Sunday, July 17, 2016

86: Roadside flora and fauna

We enjoyed another great day riding through Michigan. A slight overcast kept the temps great for riding, although there at the end of the day we had a few sprinkles from the clouds so I am calling Michigan a "rain state."
The "tridge" - tri-bridge - in Midland MI

There's not too much to say about today's ride - it was cool, it was lovely, and we had some great miles on the Pere Marquette Rail Trail, which has been inducted into the Rail Trail Hall of Fame.  Who knew?!
I love the old trestles on the rail trails

The clouds did finally drop a few sprinkles on us - just a few!
We are staying with Warm Showers hosts Jennifer and Bill, who have more bikes than we do. I'm pretty impressed by this!  One in particular intrigues me: the mountain bike with the studded tires. The folks up here ride these on the frozen rivers in winter.  Don't try this back home, Bev!

Bill with one of his bikes
In addition to riding and doing triathlons, Bill competes in road rallies in a souped up Volkswagon Golf and Jennifer trains dogs. Once again, we have found our Warm Showers hosts to be fascinating people!

As for the roadside - loosestrife and some lovely pink flowers that look like stock have appeared lately.  We are still enjoying Black Eyed Susans, and today I saw the first blooms of solidago. Queen Anne's lace is a constant presence. It is beautiful blowing in the winds along the roadside.

The yellow flower that I did not recognize has been identified as Golden Alexanders. They continue in great numbers in sunny portions of the roadsides. Other ferns and grasses add to the mix of flowers to create beautiful displays.  I have also been impressed with the dandelions that bloom two feet up, so their yellow color can mix with the cornflowers' periwinkle blue. And lastly, there are wild asparagus growing along the roadside!  I thought that I saw them a state or two back, but Roger said, "no way!"  As we were riding a few days ago, I saw them again, and I made him stop so I could check them out. For sure - they are asparagus. Too bad they are past harvest now.  I would most certainly be stopping to pick a few!

These could do some damage!
As for the animals, we see a large number of deer. Some days we pass many, off in the distance or grazing right near the road. Today we also saw a rabbit, some chipmunks (or something like that) and a wild turkey that betrayed his presence by gobbling as we rode past. We have never seen a bear, or moose, or elk - all of which might have been possible in the northwest.

Among the dear departed, I saw a porcupine today - the first we have seen. Raccoons are frequent roadkill, about as common as skunks. We passed a possum today that I am quite sure was not playing dead. The number of deer is a tragedy We must have passed a hundred.  The other day we saw a fawn and not twenty feet away, his mother. I was pretty bummed about that.

Snakes are not too unusual, either alive or dead. We have yet to see an armadillo, but I am certain that we will before our journey's end.

And so we end today, with the day's report:  Temple to Auburn, 68.4 miles/4276 to date


  1. Did you realize that you reached 100 blog posts today? Yet another milestone. We drove over to Mazama this weekend and were thinking of you. Gaye

    1. I had not! Thanks for pointing that out. We reach another milestone shortly, when we cross the border into Canada!

  2. Thanks for the heads up Kathy! Since we never get ice or snow I probably won't be tempted thou😬 However, there is nare a bike I won't try...wishing for a tandem right about now! Also, I was wondering when you all would come across Queen Ann's lace. It is such a dainty wildflower and one of my favorites. I would love to have lightening bugs mentioned in your posts as well. Lightening bugs are the joy of every southern child!

  3. Suggestion: ditch the computer. The stats distract from the pure essence of the journey. Try it. I rode many yrs without riding of my life.


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