Friday, November 6, 2009

a mid-autumn ride



it's been a while since i've asked you along for a ride.
so get your bike out of the shed and let's get started.

it's getting cooler these days
so you should think about layering.

this is a term i take for granted.
but chums in warmer climes
might not know that that means:
these days it means
three layers on the bottom
three layers on top.

mittens to start.

that's the autumn garb.

winter garb - well it can mean one or two more layers.
top and bottom!!

today's ride takes us past
little lake.


it's not a lake at all
but a widening of the otonabee river.
sat very near this lake
when they listened
to the lovin' spoonful
remind us all
that every day
once again!

these guys live here pretty much year 'round
and they'll chat as long as you'll listen . . .

but come on
we've got a few km to cover yet!!!

we're soon past the city's edge and into the countryside.

old farms. old fields.


mid-october and the roadside is still rich with little gifts!

and the sumac dances in the thin autumn wind like prayer flags . .


look past the sumac and across the meadow and you'll see the weather's closing in . . .

and we've got quite a few really long steep hills to climb . . .

for which you are rewarded with views to make you cry for the gift of it all . . .


but it's definitely time to get home!





32 comments:

Jenny Stevning said...

All I can say is WOW!! The third photograph makes me melt.
(Oh...and that IS A LOT of layers.)

Jenny Stevning said...

Okay...and the 7th photo, too.
mmmelllltiiiinngg...

jinksy said...

Seeing a sky like the one in your last picture would definitely send me scurrying home!

NanU said...

awesome bike ride, Steven. You really give me the urge to get outside for some fresh air, after a long week dragging around under the effects of the flu shot and the heavy clouds here.
Thanks!

willow said...

There's nothing I like better than the color of fall foliage against a soft gray sky.

"sumac dances in the thin autumn wind like prayer flags"

Just beautiful, Steven.

steven said...

hi jenny stevning - i love looking across fields. i especially love fields that end at the crest of a hill so the horizon line is the field's edge. i have no idea why. i'm glad you could come along for the ride . . . . have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hi jinksy - i always check weather forecasts before i head out. cold and rain doesn;t bother me. at this point in the year i'm watching for freezing rain - you know, the sort that freezes all over the roads and everything else!! this ride was a couple of weeks back when really all i had to concern myself with was lightning. i've ridden through it many times but it's hard to stay focussed!!! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hey nanu - walk, run, bike ride, sail whatever it takes to get out into the air and fill your eyes with whatever's available to be seeen!!!! it's the best tonic for uplifting the body and spirit!!! have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hi willow!!! thanks so much. i wish i'd taken my better camera along but it's a bit heavier than the one i used here. the essence of what i saw is here though and that's what matters. it was a beautiful ride. hard with the hills - there are lots of them out where i was that day - but the views were so good that day. have a peaceful day at the manor. steven

acornmoon said...

Phew, that hill was steep!

Thanks for the ride.

The Bug said...

Gorgeous! Sometimes I really resent my desk job that keeps me inside on these lovely fall days. At least I have a large window & a view of the trees in our office park...

Meri said...

Spectacular scenery. But I'll admit that I hopped off my bike and pushed it up that hill.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh I love it when I come on a bike ride with you, steven. I do hope we got back home before the rain came. Glorious pictures - really enjoyed it - thanks for inviting me.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Oh, man, Steven, nice ride. Great photos-I especially I like the storm awaiting down the road. Layers *are* key to survival. When my son first moved to the Northwest after college, he was walking around in flip flops and shorts and tank tops, and bitterly complaining about the cold. Now he is seasoned and knows the Great Northern Secret: layers. As many as it takes.

Alaine said...

It's lovely to see the countryside on the other side of the world. I use Sumac occasionally in cooking, didn't know what it looked like; it's a pretty plant, decorating the landscape.

Verily I go. said...

I love this with you (in my pajamas) so beautiful and such a treat. Thank you. xo

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Steven! I made it! Not too hilly! In fact, I love the flat picture where you can see for miles: green field, a row of flaming and golden trees, a low mountain range. My favorite picture is the weathered gate fence which leads into the gate in the next photo! And the changing skies: every photo has its take on clouds and color and imminent rain. Thank you!

Pauline said...

I'd never keep up in real life but on this virtual ride I was right along side. Marvelous photography! Thanks -

steven said...

hello bug, i get out on our breaks which happen twice a day - twenty minutes each and if i'm not hanging with my students then i'm watching the sky, walking inside our natural habitat or traipsing around looking for little beautiful things or places. the rides to and from work are great for filling me with the outside world as well. then of course there's the weekend when i can get a ride or two in or a walk. no matter the weather these are choices i ask my body to help me take. have a lovely weekend. steven

steven said...

hello acornmoon, there were several of those hills and each was one of those "short-term pain for long-term gain" situations that i experience as i pass through life. the views made the hurt of their steepness worthwhile. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hello meri - one thing i love about biking is that i allow myself to retain the right to stop, to slow down, to be absolutely amazed enough by something to take a photograph.i never ever let a hill beat me tough and that's not an adminishment at all. it's something i need for whatever reason. . . . perhaps it's something to do with upbringing, or being a boy, or something i don't even want to think about!!!! no matter, i'm glad you were along for the ride meri!!! steven

steven said...

weaver i have to tell you that there was a slight sprinkling as we came down the last bit of road but that made getting home all the sweeter. a warm bath, a change of clothes and a lovely real ale to soften the tongue and tell the really good stories of the ride!!! have a lovely evening in the dale. steven

steven said...

hey richard, so true. i have been on my bike in minus twenty-eight weather (i'm fifty two years old so i should know better but i don't really want to know better!!!) and i wasn't really hurtin' cold. just cold. it's all about the layers and making sure that they're thin but really good at not retaining moisture. it's hard to imagine sweating at minus twenty-eight but you do!!! i have a post coming up soon about a very recent ride - last weekend and it was quite a bit cooler. this monring it was five below zero celsius. so there was ice on the ground. little fractured puddles. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi alaine, sumac for cooking is new to me. it' a gorgeous plant especially in the autumn when it is usually the first to turn and share gorgeous colours. if it wasn't such and invasive plant i'd invite it into the garden but it loves empty spaces - and filling them!!!! have a lovely morning on the other side.... steven

steven said...

well verily, i've never ridden with anyone in their pyjamas but in my dreams the other night i was dancing with a close friend inside a rough wool blanket so apparently i'm up for almost anything! i feel especially fortunate to live in such a lovely area that i can get to with my body and a bike. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hello margaret, i'm so happy that you were able to conquor those hills and that you saw all that i saw!!! very cool!!! i love gateways as well. i have to figure out a way to get a really good camera that is lightweight so i can really do justice to the spaces and places that i see. i'm grateful for your kind comment. steven

steven said...

hello pauline - i joined the local cycling club this summer to try out some of their rides and one of my fave groups was "the monday night ride" which was made up of all sorts of people, but people who wanted to ride distances without suffering. people who loved the joy. they stop at the top of hills, they oooh and ahhh over great views, they go slowly up hills and apply the brakes on the other side of hills. they are lovely people. they would happily cover thirty or fourty kilometres over a couple of hours or more - a distance easily done in an hour and a bit on a good tuesday night ride! i never worry about speed or ability as much as i think about the quality of the experience. . . . . i'm so glad you came along! steven

Rachel Fenton said...

people who loved the joy. they stop at the top of hills, they oooh and ahhh over great views, "they go slowly up hills and apply the brakes on the other side of hills. they are lovely people. they would happily cover thirty or fourty kilometres over a couple of hours or more - a distance easily done in an hour and a bit on a good tuesday night ride! i never worry about speed or ability as much as i think about the quality of the experience.."

That's really special.

steven said...

mm hmmm it really is rachel!!! it was so good for me to remember to slow down and see the speedy route slowly. to be in the company of people who were really unlike me but who valued the very gentleness. thanks for popping back!!! steven

hope said...

Nicest ride I've been on all week.

But I think HALF of your geese are already here for the winter....and some never leave! The Canada goose is trying to take over Swan Lake Gardens and the Swans are giving them the evil eye, as if they're wicked step cousins. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Friko said...

I wish I'd known a bit earlier; silly me, I'd have loved to come along, even though the hills look difficult.

Linda said...

Sorry I missed this on Friday, Steven. Thank you for including us in your daydreams and on your bike ride.
Do you ever bike down to Stewart Hall? Barry's step brother Norm grew up there. His step father Al owned a farm beside the river and rented a cottage to Margaret Atwood.