Yesterday I fought sleepiness around 2 with an extra cup of coffee. And then realized I'd be able to go for a ride after work. Previous to that I was seriously considering a nap. Because of the amount of construction and roadwork tying things up I decided to ride close to home this time. I rode to Jack's Lake, which is about 1k from where I live, as the crow flies, but a longer trek on bike of course. The trail leading to the lake is rough, strewn with rocks, and the first k is all uphill at about an 80 degree angle. OK, so I'm slightly exaggerating, but it's steep. It's also surrounded by trees so no cool winds. By the time you get to the top of that first hill you're beginning to think it wasn't such a great idea. Anyway, once at the top you travel about another k to the turnoff for the lake. We've had so much rain that the trail at this point is washed out quite a bit. Lots of ruts and exposed soft sand. And grasshoppers leaping all around me.Again you're thinking, not such a great idea. But I carried on. I reached the top of the rise on this portion and took in the stillness. Gorgeous. I saw a few dog and master tracks in the mud, a few off road vehicle tracks, and racoon tracks. Oh, what's that over there? A big pile of black poop in the middle of the trail? Yup. And no visible tracks near it. Hmmmmm....too big and black for a dog and they like to do it at the side of the trail. Too big for coyote, who seem to like to poop in the middle of trails. Bear poop? Uh-oh. Could be, but I'm no expert. Haven't heard about any bears in this neck of the woods (so to speak) so I carry on.
I reached the entrance to the lake. The trail goes through heavy woods at this point for about a half kilometre and it turned out to be extremely wet, boggy, and strewn with downed trees. I had to get off the bike to get through and it's a good thing I did as even just pushing the bike I snagged a branch and got it caught in my rear wheel. I shudder to think of the fall I would have had if I had actually been riding when I snagged it. Well, I'd probably still be in the woods listening to the stillness and hoping that whatever left left the big pile of black poop didn't come my way.
A few feet from the lake I saw what looked like a 3 foot wide pile of deer poop (I really didn't plan on this theme) and wondered about a communal defecation pile for deer. It was actually a pile of pine cones, old ones at that, that looked as if they had been placed there. Cool.
Finally, water. The lake lay before me in all its glory. Standing at the edge, with dragonflies zooming around, I could make out tadpoles in the water. This year's crop of bullfrogs. Most frogs spend a few months as a tadpole, but not bullfrogs. These guys (and gals) overwinter in the mud as tadpoles and by the end of next summer will be bullfrogs. And there were a couple of squirmy things at the edge of the lake, too. A closer look revealed they were leeches. Very cool! I extended my hand into the water to see if I could scoop one out for a closer look, but they were not interested in me. I did snap a picture though (you'll have to click on it for a better look).
And my reward for the trek, mud, and stifling heat?
It's a small lake, about half a k wide and long but it's pretty. Total distance to and from the lake is 7 k, so not a long ride, but a good workout. Today, the Wookie and I are off on another trek, at least 25 k. Bad weather is coming in later this afternoon with the remains of hurricane Hanna expected to reach us tomorrow evening. It's been downgraded to a tropical storm but it'll take weeks to dry out from the expected rainfall so I wanted to get out this morning. I've charged my cellphone and camera battery, my bike bag is ready with supplies and the bug kit is ready, so off I go. See ya' later!