Scenes from the Rail Trail: October 12, 2014

Oh, it was a glorious day for a bike ride!

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Hey there, pokey fuzzy thingie.

I suited up and hit the rail trail a few days ago. It’s turning to fall now, and that means…well, of course it means that the leaves on the trees are turning spectacular shades of gold and red and orange. But it also means other plants are changing. Drying up, or exploding into fuzzies. Pulling out one last gasp of color. And in the meanwhile, all these plants are busy adding a deep, rich sense of texture to the trail. Call it nature’s Halloween decor, if you will.

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It’s a chuckle patch! (Magic Garden fans, you know what I’m talking about.)

Whether the colors are vibrant or subdued, they’re all a visual treat.

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Old Rattlebones the Milkweed Pod, that’s what this is.

It can look surprisingly like an oil painting.

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Pokeberries at the end of the season.

And there’s berries far out into the sky and the leafless trees. Kind of like looking at the Hubble Deep Field images. Only different.

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Billions and billions of berries… ~~Apologies to Carl Sagan~~

I never noticed how well black walnut pods match their nubbly leaves, but there you have it.

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Nature gets all matchy-match.

And then there’s a poof!

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I believe they call this the Santa plant. (Like I would know.)

And a pow!

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Like fireworks.

And a…uh…

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Admit it, these kind of look like Animal from Sesame Street.

The trees were in a full-spectrum onslaught of pretty.

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Turning, not one, not two, but THREE fall colors for your enjoyment!

And there were a few spokey-looking…I have no idea what these things are. But I sure do dig their style.

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For all I know they just released spores of alien dust and we are now all doomed. But they look cool, innit?

Even your basic, standard-issue corn is getting into the groovy-texture act (with a little help from a neighboring plant).

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Clearly, corn knows how to accessorize.

And a vast army of wilting sunflowers still manages to look stunning (though perhaps slightly dejected) in the afternoon sun.

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Sunflower post-mortem.

The thing is, pretty much no matter where you look on the rail trail you’ll see something that will catch your eye. It’s not hard to find something of interest, when you’re surrounded by this.

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Hello.

If you want to find out some more information about the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail, you can visit them on the web here, find them on Facebook, or Twitter away. The BVRT is owned and operated by the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority and may be contacted via email bvrailtrail@bvrec.org or telephone 570-524-4774.

And to play you out, here’s local singer/songwriter KJ Reimensnyder-Wagner‘s ode to the BVRT, appropriately titled:

“Meet Me On The Rail Trail”.

See you there!

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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.

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Which way do we go, George?

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

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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.

Scenes from the Rail Trail: October 6, 2013

While I’ve normally only ridden the Rail Trail as far as work–which is about 12 miles round-trip–today, I totally went for it, going the extra 4 miles to the end of the trail and then back.   So, if the maths work like they’re supposed to, that means I just successfully completed a 20 mile bike ride, which is the first time ever I’ve ridden that far.

Feeling slightly badass.  But ow.  But still.  🙂  Woot!

Speaking of “ow”, I have to say that while I’m really enjoying my bike I’ve endured some bizarro injuries I never expected to have.  Last week, a bug flew like it was targeting me, directly into my eyeball.  Which, you know. Pain!  Plus it’s just weird.  And then today?  I was absolutely walloped by a falling black walnut.  They’re surprisingly dense, and it hit with some serious impact.  Welt, bruise, the whole nine.  I developed a whole new appreciation for that Wizard of Ozapple-hurling scene.  Those walnut thingies hurt!

I confess, I don’t mind having a reason to think of The Wizard of Oz.  Only one of the greatest movies ever and I would love to have a flying monkey of my very own. Anyhow.

Occasionally, during my dazzling feats of athleticism, I stopped to take pictures.  It’s extraordinarily beautiful around here so I submit that I had no choice; judge me if you must.

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See you ’round the trail!

Scenes from the Rail Trail: Sept. 25 2013

We try to keep things groovy here in our lovely little ‘burg.  We have a great single-screen, lovingly restored, art deco movie house and the local filmmakers who have used said movie house (pre-restoration) as a set in their film.  We have top-notch jazz.  We have a highly competitive liberal arts university which brings us all manner of academics, either as professors or guest speakers.  This often makes for surprisingly interesting conversations when you’re out on the town.  And we have the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail.

Thanks to a joint effort between the Lewisburg Area Recreation Authority (LARA), Union County, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Federal Highway Department, a long-unused railway line was acquired, the rails were repurposed and the ground was paved and/or laid out with packed gravel.  The rail trail parallels Route 45, which is our major east-west corridor, and is a 9.2 mile, mostly flat-ish path through farmland and rolling hills.

It’s purty.

And, the business I’ve started doing a part time writing gig at is just off the trail.

That’s right.  I’ve become the granola girl who bicycle-commutes to work.

I’m sure that soon I’ll start talking more about riding, and about how I’ve been giving an exorbitant amount of thought lately to the change I’ve experienced in my relationship to fitness (has it EVER, and sometimes I feel like I hardly know myself any more), but in this particular blog today?

I just want to talk about how the rail trail is super-purty.

Here’s some shots from my commute.  Here’s what I got to look at yesterday, going to and from my job.

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And yes, biking through all that bucolic splendor has aggravated fall allergies I never even knew I had.  But.  This is why Claritin was given unto the world.  I ride again tomorrow, and I’m totally psyched!

I dig my life.

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