I’ve been away from the works of some of my favorite authors for a couple of days, so I couldn’t wait to get back to some serious reading. This morning I got up and started reading some new and interesting works of literature:

-There was a fine Hank Aaron reminiscence that also taught me a new word — tetracontapentagon — and its definition.

-There was a riveting story about a hike in the woods in the aftermath of a BLIZZARD. As if a blizzard wasn’t scary enough, the author came across a Garceau that seemed to be splattered with blood and images of two of the Three Amigos along with cryptic messages about pools being closed.

-There was another piece that had a cover photo of a bunch of African animals riding bicycles on a beach. I was almost too freaked out to read that one, but I’m glad I did.

-There was a more calming story about going out into the Kentucky woods with an old friend for a photography shoot. I thought it was funny that the author bundled up in her warmest clothing and the friend showed up in shorts.

-There was a tale of a grumbly-faced dude from California who climbed something called Chalk Hill on his bike and rode amongst a plethora of wineries. I read that one for the second time because the dude actually met Bernie Sanders while on his bike ride. (Haha. I just wrote the word “plethora.” Here is a scene from The Three Amigos that my son and I can quote verbatim.

-Finally, there was a story about a guy who headed out for a bicycle ride before a snowstorm and cold weather moved into his part of Vermont. It was his picture of an ice-fishing settlement that inspired me to head out on my bike to check out the ice-fishing scene on MY Town’s two lakes.

I hoisted my bike on my shoulder for a hike down to Lake Rebecca to take a picture of the ice shack and two ice tents.

I must admit, it wasn’t exactly a HIKE — it was more of a slog over about 50-yards of snow. But I like the picture. I also like the next picture of the guy pulling his sled (and his dog) while they walked across the ice after a morning of ice fishing. I asked, “did you catch anything?” He replied, “absolutely nothing. Not even a bite, but it is what it is.”

That kind of patience and acceptance of zero success is why I could never be a fisherman.

On the other hand, it must be very peaceful to simply be sitting out there on the snow and ice all by oneself.

This arm of the same lake still has open water. I’d find that a little unsettling if I was fishing just around the bend.

On my way to the next lake, I just HAD to stop for this picture. Only the very most reckless of Reckless Mr. Bing Bongs would try to climb that mountain.

Lake Isabel has no ice fishing shacks, but it’s obvious that walkers and sleds and snowmobiles have been out there.

There are no more pictures from my bike ride, but while I was typing this I saw something out my window that I couldn’t believe. Never before have I seen such a thing in January. I ran outside to take a picture of the yard across the street.

ROBINS! SPRING HAS ARRIVED IN MINNESOTA! (But it might be a little premature to show themselves in 11-degree (F) temperatures.)

The birds in that last picture might just look like any kind of bird. Hopefully, this zoomed-in version will show that they are clearly robins.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

4 response to "NOTHING NEW TO SEE HERE"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: January 27, 2021

    Would that be a plethora of robins? Perhaps they decided to stick close to home this year because of the pandemic. I’ve been comparing your pictures here to mine, and I’m becoming convinced we must really be living in the same state.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: January 27, 2021

    Bob’s right — a plethora of robins, and can one have a plethora of snow? More long lasting snow than I want to be in.

  3. By: Scooter Posted: January 28, 2021

    The robin sighting is interesting, but I think just new to you. They’re year-round residents as far north as central Minnesota. I haven’t noticed it myself, but AllAboutBirds says that gathering in flocks like this is normal winter behavior for them. Maybe the Challenge is just prompting you to look around in new ways?

    • By: gregblood Posted: January 28, 2021

      I think you’re probably right. I always believed that robins abandoned the north country in the winter, only to return in the springtime. They were considered a harbinger of spring. That’s what I was taught, so I probably never thought to look for them until March or April.

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