Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Winter Views: On The Way Out

Earthy tones against a washed out background.
Well, I am back at it again. yep! Winter is on its way outta here, despite a brief set back, and more signs of Spring are being noted out there in the country. I managed to get out North of town on Monday before the latest storm brought in colder temperatures and snow for a short time for the area.

I have been itching to get out, and seeing so many folks riding gravel already has made me a bit jealous, if I am honest. So I breathed a sigh of relief when I hit that mushy, wet, gravel road North of Waterloo Monday fore noon.

That's an interesting turn of phrase, "fore noon", which I heard my rural ancestors use when I was a little dude. It always referred to the eleven o'clock hour up till high noon. Before eleven o'clock was just "morning", but that hour from eleven to twelve o'clock got that special designation. Anyway......

A little philology for you all there.....

Flocks of dark birds, (NOT crows), were noted. Maybe starlings? I couldn't get close enough to tell. 
The roads were surprisingly firm, mostly clear of gravel, and wet and muddy where the Sun was starting to draw up the frost. This state of affairs will descend into mucky-madness once the Sun really starts to cook that frost out. Usually that takes about two weeks of good, solid 40's-50's, Sun, and warmer overnight temperatures to make it happen.

I saw two separate large flocks of small-ish black birds. Starlings? I can't say other than they definitely were NOT crows. These are birds that don't Winter here. Gotta figure the migration is on now and we should start seeing Red Wing Blackbirds, Robins, and hear the snow geese overhead soon if we're lucky.

Most fields still have a covering of snow North of Waterloo.
Interesting drifts here. Off the South side of the road instead of the North on this East-West road.
My daughter goes to a small college located just South of Waterloo a few miles. There the fields are clear, and snow is only found in the ditches. North of Waterloo almost every field still has snow covering it yet. Several early snow dumps were skirting just North of the city, and as a result, they have more snow cover up that way.

The wind was out of the Northeast, so I went that direction, North, then east, then North again, to get a tailwind push home. I ended up near Dunkerton before coming back again to Waterloo. I never really encountered anything that I was thinking made the ride worse. There were, as I already said, a few wet spots though where the frost was melting out.

Barns For Jason: I found a barn I hadn't seen yet on Raymond Road where it is gravel. 
I went the wrong way to start out my turn back toward Waterloo though. I kind of figured that taking Raymond Road would end up on pavement, and sure enough, I was right. Only a mile though to hop off on Big Rock Road. Then over to visit the big rock itself. Looked like someone had been there by the looks of a footprint I saw. Kinda looked like a cycling shoe/boot. Must have been pretty gooey when it was made since it was fairly deep into the road.

Not a barn for Jason, but a better shot of it than I had gotten before.
Then after the visit and a few images for, I was off to the "Truck With No Name" and back at home again. Tired, but feeling much better for having gotten in a gravel ride again. It's been far too long!


graveldoc said...

AS I set in my dark den reading Guitar Ted early one morning this week, I heard geese honking as they flew over our house in southhwest Missouri. By the sounds of their honking I could tell they were headed north. Perhaps up your way. More signs of Spring, eh?

Guitar Ted said...

@graveldoc - Yes! I would say so. If we are lucky, we will get to hear those honks high overhead. This area of Iowa typically is not under the snow geese's migratory routes, but I have heard it said that on occasion they do drift over this way from time to time. I'd never heard, nor seen them in my life until last year. Super high in the sky. I could barely see them, but the sound of their voices was clear as a bell. Awesome!

graveldoc said...

yes, these geese had a high pitched honk so I'd guess they were snow geese. Also, this morning I saw some Robins in our town's park! My son saaid he heard frogs chirping in a nearby pond last night. Other signs of Spring.