Monday, April 21, 2008

Rain, Dogwoods, and Frogs

Yesterday was a wet day on my commute! It rained the whole way in, and the majority of the way home, making me grateful that I only have to go about 6 miles each way. Funny thing is, in spite of it all, I really enjoyed the ride. I generally find that once I get out there, and turning the pedals, rolling along, I just relax and relish being on the bike. The rain just becomes a part of the whole experience and doesn't really bother me. I wish it were so easy to shed other annoyances in day to day life... being on the bike just seems to help with that. And honestly, I've always kinda liked rain.

And it didn't hurt that the dogwood trees are in bloom now! Gorgeous, lovely trees. The house where I grew up had a bunch of dogwoods at the edge of the woods behind it, and I always found it so beautiful in spring. There's just something wonderful in the simplicity of the blossoms, and fact that they come early enough to stand out against a mix of bare branches and the very beginnings of green leaves. They even look lovely in rain. The picture to the right was taken with a flash on my way home.

As was the one on the left here, showing a little fella I saw hopping along the trail as darkness was falling. Some species of frog, I couldn't tell you which. Back when I was a kid, and collected amphibians and kept them in a small pool in the woods behind my parents' house, I could have told you perhaps, but nowadays, I can recognize and name only the obvious ones. I still find it a delight to come across them though, and to hear them singing along the trail on my ride home in the evening. A wonderful sound of spring.

All in all, a great pair of rides... the kind of pleasure that most folks who don't ride, or who are only fair weather riders, don't know. One of the reasons I have fenders and lights on most of my (many) bikes is exactly that... I can go out and be comfortable and enjoy my ride in a much wider range of conditions than most people. Part of the trick is proper equipment, like rain gear, fenders, and good lighting. Some of it is attitude, and truth be told, some days that just doesn't cut it. But more often than not, you're likely to see me smiling as I ride in the rain or on a moonlit night.

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