it follows an old railroad bed, it is fairly level (no major hills), and was easier than riding across town to get there!

I visited the several stops along the way (including getting a snack in Caryville), and rode all the way to Meridean. At mile post 19, I turned around and headed back. So, including the city streets, about a 40 mile ride in about 4 hours (including the breaks).

There are stretches of the trail which go through fields and are very Midwestern-looking. There are other stretches along the river and through wooded areas. In particular, the wooded areas could have been in any northern area (at times it almost felt like Southern Rhode Island).

On yesterday's ride I saw a box turtle crossing the path, numerous rabbits, both brown and black squirrels, and a chipmunk. I heard lots of crows (they seem to be prevalent in this area) and other birds I cannot identify by song. I did see sparrows and barn swallows. The latter had a nest under the balcony outside my apartment for a time. There are many in the area of the apartment. In previous rides around Carson Park and Half Moon Lake, I have seen what I think is either a crane or a heron (I can't tell, and was riding quickly at that point). I have noticed that the squirrels here are mostly "black" rather than grey.

If you are quiet enough, and slow enough, you get to see a lot. It has been good for me to take the time to sit and watch. While my bike ride was un-eventful weather-wise (well, except for the slight burn on my neck), later in the afternoon, the storms moved in. I sat out and watched as rain moved from south to north, with the rain (and thunderstorm) to the west of where I was sitting. But then the winds changed, and that storm started to come back from the northwest, until it stalled for a bit. It did finally rain, and says that we got almost an inch of rain (and I believe it!).

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