More nature than I really wanted….

I have said time and again how lucky I am to live in the Pacific Northwest. We have fresh air, green trees, lakes, rivers, wildlife, oceans and mountains. As a cyclist up here in the left hand corner of the county, I know that whether I am 100 miles away from home or less than 10, if I keep an eye out I am likely to spot something like this guy I saw Sunday.

I will say getting close to the shore in cycling shoes was NOT easy, but worth it! If he is going to pose, then it just seems right I take the photo!

Tuesday, though, was a bit rough from the nature standpoint..

On most Tuesdays I work in the Downtown Seattle office. This means I just bomb down the hill to the Burke Gilman trail and ride the 17 miles to my desk. I told someone just that this week, and she stopped me by saying, “NO!! You don’t get to tell this story like riding 17 miles is easy. That’s hard you should tell it will some pain…” I am not sure she appreciated my giggles.

Sorry I digressed….

So, a little before 5 AM I was out the door and heading down said hill. A couple blocks from the house I had my first nature encounter of the day. A raccoon was skittering across the road. I know these guys can be pests, but I have always like raccoons, from a distance. Except for this guy who once knocked on the window, he never came back after I said no!

There I go again, FOCUS.

OK, I gave the raccoon plenty of room, and continued on my way. When I got the trail, the winds were calm and I was making pretty good time. In fact, I soon found I was racing a baby bunny! he was maybe 3 inches tall and 5 inches long, and a FAST little bugger. I was really hoping he would NOT run in front of me, so I shouted at it a bit. Being a loud scary two-wheeled monster was a bit much for the little guy. As soon as I yelled, he disappeared into the grass.

A little farther along, I noticed a friend of the blue heron on top flying along. One of these days I need to get a photo of one in flight, I swear they look almost prehistoric.

I am very glad I spotted him though, because it allowed me to spot a killer sunrise happening. Luckily I was in a good spot for more pictures!

I am sure 1000s of people in cars saw this sunrise, but its hard to stop a car on the way to work for a picture. These 3 pictures alone should be enough to convince people to ride to work more…

So lets recap, raccoon, heron, baby bunny and cool sunrise. I was having a great commute. Add no rain, not cold not too dark, I was loving this commute

SMACK!!!!

There I was minding my own business when this HUGE bug ran into my nose! OK that in itself hurt, but that sucker grabbed on and STUNG!!

Without stopping I slapped that SOB off my face and I heard it land on the ground behind me. I have no idea what he was, but damn it still hurts!

Being the tough cycling dude that I am, I of course kept going, and even with a throbbing nose, I was soon back in a good mood. So much so that I detoured to Gasworks Park for a few early-morning photos of the lake and the city.

It was just shaping up to be a very pretty day.

Have you ever done a route, either driving, walking or cycling 100 times and then suddenly noticed something new? Well, on this eventful morning, that happened as well.

As I topped the hill going over Dexter Ave, I noticed this

If you pay attention on Dexter, you can spot Mt Rainier just barely peeking over the building. Shoot to me, it looks like a fake photo with a giant face photoshopped behind the city. I promise though, it is real! Once again, hard for a car to see, and harder to stop there…

So why do I bike commute. Yep I get exercise and stress relief, and yes in the winter I get cold and rained on. But in a car, you are in a metal cocoon, possibly playing music or traffic reports, and you miss everything,

On a bike I am part of the world, interacting with whatever it throws at me, Yep I got stung, but I’ll take a morning cycling adventure over gridlock traffic any day!

I just hope that bug wasn’t italian with a huge family looking for revenge….

 

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3 Responses to More nature than I really wanted….

  1. Constantly noticing new stuff on familiar routes, maybe because of photography? I’m surprised by the things folk don’t notice. Yesterday with a group and there’s a monument with 3 angels on it in the centre of the road. One of the guys had cycled past it loads and never noticed it!! Met some folk from Seattle yesterday who had just cycled the John Muir Way from West to East of Central Scotland. They were knocked out by the experience too. Lovely.

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