Yesterday after work I raced home, jumped into my biking gear, threw the bike on the car, and drove to one of the trails outside of the city. I wanted to start biking by 4 so I could get 20 kilometres under my belt, so to speak (if I wore a belt). The weather has been absolutely magnificent and is supposed to continue to be wonderful through the weekend and I want to squeeze every last ounce of summer out of every hour of daylight that I possibly can. We had such a wet summer for the most part, I and most Nova Scotians feel somewhat cheated.
On the trail I came across a plethora (love that word) of bugs. I even managed to inhale two small gnats of some sort as I was speeding along. I also had a head on collision with an enormous dragonfly. They have compound eyes and fly better than helicopters but they can't avoid me? I did have a few dragonflies tease me, too. As I'm rolling along the trail they would get in front of me like we were in a race. After about 50 metres or so they veer upwards and get behind me, then pass me at a greater speed. I can almost hear them saying "Nyah nyah nyah" as they jet by me. Show offs.
There were all kinds of caterpillars out crossing the trail, too. Most that I spotted were off the Tussock variety that I blogged about a week and a half ago. There were also a few smooth skinned fat ones that I will stop to inspect next time I'm out. The one pictured below is very much like the Tussock moths, but it had no hairs (the "tussock part of the creature) sticking up like a punk rocker. It was more of a preppy caterpillar. Lovely colours and a few spots, too.
After about 10 kilometres, I got off the trail, crossed the highway, and went to a wharf at the ocean that I have only ever seen from afar. There were 4 people fishing so I figured it was as good a spot as any to take a snack break and see what these folks were up to. Two older gentlemen and a younger couple were catching mackerel. The fish were practically jumping out of the ocean and into their bucket on the dock. I chatted with the four of them for several minutes just amazed at how easy it was to catch these fish. I was also quite surprised at pretty they are. They've got wonderful, swirly, greenish lines on their sides and a brilliant silver belly. I'm afraid my picture doesn't really do them justice.
They they asked me if I had a plastic bag with me to take some home. I have almost everything else in my bike pack for specimen collecting, so I checked to see if I had a baggie big enough for a couple of fish. Nope. But we found one on the dock wrapped around a sign post. I grabbed that one and we put two fish in it. They wanted me to take more, but as I was only feeding myself that night I declined. They also quizzed me on my ride and my bike. I also told them I'd be talking about this adventure on the radio tomorrow(today) but we agreed I'd just refer to them as the Fishers of the Bay as we didn't want to give away their most excellent fishing spot. I finished eating my apple, had some water, said thanks for supper and was off again.
The ride home went a little faster than the ride out. I felt like I was 6 years old racing home with my catch or like Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer. I had the wind behind me and fish in my pack that needed cleaning. I came across a toad on the trail that wouldn't let me catch him and more deer tracks than you can shake a stick at. It was a really good ride. Once home, I had to clean the fish, which I have done before, but had somehow forgotten how much I dislike that chore. Yuck. Anyway, I managed to get enough meat to satisfy my protein requirement as per my diet. Lemon and dill added and into the frypan. Yum.
I'm planning on a shorter ride after work today but I don't expect to be lucky enough to have someone catch my supper for me.