25 Sep 2016

25th September 2016 One day at a time.


Sunday 25th 53-68F, 12-20C, bright start, a light wind fidgets in the bushes and trees, impatient to run free. It is expected to be rather windy but mild and sunny again.

A great wave rears up, ready to break over the sandy, stubbled foreshore.

It was a still, quiet morning walk along the lanes and my views largely peopled only by birds. The occasional jackdaw sounded the alarm before launching into another peaceful day. Eight geese passed swiftly and silently over. Obviously intent on reaching some goal further to the southwest. Gulls stood out brightly on a brown, almost featureless desert dune. Skylarks still abound in some numbers. Coming out of the stubble to chase each other in some ritual which disturbed and bemused their quieter fellows.

The Sunday morning traffic was fortunately light as tabby cats skulked along behind long, over-tired and scruffy hedges. A thin, chill wind wicks between gaps in the hedges. There are still butterflies and dragonflies on the wing. Perhaps made clumsy by the slight overnight chill, a Red admiral needed to be carried gently from the foot of the shadowy gate to the budlias to recover its composure.

Many leaves still hang on in expectation of next week's storm. All longing to be rid of their already thinned burden for this year. The colours are fading to autumnal at an almost glacial melting rate of motion. Another record warm month passes. To be ticked off by meteorologists and climatologists as another brick in their heavily graffitied, wailing wall of evidence in support of AGW. The garden trees have grown listless as the breeze rises. Almost as if they resented the growing pace of change.

Will our hero risk a tricycle ride in 25-30mph gusts? Did I mention that my front wheel Q/R had been loosened again? Some oaf has it in for me. I noticed the front wheel twitching on the way back from the shops and feared it might suddenly collapse to pitch me over the handlebars. Much as I hate stopping I eventually had to pull off and check the skewer. The lever had been returned to normal but there was no tension. Had I lifted the front wheel it could easily have fallen out. Probably one of the teenage school kids who were milling about outside the shops on Friday. As I am not averse to pulling the occasional wheely when sprinting away from a stop I shall have to keep an eye on the problem.

I foolishly chose to ride into the headwind to reach the end of Helnæs peninsula. I was having an unofficial race with two others on the causeway crossing. A chap on a carbon racer  eventually went past and I tried my best to stay with him by using the tri-bars. Meanwhile, a younger chap on an MTB was slowly catching me. Both paused soon after cresting the approach hill to the Helnæs "island" while I kept going. We each crossed each other's paths later on. I was down on the tri-bars and continuing to fight the wind and a painful quad right across Helnæs. One might have hoped for tailwind coming back but it was more often a crosswind. Later I was about to stop and photograph some tractors when a gorgeously marked bird of prey flew over. Its shallow V-tail and light coloured head were clearly visible as it rode the wave above a farm's long avenue of trees. I'm going to have to call it a Red kite until proven otherwise but it really didn't look large enough. The Marsh harrier is similar but has a squarish tail without the V. A rather exhausting 35 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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