Spring Has Come to Carroll County!
Yesterday, Bobby and I rode our bikes along the southern portion of the North Central Railroad trail. We rode over 14 miles (22.5 km), which sounds more impressive than it is, since the NCR trail, by virtue of being a rail trail, is pretty flat. We had never really ridden to the south before--I think we may have walked a short distance once--but found it really enjoyable, with lots of crossings of the Gunpowder River and high ridges. Bobby packed us a picnic lunch, which we ate on a grassy plot alongside the river: egg salad sandwiches on his homemade rye bread (the egg salad made delicious by the addition of his sweet pickle relish), blueberry chevre with crackers, a giant Mutsu apple that we shared, and snap pea snacks (which if you've never had are awesome). He even packed a small jug of "fruit salad": our favorite local shiraz. Good man! :D
We rode NCR about a year ago. Oh the difference a year makes. I was in such pain through the whole of it last year. Even getting on and off of my bike was hard. It hurt. Everything hurt. EVERYTHING. (I'm not exaggerating. It hurt to turn over in bed. It hurt to lay down; it hurt to move.) I constantly find myself thinking about what life was like a year ago and being so fecking grateful to be well again.
The trail, especially the southernmost part, was pretty crowded. I witnessed a head-on collision between a woman and a preteen girl; the woman was trying to pass some people walking--and the trail is not that wide!--it is as wide as would be needed for railroad tracks!--and appeared to swerve right in front of the girl. The woman messed up her bike and claimed to be fine and not upset but then implied blame of the girl by parting with a, "Just be careful next time!" while the poor, stricken girl looked at her father and insisted in a whisper, "She turned right in front of me!" I was directly behind the woman so I got to witness all of this excitement, whispered commentary included. The woman was already covered in grass, which led me to believe that was not her first fall of the day? (She'd come up silently to pass on my left at one point without signaling and startled me, so responsibility didn't seem to be a strong point.) Wow.
Today (the last day of spring break ... waaah ...) was potter-around-the-house day. Bobby is undertaking multiple masonry projects; he has already done a flagstone path in front of the house to match the tiled steps he did last year, he is expanding the front garden beds (to further our quest to have virtually no front lawn to mow; seriously, grass lawns are such a ridiculous waste of space!), and he is doing brick walls around the kitchen gardens in the back. My contributions are more meager: I turned the compost, dug the soil in half of the vegetable garden, and fertilized our newer evergreen shrubs. And I took pictures of some of the flowers in the yard. Whoopdedoo. Click the jump if you're interested.
The peach tree had just started blooming when we had the hard freeze last week, but it appears to be okay. Bobby had read that some of the local orchards were worried that the peach crop would be damaged by the freeze.
The Halloween tree lost a couple of branches during the ice storm this winter but, at the moment, appears to be doing just fine. (By midsummer all the leaves will fall off and it will look dead, but that's how this tree rolls.)
Looking into the north side of the backyard.
I have no idea what this tree is, but it's one of the kind where the aboveground part of the tree is relatively short-lived but the roots live forevahhh and, when the top part dies, just throw out new suckers. There was a tree there when we moved in. It fell over, so Bobby cut it up. We built the garlic garden over the rotting stump. Then a new tree started growing out of it a couple of years ago. (Forgive all the technical botanical terminology in this last paragraph.)
I have a soft spot for baby leaves just starting to unfurl.
And finally ... all this traipsing around the yard, photographing flowers and not throwing the ball once for Phil. And Alex was in the house, too, so I technically could have. Phil laments.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!