Scenes from the Rail Trail: April 20, 2014

It was a gorgeous day today–sun shining, birds singing, temperature finally warming–so my boyfriend and I decided to leave our long sleeves at home, get on our bikes and hit the Rail Trail. Since this was recreational riding and not my usual bike commute which by definition requires that I have to exit the trail and get to work, we went the entire length of the trail, a full twenty mile round trip. Woot!

I’m so glad I brought my camera.

The area is finally starting to wake up from winter. There’s still more brown and gray than green in lots of areas, but the grass is coming back up and buds are poking out. Flowers are blooming. Birds are back. And the light…oh, it’s strong and yummy. The light around here really can be extraordinary. When I would drive to the job that I hated (that shall remain nameless), I consoled myself that I would at least get to watch the pearly pink morning light play along the hillsides as I drove. Anything that keeps you from deciding to hit a telephone pole to prevent going to work, know what I mean? So glad I left that place. Moving on.

So. Today, along the Rail Trail. Here we go.

Hello, rolling hills of central PA.

Hello, rolling hills and old, gentle mountains of central PA.

You want barns and rustic-type buildings? I got barns and rustic-type buildings.

Serene, by the water. Sigh.

Serene, by the water. Sigh.

Here’s a squat little shed I always feast my eyes on when I ride past. I think it’s owned by the family that runs the local buggy repair shop. Buggy. Repair. Shop. Because that’s where I live.

I think they keep mini-Amish people in there.

Home to all manner of buggy parts, I suppose.

Meanwhile on the same property, someone is getting their greenhouses up and running. I love the ghostly fade of the flower pots under plastic.

Some body snatchers are being grown there, perhaps.

Suspicious. Think they’re growing some body snatchers in there? #aliens #knewit

And, cows, if you just go upstairs, all the food you could ever hope for will be yours.

HAY! HAY! HAY!   Ohhh, I crack myself up.

HAY! HAY! HAY!
Ohhh, I crack myself up. And, probably, only me.

And in a perfect blend of non-rustic and rustic…  I get a bizarre kick that it looks like the slide is sliding right into the buggy. Like, play nice, kids, or we’re sending you straight back to the 1800s, without supper!

Buggy, meet modern play set. Play set, meet buggy. Go.

Buggy, meet modern play set. Play set, meet buggy. Go warp time.

You can also see all kinds of birds. This banded fella is the ominously named killdeer. I felt relatively safe being around it, as there is nothing deer-like about me. By the looks of him he’s all small and delicate, but looks can be deceiving, no?

I LOVE MURDER (so long as what I murder is deer).

I LOVE MURDER (so long as what I murder is deer).

Today, I also saw the less ominous-sounding, amusingly named white-breasted nuthatch which, on some level, could be a euphemism for the house I grew up in (you know I love you, family, and please still invite me to things).

He's got to be hatching a nut somewhere near by.

He’s got to be hatching a nut somewhere near by.

Truth: if anyone asked me ten years ago what I’d be doing with my spare time, my answer wouldn’t have ventured anywhere near, “Riding a bike, photographing birds.” Damned weirdo life.

It’s a little bit like this.

IMG_0215-001

Which way do we go, George?

But man…the journey’s unexpected side paths are what keeps it all interesting.

IMG_0210-001

We go that-a-way.

And I often feel like no blog post of mine is complete without a moment of total nerdery, so…

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”    — JRR TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

Which is, of course, awesome. And not a shabby way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

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