Sunday, May 31, 2009

may 31

Today I had 2 bike rides!  yea.  Yesterday I drove the car, sorry.

My first ride was to Edna Taylor Conservation Park for some bird watching with housemate, and playing with my new camera.  Here's housemate leading the way:

It was a glorious gorgeous day.  Temperature was 61 F, winds SSW at 6 mph when we left about 11 am.  The park is only a couple of miles from our house.   

I really like this picture at full resolution.  sorry you can't see that...

It's just a little wetlands area:

okay, time to play with the camera.  A dragonfly:

A green heron (I think).  okay, still working on my photography skills...

turtle, obviously:

Lots of geese families, very cute:

Eastern bluebird:  

While trying to make room on my memory card to shoot the bluebird, I accidentally deleted a decent shot of a hawk flying overhead.  I have much to learn.  All I know is it wasn't a red-tailed.

Then this afternoon I went to get a massage.  Did I mention it was a great day?  Now it was up to 71 F, winds 7 mph at 2 pm.   here's the start of the bike path.

Afterwards, I went to look for the peregrine falcon.  He was on his perch and then flew off.  I got to watch him fly, didn't get to snap a picture.

On the way home at 5 pm, temperature was 72, winds 16 mph gusting to 24 from the NW.

Here's a female cardinal.  No, wait, on closer inspection, I think it's a summer tanager.  or a house finch?  okay, much to learn...

more of these poppies along the bike path.  I like them.  

Friday, May 29, 2009

may 28 and 29

Let's see, I got busy with work so I was holed up in my house on tuesday and wed.  Then I got a break in the action and got to go to my morning exercise class yesterday.  yea!  At 6:53 am, the temperature was 52 degrees F in light drizzle, winds 9 mph from the NW (headwind),  and it felt great!  Anything would feel great after being in the house for 2 days straight.   Here's the start of the bike path:

The phlox were in bloom all along the bike path:


These flowers outside the gym smelled so good:

here's a closeup:

On the way home, I spotted some ducklings.  Mama was close-by.

More of the pretty orange flowers.  They look like poppies:

Then today my deadline was over, but I still woke up early, so I went to my exercise class again, yea!   The 7:30 am class is the most fun.  Temperature was 57 F, winds 5 mph from the NW at 6:53 am.  The start of the bike path:

I saw the peregrine falcons both yesterday and today.  Today I brought my new camera with me.  But I don't know how to use it and forgot to change the settings from my playing last night (set to tungsten colors so it was totally off in the daylight).   But here's two pictures of one of the falcons:

he was pooping in this one.  I paid how much money to capture this?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today was Memorial Day.  There weren't many cars and there were a lot of bikes on pedestrians on the bike path.  I wish it were this way every day!   It was 66 F, winds 13 mph from the East when I started out at 4:30 pm.  Winds were gusting to 24 mph.  Good thing because it was a tail wind! 

Uh-oh, it looks like kind of like rain off to the west.    Fortunately it's the wrap-around of a weather system (not the front itself) and looked worse than it was.  It only sprinkled on my way home.  This is the old abandoned Garver mill, at the start of my ride.  

These flowers (downtown at they gym) smelled really good.

Here's a closeup:

On the way home at 6:30 pm, temperature was 64 F, winds 12 mph from the east.
I stopped to look for the peregine falcon, didn't see it.  I stopped at Starkweather creek to look for ducks and babies, and saw a family off in the distance but they were too far away.
Then back at the Garver mill in the abandoned lot behind it, I saw this:

I think it was a red fox.  It looked like a short, long red dog, but it seemed to disappear down a hole when it saw me.  It didn't behave like a dog.  I looked it up when I got home and I'm pretty sure it was a red fox.  I didn't get to see its tail in the tall grass.  That would have been a sure sign.  It's amazing what you see on a city bike bath!

I'm going to get a new camera this week...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

may 24

same old story, just another beautiful spring day.  Temperature was 60 degrees, winds 10 mph from the NE when I left at 8:45 am.   start of the bike path:

On the way home at noon, temperature was 67, winds still 10 mph from the NE.  
I looked for the duckies and their babies but haven't seen any yet.  saw some turtles though.  I overexposed on them because of the dark water.

hard to see here but these orange flowers were pretty.

Friday, May 22, 2009

may 22

It was 71 degrees F with calm winds when I left at 4:55 pm.   On the way home at 7:30 pm, I stopped at the Yahara river bridge to eat an apple.  I chatted with a guy and we saw some big fish which he said were carp.  He said there's a lot of baby ducks around so I will look out for those.  It was a nice ride home though I was a bit cool with temperature now down to 65 F and winds from the ESE at 10 mph which was a headwind. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

may 21

Today I brought along a good camera and binoculars but struck out on the bird sightings.  However, the flowering plant sightings were enjoyable.   These lilac bushes struck me because they were so full of flowers--way more than the one in my yard.  I've never seen so many flowers on one bush before.  Or maybe I just never noticed before...

Here's the start of the bike path at 3:30 pm.  Temperature was 77 F, winds 8 mph from the NNW, so a headwind for the first half of the ride but not bad.  

Another bursting lilac bush:

And another.  And of course, they smell great.

On the way home, I stopped to look for the peregrine falcons but they didn't show up.  I ate an apple and hung out for about 10 minutes, then headed home.   Temperature was 71 F, winds 13 mph from the North, so again a headwind on the first half of the ride, but a slight tailwind on the last half.

Here's some more flowering bushes.  I thought theses were honeysuckle but they don't look quite like the wikipedia version and they weren't fragrant like the white flowers are.

Here's a closer view:

Flocks are in bloom.

And these white flowers:

a closeup:

I guess I'll have to add flowers and plants to my list of things to learn.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

may 20

The start of the bike path at 3:53 pm:

It was a windy day.  Temperature was 83 F (!), winds 11 mph gusting to 30 from the SSW.  It felt so good to be in a short sleeve shirt, with the sun and wind hitting my arms!  ahhh, even reminiscing feels good.  I didn't mind the wind since I wasn't late.  Then my yoga class was canceled so I rode home.  At least I got out on the bike.  I rode home by the lake.  This is my favorite spot because the road goes right next to the water, though up a slight hill:

Down by Olbrich and starkweather creek, we get a view of the crazy kiteboarders.  

and the capital off in the distance.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

may 19

Today I revisited my 7:30 am exercise class, and I have to admit, it was not terribly fun getting up and running off to exercise.  Then I was tired in the afternoon from the exercise.  So I guess I've adjusted to the afternoon classes pretty quickly.  I'll be back to them tomorrow, just had conflicts today. Here's the start of the bike path at 6:53 am.  

Temperature was 55 F, winds 9 mph from the SSW.  The path is shadier than it was a few months ago because the sun rises further north (the path is pointing NW, and sun is just passing through E a few hours after sunrise on it's way south at mid-day).   That's about all I noticed.  I was groggy.  I thought it might be easier to see the Peregrine falcons in the morning light but the box looked even darker than in the evening, so I don't know if they were there or not.  I didn't have binoculars.  Temperature was up to 63 F, winds from the S at 10 mph gusting to 17 on my way home at 9 am.

Monday, May 18, 2009

may 18

Today I didn't get onto the bike until 6:55 pm.   Temperature was 63 F, winds 13 mph gusting to 23 mph from the SSW, so a reasonable tailwind.  Here's the start of the bike path:

This tree smelled good.  mmm

I got home at 9:50 pm after a strenuous yoga class.  Winds died down to 8 mph from the south.  I'm pooped.  Now I'm thinking I need to go to the 7:30 am exercise class tomorrow or I won't make it there at all--lots to do in the afternoon.  time for bed...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

may 16

It was a cool and windy day. Temperature was 55 F at 4 pm, winds 17 mph gusting to 28, from the WNW, so a head wind.
start of the bike path:

Here's what I want to do for my next hobby:

The peregrine falcon, third day in a row!

A kingfisher behind Olbrich garden. All this from a bike ride to yoga class!

The winds died down to 10 mph on my way home (7:30 pm) so I got some tailwind.