Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In Which CR Biker Wonders Where the Birds Went

Birds gathered near Boyson Road trail very late one afternoon last week.  Paging Alfred Hitchcock.

South, I know, it’s that time of year.  But, they left suddenly.  I saw them last week and it seems that this week there are far fewer avian crowds on our neighborhood wires.

One reason to bike is to be “out” and to see the natural world a bit more often.  I’ve noted before that in Iowa, seasons sometimes don’t slowly evolve from one to another—sometimes they switch abruplty, like someone quickly slid the dial from “summer” to “fall.”

That’s to a communing biker’s advantage, in some ways.  Cool fall mornings are about the most pleasant biking conditions one could ask for.

But in the twilight of the suddenly earlier evenings, the silence is getting dominant.  Throughout summer, you hear life all around you, even at night when the insects and frogs are seeking sex and singing their love songs.

There are a few diehard Romeos out there, still, but the evening insect chorus has died down from a full choir to a few lackluster soloists and an occasional quartet.  It’s hard for enough beetles to get together to be a fab 4, these nights.

I took the photo of the birds gathered on a wire during the evening ride I blogged about last week.  The picture of the bug below shows a creature that was slowly—slowly—inching its way across a railing at MMU’s Busse Library this Sunday evening, the final night of September, when I had stopped by, on my bike, to check on the student newspaper.

The sudden fall leaves me with mixed feelings.  I like the vibrant change of colors that appeared overnight after one cold evening—but am a little melancholy that the unusual fall beauty is partly due to a harsh drought.  I like the biking weather now, but the chill reminds me that cold is on the way.

Summer might not be my favorite biking time—but it beats heck out of winter!

I had a lot of trouble getting this little guy's image.  I think it was getting too dim
for my little point-and-shoot camera to focus well.

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