Friday, January 30, 2015

Plunking Around

Sidewalk crusin'
Take a look at this image. If I told you I snapped this on March 29th, you wouldn't bat an eyelash. Hardly a trace of snow to be seen, grass is getting greener, and my son isn't bundled up like an astronaut going for a space walk. But no......

This was snapped yesterday, on January 29th! And this isn't just some weird, short lived "January Thaw" kind of deal. Nope! It's been like this off and on all Winter long. Oh sure......we've had below zero. We've had snow, but it never lasts for very long. In fact, we've been above freezing so much during the daylight hours, (and often through the night as well), that the ground is unfreezing in several places. This has left mud holes, standing water, and has caused the grass to start turning green already!

The last time I mentioned that we had been enjoying great, warmish weather, it snowed 4.5"s the next day or so, and it wouldn't surprise me if we had that happen again, but really, we have a month and maybe another half a month after that of possible Winter weather. Whatever comes cannot last long before the Sun wins and Spring settles in to the Mid-West.

Mud hole action up at the neighborhood cemetery.
Well, whatever the deal ends up being, right now all I know is that we have a season of "early Spring" sandwiched between bursts of Winter that last a few days to a week or so at a time. So, that has meant that we haven't had any sledding chances, no XC skiing, and Winter time fat biking chances have been fleeting. I finally figured that my son and I may as well make the best of it. So, we went plunking around in search of mud and puddles.

I directed our ride up to the neighborhood cemetery. It is an old one, (for the Mid-West), and has graves dating back to the 1850's or older, perhaps. The really old limestone grave stones are nigh to unreadable. Too weathered to make out any details now. The way I figure, this cemetery was at the outskirts of the city up on a small hill, so it wouldn't get flooded by the Black Hawk Creek, which isn't too far away from it. Now it is in the middle of the city, more or less, and since it had rustic beginnings, not many of the lanes inside the cemetery are paved. In fact, there is some dirt road and pea sized gravel lane in there, plus a sizable amount of grassy field that lies low and wasn't developed into grave sites for fear of flood waters. Perfect for a couple of plunkers like us.

We observed wind damage which was evidenced by the hulks of blown down trees laying over the chain link boundary fence here and there. Then we cruised some mud holes and puddles, finally finishing up on a couple of wet, pot holed alleyways on the way back home. I couldn't stay out too long as I am still not 100% healthy yet. But, it was good to get out with my son and fiddle around on fat bikes for a spell.

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