Wednesday, October 21, 2015

In Which I Dodge Rain and Rescue Critters

Sky at Cedar Late around 4:30 p.m. today.

I made three attempts to get Francis home from Mount Mercy.

On Tuesday morning, with a slight change of late rain in the forecast for late in the day, I rode Francis. I’m more willing to expose my older bit to possible damp. I had a strategic planning retreat for much of the afternoon, so it was a few minutes before 5 when I started riding Francis across campus to head to bell practice.

But it was sprinkling. And I saw lightning. And, since my wife was just heading to the van to drive home, I quickly changed my mind and parked my bike in my office. (Sorry, Carolyn, but the way it was raining by 6 that night—well, I think skipping that one practice probably was a good move).

Wednesday morning, the first day of fall break, my wife and I were watching two granddaughters. We thought we would drive with them to campus, I would put the tot seat on Francis, and then one of the granddaughters would ride with me to a park while the other rode in the van with her grandmother.

But once again, as I wheeled my bike out of Warde Hall, rain started to pelt down. Plans changed, and we ended up driving to a store and shopping instead.

Anyway, the rain was over by afternoon when the grandkids returned home, and Audrey teaches a Wednesday night class that meets despite fall break, so I rode back to campus with her late in the afternoon, and took a little trail ride on Francis on the way home.

I headed down to Cedar Lake, and noticed something small moving on the trail—a little mouse at the edge of the pavement. “Weird,” I though as I biked on.

The lake was pretty, reflecting the half cloudy, half sunny sky, and circled it and then I turned north.

And north of the lake, there it was again, the mouse on the trail. I know I could have just left it—if it had been in my house, I probably would have killed it. But it was very young and just sitting there, waiting for a jogger’s foot, a biker’s tyre or an owl’s talons to come along.

Little mouse, not the best place to rest, I'm thinking.
So I did a mouse rescue. I grabbed a leaf and used it to shoo the mouse into the grass.

I don’t have much hope for its long-term survival—somehow I don’t think these are mouse genes that will be passing to the next generation—but there you have it, I was a redeemer of an immature rodent.

It was not my only good deed of the day. I also rescued a spider, although that was after I was home and cooking supper for my daughter and myself. The spider was on the wall in the dining room, and I assumed it had hitched a ride on plants we recently brought indoors. So I put a cup over it, slipped an envelope under the cup and did an outdoor arachnid release on the deck.

Good things come in three, so tonight I also e-mailed the city of Cedar Rapids about a crosswalk light on C Avenue that is dangling due to apparent wind damage.

Crosswalk light on C Avenue at Rockwell-Collins. I sent this photo to the city.

So there you have it. I may not have directed a robber with a gun in a “Popeye’s organization” to point said weapon at a more appropriate robbery target (although, to be fair, if I were robbing people in a Popeye’s, I would think I potentially could get more from a neurosurgeon than the cash register …), but I was civic minded in my own way today. You’re welcome.

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