Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Starting to feel like late summer

The blackbirds are amassing in a young ash woods along Schwartz Road tonight seeking protection from predators. There's safety in numbers, and in a mostly agricultural landscape, redwinged blackbirds, common grackles, brown-headed cowbirds, and European starlings are leaving behind brome grass seeds in the recently mown hayfield across the road for their nightly protective cover. They're really noisy and I wonder if they are communicating or if they are naturally loud in close quarters with other birds.

It's a beautiful evening tonight. The air is dry and the sun is setting orange, partly hidden behind steel grey clounds. Riding along at 15 mph feels effortless and the air rushing past my ears gives me a slight sensation of flight that those blackbirds probably take for granted.

Two days ago I took a ride from my home near Cedarville to the Rivergreenway at Johnny Appleseed Park. Riding south on the Greenway, I headed into downtown, then east on the Maumee Greenway into New Haven. Here's a photo of the Maumee Greenway as it passes through a young floodplain forest. Composed of green ash, boxedler, cottonwood, silver maple, and sycamore, this is a young and very fast growing woodland. In the 10 years or so that I have been traveling this path, these trees have grown rapidly from the seedlings and small saplings I can barely remember.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ride down Schwartz Road

A view of the Cedarville Reservoir near Leo, IN. The reservoir dam was constructed in 1956 to help regulate water flow in the St. Joe River so that the city of Fort Wayne can obtain a steady supply of water throughout the sometimes dry summer months.

Water quality is important to City of Fort Wayne Utilities. The city works with the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative to collect and test weekly water samples and share that information with people throughout the entire watershed.

Sun sets over an Amish farm near Leo, IN. Descendants of immigrants originally from Alsace, France, this Old-Order Amish settlement co-exists with modern American life. These hardy folks face development pressure from urban development in the Fort Wayne area.

Zook, Noah and Samuel L. Yoder. "Grabill-New Haven, Indiana, Old Order Amish Settlement." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 05 August 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Rode to Woodburn, IN & back this morning. Beautiful morning to ride - clear blue skies, very light and cool north wind, dry air. Stopped and took this photo of the Maumee River at Platter Road Bridge, looking downstream as the river heads northeast toward Lake Erie.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My newest bike

In July, 2007 I purchased a Specialized Tri Cross bike for commuting and for touring. This was my first bike purchase in 22 years, and lot of things have changed since I bought my Trek sport bike in 1985. The folks at Summit City Bike in Fort Wayne, IN were really patient and helpful. Once I explained that I didn't want a really skinny tired bike and didn't need to go especially fast, they turned my on to the Tri Cross, which is a cyclocross bike made for riding on the road or on the trail.

Before I bought the Tri Cross, I looked at a Cannondale T-2 that was in stock, but the frame was too small for me. I considered ordering a true touring bike through them, but was intimidated at the thought of having to buy the bike without being able to ride it first. After spending a great deal of time with the sales folks at Summit City and being very pleased with the bike I bought, I would not hesitate ordering a specially-built bike through them. They were that helpful.

Anyway, I'm going to try to post some photos of the bike if I can figure out how to do it.