Saturday, May 12, 2007


I am reveling in this spring. Taking each day and turning it to the light. Pulling the welcome warmth from the rising sun. Today, the trail was bulging with riders and walkers and strollers and bladers and chipmunks and catbirds. Watch the glass at mile 21.

A jaunt from Vienna to Herndon with friends was a wagon train of 'on your left's and the lean sound of speed bikes passing and passing us. In our wake, the buttercups and wild geraniums (pictured) swayed in the breeze. Wild azalea and wild cherry are about over --- although the tent caterpillars are just peaking in the cherry trees. Be sure to watch for the glorious mountain laurel just bursting into bloom at the crest of the hill west of Hunter Mill Road.

Multiflora rosa and blackberry perfumed the moist air for our morning ride. Riding back through Vienna I saw Cathy Delgado making final preparations for the dedication of the new Vienna Town Green next to the trail. She was instrumental in bringing this urban jewel to fruition, and we all owe her a debt of gratitude.

Late today I was able to get back out for a ride with my son, and we left the trail in the Difficult Run valley. We were transported to a land before time: a bottomland swamp forest dense with enormous skunk cabbage, blooming Jack-in-the-pulpit and mammoth tulip poplar trees. While we ate a picnic supper at streamside, we watched a swarm of midges gaily dancing above us. I explained to him that they were all males, swooping and darting, waiting for a female to enter the swarm and then rise with her chosen mate above the remaining males below. He suggested that the technical term for the remaining males should be "losers." We watched this ballet with great interest until the sky began to darken, and then we explored the stream for a while until it started to rain.

Back on the trail we looked west through the light rain to where the setting sun was a rich red dipping below the clouds. Then we headed east toward home, nodding to the deer watching from the shadows and racing each other in breathless sprints that he somehow always won.
Biophilia is love of nature.