Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘wildflowers

More Surprises

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A full day in the woods directing the work of the tree cutters on Friday turned up a couple of unexpected flower surprises for me.

The first was when I came upon these cute little wildflower bunches beneath my favorite hunk of a tree.

No tree trimming of that beast was done that day as our attentions were elsewhere. I just happened to be waiting a safe distance away from where a large leaning tree was being professionally dispatched to the ground when I spotted the flowery accents.

In a somewhat similar situation, only, different, I found this single flowering trillium just after a tree that had been hiding it from view was cut down.

That one is definitely NOT one that we transplanted from the lake place. Finding this is encouraging for our goal of establishing a greater presence of trillium in our woods. If they are showing up naturally, that definitely bodes well.

That’s all I got. Short and sweet this morning because I am off to drive for an hour to meet friends for a morning bike ride. Further tree work and lawn mowing will need to wait for another day. I’ve been granted a day off to pedal!

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Written by johnwhays

May 15, 2022 at 7:30 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Peace Wave

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Okay, so, then there’s this. It’s the morning of the first Saturday in May and that means it’s World Labyrinth Day! There is a rolling wave of peaceful meditations making its way around our planet.

Every year on the first Saturday in May thousands of people around the globe participate in World Labyrinth Day as a moving meditation for world peace and celebration of the labyrinth experience. Many “Walk as One at 1” local time to create a rolling wave of peaceful energy passing from one time zone to the next…

We did not make any plans this year to specifically host an event at our Rowcliffe Forest Garden Labyrinth, so named to memorialize our priceless time and deep connection to Ian and his family and their place in Portugal, because Cyndie is not fully ambulatory. That said, she did do a milestone driveway walking distance yesterday.

When I left for an errand to Elysa’s house in St. Paul in the morning, our recycle bin was still at the end of the driveway waiting to be emptied. When I returned, it was no longer there. I was certain that it hadn’t walked itself back up to our garage, so who could have pulled off such a feat?

Our heroine didn’t just walk the full length and back, more than four times the longest she’d walked up to that point, she took along Delilah on a leash, picked up the mail, and grabbed the empty recycle bin to wheel it the whole way back to the house. By her own admission, it was a very slow and methodical walk, but nonetheless, a significant accomplishment.

As a caregiver, at this point, my primary contribution is working consistently to encourage her to elevate and cool the knee often enough to compensate for the daily increases in the amount she is using it. Cyndie has needed no coaching on exercising.

I spotted a new wildflower in our woods that image searching leads me to believe qualifies as a crocus of some sort.

The dandelions will soon carpet our grassy areas and I am hoping our transplanted trillium will appear in the woods just beyond the house shortly thereafter.

In an update on my new bicycle that was in the shop, the report is that the source of the creaking frame was down in the bottom bracket, not up near the seat tube. Something was not quite right among all the mechanisms of the crank and motor interconnections assembled at the factory. Not a problem that I stood a chance of solving on my own.

On our first day with temperatures reaching 70°F, I was able to put the bike through a thorough test, specifically choosing to leave the motor-assist off for the entire ride so as to learn the response of the marvelous machine when powered exclusively by muscle. It was a very pleasurable experience that will become even easier when electric power is desired.

Think about world peace today at 1:00 p.m. your time, regardless of whether or not you are able to be walking a labyrinth. Help build the wave.

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Written by johnwhays

May 7, 2022 at 9:35 am

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