Monday, June 09, 2014

This morning's ride

It's a humid day but the morning is still cool when we pedal out of the baseball field parking lot and head southeast.  I begin to notice the wildflowers along the road edge, Queen Anne's lace, periwinkle bachelor buttons, fleabane, and further along, thistles not yet open with a hint of their burgundy petals at the tip of tightly closed buds.

Pinto horses swishing tails, cows grazing.

It's a humid day and the smells along the road hang in the air and follow me as I pedal past their origins.  The heady scent of magnolia blossoms and the sudden, shocking stench of road kill.

I pedal down a long hill and see a lone vulture standing on the white line at the shoulder of the road. He stands stock still and I wonder if he will even move when I pedal past.  I shout as I get closer and just as my front tire comes even with him, he takes one stiff hop backwards.  I am past the spot before I realize that what I have seen are his comrades, a wake of vultures, feeding on the rapidly decomposing remains of a deer.  The fetor hangs in the humid air and I pedal hard up the hill to get away from it.

A mile further on, there are blackberries along the roadside, hard and red now, that promise good picking later in the month.

The daylilies are blooming now. Common orange daylilies reach sunward in the ditches, remnants of farmhouse gardens. At the manicured entrances to the housing developments that have sprouted along this country road, are masses of ubiquitous Stella d'Oro daylilies.  They are the Bradford pear of the flower world, floral favorites of neighborhood entrance and mailbox garden landscapers . I prefer their burgundy and peach and pink daylily cousins, bred and cross-bred by old gardeners, avid amateur plantsmen and women, that hang hand-painted signs in their front yards to lure passers-by to purchase a lovely clump or two.

This ride feels good.  My legs feel stronger.  I am not as winded on the hills.  I have something left near the top and forgo downshifting.

It will be in the upper 80's later in the day and I will work and sweat in the garden and never wish it was cooler or drier.  How many times have I heard someone not from around here say, "I couldn't live there.  It's so humid."

This evening, a thunderstorm is likely and we will sit on the porch with a book and a glass of wine and breathe in the fragrance of star jasmine climbing up the porch lattice.


Kay Pinckney said...

Oh my. This makes me want to pack up everything and just stay there for a couple weeks!
I can't wait to be there this weekend!

Kathie said...

I wouldn't do well in the humidity but I love your description - I was riding along with you :) Now to catch up on the wedding pics! xo