Monday, August 29, 2016

In Which Stormy Biking Brings Egrets

Big bird on Cedar Lake late Tuesday afternoon. Is it a Great Egret, blog reading bird fans?

Not regrets—egrets, I think. Anyway, as you can see, I encountered big, white birds.

It’s been a warm, muggy time in Iowa, and I rode Clarence to campus today in the knowledge that I might have to call for rescue this afternoon, as thunderstorms were possible. While radar said my sisters in the Quad Cities and Des Moines may have been getting soaked this afternoon, when I was ready around 4 to head home, most of the sky in Cedar Rapids was still blue.

Note that there is another Egret on the other side of the tiny peninsula. And, yeah, the sky.

 Just most of the sky—at its edges, both north and south and a bit in the west, the firmament had some very interesting white, grey and black peaks, as if thunderstorms could roll in at any minute. Still, I decided to take the trail ride home and gamble with the weather.

I have no regrets—and I did get to see some egrets. Along with that, there was some track team practicing by running on the Cedar River Trail, which was fine by me, although a large number of runners congregated on the south shore of the lake, creating a bit of a hazard for a passing biker.

Runners—you are pretty, thin little things. You don’t want 270 plus pounds of bike and old man to slam into you at trail speed. I did slow down, but still. If we do collide, it’s probably going to be worse for you than me. Physics says so—mass times acceleration and all that. Still, it won’t be great for me, either, and I would rather not run the experiment.

Biking south along Cedar River Trail at Cedar Lake. Cotton balls in the sky.

Anyway, although it was uncomfortably muggy and I got damp, I did enjoy the ride today. Odd bird sightings continued later in the ride away from the lake—I went home via the Harding Middle School route, wherein I cross Noelridge Park before heading through the middle school grounds. Behind the school, in what appeared to be a dry field (although, to be fair, it was also near small creek) a bunch of geese had congregated.

Hiding out, I assume. They gather geese and feed them to poor people in this town.

Geese flee feast behind middle school. Geese flee being feast.

As I neared home, the northern sky got really dark and gloomy. I was half expecting a twister at any minute—not kidding on that point, the area saw a tornado during similar warm mugginess yesterday—but the raindrops held off and I arrived quite dry.

Well, no. I actually arrived very damp, but from sweat, not hail nor rain. And I don’t regret that.

Wicked Witch weather, but I didn't end up in Oz. Corner of C Avenue and Blair's Ferry Road.

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