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June 4, 2008 - Bill Ackerbauer
With rain in the forecast today, I decided to drive to work rather than ride. I feel like a slacker.
My "great transportation experiment" (see previous post) has been a success so far, however, and I've found myself looking forward to the early morning and afternoon rides on the F, J & G Rail Trail.
Purple and white wildflowers are in their glory all along the sides of the trail. If I were a more accomplished botanist, I'd be able to tell you what species.
On Monday and Tuesday, the trail positively reeked of lilacs. This was pleasant on one level: the smell brought to mind the flowering bushes my grandmother used to cultivate in her yard when I was a kid. But on another, less nostalgic level, the floral aroma is problematic in that it triggers my allergies. I'll have to stock up on allergy medicine and brace myself for the long, cruel pollen season ahead.
I've come across some notable fauna on the trail as well: Birds of many common varieties inhabit the wooded sections of the trail, and I found I was able to get surprisingly close to several rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks. Perhaps they don't find bicycles threatening because they're so quiet. My most significant zoological encounter to date happened Tuesday morning, when I nearly ran over an opossum on Townsend Avenue. He waddled out from under a bush and nearly tasted my tire tread. I was sort of hoping he'd freeze and play dead, but he ducked back under cover at the last nanosecond. Maybe he wasn't in the mood for a performance -- the sun had just come up, so he probably was on the way back to his nest (den? burrow? bat cave?) after a long night of foraging.
Hopefully, if we cross paths again, I'll have my camera at the ready.
Here are a couple of video clips I shot on the trail Tuesday morning:
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This pair of hulking rust buckets caught my eye on side the trail. They look like they may have been giant storage tanks in an earlier era.