Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bike riding in the Summer

New England summers. You have to know them to appreciate them. We've had lots of rain this summer but the past few weeks have been sunny and warm, with a hint of cool in the evening. So we've been out trying to cram a summers' worth of play into a few weeks.

The past two weeks have been non-stop work and the point of exhaustion! But in New England, you have to take advantage of the good weather when it decides to arrive, so biking and hiking and beach are on the list of must-do's every weekend.

Yesterday we left the house early and went to a guided hike around the Wachusett reservoir to visit old cellar holes. The reservoir was built in around 1900 and basically the state forced farmers to sell (at a very cheap price) their land and homes - some of which had been in the family for generations. Sad stories but old ones and the remaining cellar holes and odds and bits lying around are intriguing.

First thing we saw was this tomato hornworm - what a beautiful bug. I don't want him in my garden but he really was great to look at with his vibrant colors. None of the pictures I saw on the web showed this actual color guy with the stripes. But you can see the horn in the back. They turn into hummingbird moths - which are fascinating to watch.

I find that I take pictures of small items - as opposed to the large view. This rock wall crevice fascinated me - I have ideas about who is living inside. This piece of wall is from a barn cellar - which was made of massive stone blocks, an absolute masterpiece of engineering.

This is a view of one of the rock walls of the barn. Can't do it justice in a picture - it was amazing.

Indian pipe. Lovely and fragile and glowing in the sunlight.

The reservoir. This was about 30 feet from the back of the rock wall barn - and of course used to be a handy river to build your house near. Water the cows easily and all that. Now this reservoir waters all of Boston! Water comes from the Quabbin (another sad story, but for another time) into this reservoir and then to Boston where they proudly told us that is is Unfiltered! The water is only treated with ozone for killing bacteria - but I am going to see if ozone kills nasty parasites also, I'm thinking NO!

Another interesting fungus, I just love taking pictures of these fungi surprises.

After the walk/hike - we went bike riding in the Harvard forest. Here is the street in front of the forest. Nice and peaceful and quiet looking.

Here is one of the bike paths. You can't tell how steep it is, but believe me - it was steep and rocky and exhausting and exhilarating. My head was juggling around so hard that I could barely see straight. I got off and walked frequently, but loved the rocky twisty downhill runs. Fun, great exercise - but I crashed when I got home and didn't wake up till 6:00 am.

There are a number of trees that are turning colors, rogue trees we call them, but they know better than us that autumn is coming. I'm going on line to buy warm bike leggings. I'm starting to think about where to put my outside plants for the winter. We start to make mental adjustments even tho' we might have warm weather for another month or more.

Today I'm staying home! Home chores call, bills and such. Gardening projects. Perhaps it's the nesting instinct kicking in....


soulbrush said...

what a delight, the worm, the pipes and glad you got out and into it. don't remind me that autumn is round the corner, moan, yet i love the autumn colours, oh well pros and cons...but i do like staying indoors too and just 'pottering'.hugs and wfs.

sukipoet said...

What great stones and story. Sounds like you have really been having fun for these few gorgeous weeks. We have one of those rogue trees here too. Sigh. But I love autumn. It's just winter that gets to me.

Mim said...

We all love/hate autumn don't we. I love the season, just don't like the coming winter unless able to be outdoors, snowshoeing, skiing etc. But usually am indoors by the fire, reading a book! Not too bad either.

Debra Kay said...

Hornworms are awfully squishy when you touch one-they give me the willies, but they are pretty, just don't want any on my tomatos!

Lynn said...

Wow, what a workout you gave yourself! I admire your stamina on the bike ride Mim.
The photos are all lovely, interesting, well done.
Thanks for taking us on your walk and ride.