Sunday, July 26, 2020

cycling in the spring / Tomifobia 2020

An exchange with a friend about sliding her kayak into the reeds to READ reminded me that I never posted these pics of a bicycle trip we did on our anniversary in mid-May. Our one trip out of the city since the start of the pandemic.

Restrictions about travel between the regions (of Quebec) had just been lifted, and R surprised me with a car rental and a map of the bicycle trail from Ayer's Cliff to Tomifobia. The drive would take a little over an hour, we could bring our food and return home in the evening.

Except for grasses, little had started growing. Trees were only in bud. But after a few months of nothing growing, a little feels so promising.

I saw the first butterflies of the year. They were white, nothing extraordinary, but the first.

Birds were nesting. Lots of exuberant birdsong.

A man was pushing a baby stroller along the path, but he had no child. The stroller was for a camera with a long telescope lens.

There were brilliant yellow marsh marigolds. You had to look for the red trilliums where the sunlight picked them out.

I wasn't surprised to find this boulder since we were in Louise Penny territory. Obviously a mystery.

By noon the sun was high and bright. Much of the path followed the Tomifobia River but there were swampy areas where frogs hummed. I thought the sun must have lulled them. I used to sleep in a bedroom with a window on a swamp, and the nighttime noise of bullfrogs doing their throat balloon bellowing and droning was loud and competitive. This was more of a companionable purring. I described the sound to my mother who used to photograph frogs (long story which I might tell one day), and she said that was the sound of contented females.

R had reserved a bench for lunch under the hemlock trees, view on the river. Fresh baguette, cheese, nuts, carrots, fruit.

I didn't think it at the time--I was too hungry--but the picture reminds me that one of the first things R did for me when we met was offer to cut and core an apple. Almost forty years later, he still carries a Swiss knife. It's not the same knife. He's lost a few going through airport security and forgetting the knife in his pocket. He's cutting me cheese here.