Sunday, November 20, 2016

In Which I Praise a Frosty Bare Bike Ride

Lindale Trail Sunday, Nov. 20. Trees are bare, but the trail is still pretty.
I wasn’t bare, let’s be clear about that right up front. I wouldn’t want any of your overactive imaginations to make you queasy.

No, I meant that, several weeks later than usual, we’ve arrived in late fall—dimmer light as the sun is far in the southern sky, trees denuded for their winter sleep.

During this unusually warm fall, I often got comments on campus like “aren’t you enjoying this biking weather” and “you’re lucky you can still be biking in November.”

Not really—due to long underwear, I’m usually biking in November anyway. But this morning, with the air temperature in the 20s and a cold wind making it seem much colder, it was definitely the first really chilly ride of the season. As they say, winter is coming. I didn’t wear warm winter socks today, and it would have been a good idea.

Two images of railing on bridge over Dry Creek on Boyson Trail--note the frost on the rail and bridge deck.

Still, I enjoy being out on a bicycle, even in these dim weeks of the year. We’re only a month from the solstice, so even if we’re not into the coldest weather of the year, we’re into the darkest days.

As fall moves towards winter, there is a dramatic change in the outdoors. The trees are bare, although the compensation for that is you can see both the land and the shapes of the trunks more clearly.

Shadows on Boyson Trail.

Argent parked by bridge as I take some photos.

View on Boyson Trail shortly after I got on the trail at the Boyson Road end. Rising sun, bare trees, blue sky--a bit stark, but still pretty. A good morning to be outside. And to wear gloves ...

When the sky is clear or nearly clearly, there is a special quality to the deeper winter blue of the sky. Even as we approach mid-day, shadows stay long. And although I like bright flowers and green foliage, the brown countryside has its own more subdued beauty.

Well, it wasn’t midday when I took these photos. I was out around 8:30 this morning on the Boyson Trail after heading over the Bowman Woods hill, on my way to the gym.

It was pretty, if cold. I like the peace and serenity of a winter trail. Of course, it will be nicer when the leaves and the flowers and the butterflies all return—but I’ll enjoy the stark beauty of the bare weeks while they are here.

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