Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘forest plants

Bloodroot Blooming

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The first bloodroot flower appeared yesterday morning. I wasn’t in the woods late in the afternoon but I bet there were plenty more spreading their petals to join it by the end of the glorious day. All that whining I’ve been doing about how wet it was is a thing of the past, for a few days, anyway.

If you look closely, you can see rolled up leaves cradling the buds of many more flowers about to make their way. The distinctly shaped leaves will fully expand after the blossoms drop and get rather large in size.

Following the appearance of trout lilies and bloodroot will be the trillium we transplanted from the lake place up near Hayward. I’ll be looking for some evidence we succeeded with the most recent transplants by our change to keeping them in a more dense group when replanting.

Attempts from previous years weren’t looking very robust and definitely weren’t thickening up nor launching new sprouts. I got the impression we planted them too far apart from each other and ended up isolating individual plants.

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In an entirely unrelated topic, I had a chance to have multiple staff at the bike shop working together to hunt for the source of the bothersome creaking sound my new bike was making. After patiently listening to my long-winded explanation of what I have been experiencing, one of the guys mentioned that my shoes looked new.

Yes, they are. He grabbed an allen wrench and snugged the screws holding the cleats on each shoe as I presented the bottoms of my shoes to him. Could that have been it?

I hopped on and rode around the parking lot.

Nope. Mystery sound still present.

I convinced the mechanic to step outside and listen as I pedaled. The sound was obvious but the source of the sound was not. As a group of employees stood around offering guesses, the mechanic was trying different things with my bike. Suddenly, I heard the sound.

“You found it!” I exclaimed.

He was putting pressure on the left pedal and torquing the frame to reproduce the sound. Another guy felt all around the carbon frame trying to locate the source and to everyone’s surprise ended up thinking it was coming from up around where the seat post fits in the frame.

Trek has something they call IsoSpeed that “decouples” the seat tube from the top tube to diminish the fatiguing impacts of the road. There is a good chance something related to that mechanism was causing the sound. I needed to leave the bike with them to investigate how it is all supposed to work.

At the hour the store was closing last night, I received a message that my bike was ready to be picked up. I’ll stop by later today to get it and hopefully learn more about what they needed to do to solve the problem.

I’m really looking forward to pedaling a much quieter (new) bike.

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Written by johnwhays

May 5, 2022 at 6:00 am

Springing Forth

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The multitude of flora on our property is springing forth at a variety of rates this year. To our surprise, some of our trillium are flowering earlier than we’ve seen before. That’s particularly thrilling for us because most of the bloomers are transplants we brought from Cyndie’s family vacation home up north.

We’ve had a good run of consecutive dry days, followed by a perfect evening rainstorm Monday night and it is making growing things very happy.

Getting the water right is key to a lot of things. I went for a scouting bike ride on Sunday to investigate a route that didn’t involve gravel roads. I was successful in that, but in so doing, I out-rode my water supply. The last spot I was planning to get a refill hadn’t yet opened for the season.

I decided to push for the finish on limited rations.

It’s not that hard. I limped home safe and sound, but I was unsurprisingly under-hydrated. What intrigues me is how long the evidence has lingered. Two days later, despite consciously increasing my usual daily intake in hopes of catching up, my primary barometer (urine color) revealed I was still behind.

Working on a long game toward optimal health involves an unending series of small daily efforts. It involves making corrections along the way for intermittent deviations.

As I prepared my breakfast and lunch last night for today’s shift in the mine, measuring the amount of cereal to meet my goals for grams of sugar, it hit me again how different my diet is from just a couple of years ago. I don’t expect I’ve yet reached a point of undoing what decades of a high sugar intake produced in me.

It was probably in the late 1980s that I attended a lecture that touted a mantra of eating like a king for breakfast, a queen for lunch, and a pauper for dinner. I embraced that part about breakfast with gusto, figuring my high activity sports habit was more than enough justification to eat whatever I wanted.

Portion sizes swelled, guilt-free. Meanwhile, my body tended to swell, too –despite the constant exercise of soccer and cycling. I miss eating too much cereal for breakfast whenever I felt like it, but I don’t miss how it made me look and feel.

Pondering the difference helps to reinvigorate my inspiration for staying on course for the long haul.

I’m feeling renewed energy to spring forth into another year of living well. Maybe it will bring me into full bloom sooner than I expect.

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