Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another Morning in Cycling Paradise

We walked the cat and drank our coffee, talking about the day, and organizing our schedule. First would be a bike ride. We aren't water skiing today, and we need to burn off some energy before tackling chores and projects. It is a typical July morning. At dawn there is almost no wind, it is 80 degrees, and the dewpoint is in the lower 70s. Warm and humid, but considering the heat wave and drought in much of the rest of the country, easy to live with. Our high today will be in the low 90s, not the baking triple digits of so many places in the West and Midwest.

We ambled through our 1 mile warm up stretch to our starting point. From there we headed out on our loop ride, Al setting a brisk pace. We stopped briefly to feed the scrub jays and chat with another bike guy.

On a day like today, it is hard to deny the advantages of living and biking in rural Florida. At around 7:00, rush hour in the civilized world, I stopped and took a couple of pictures. Just to remind myself what a cycling paradise this area is.
Rush hour on one of our country roads.

Rush hour on a little used back road.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

After the Rains, Plants Grow and Grow and Grow

We are back to typical summer weather. When we left on our morning ride, the sun was barely up. The air temperature was 73 degrees. The dewpoint was 73 degrees. The humidity? 100 per cent. Only light clouds in the sky. Your basic Florida summer morning. Today's high temperature will be in the low to mid 90s. By late afternoon (around 4:00) there will be rain, but it will end by 6:00. We joke about it. Why check the weather forecast? It is always the same.

We rode one of our local loops. Wildflowers are out after all the rain we've had. I mentioned it to someone who only sees the area from her car. "Wildflowers?" she said. "What wildflowers?" Ah the things people who don't ride a bike missThe roadsides are green and flourishing, the ditches and low areas are awash with water, and wildflowers are plentiful. We rode past an area that burned this spring. It too was green, growing, and lush.

Bright blue scrub wildflowers

Common tickseed

Fine-leaved white-top sedge ("star-rush")
Wildfire area, April 2012

Wildfire area, July 2012

But no morning ride is complete without a cute critter. A small turtle was less than pleased at our attention to his progress across the road.