In the waters and on the marshy banks of creeks in the area greenery is sprouting.
We think this stuff is Skunk Cabbage, but we won’t know for sure until we get a closer look.
This was a tough winter; the evidence is everywhere. Recently uprooted trees are lying across the streams, and broken branches, small and very large, are scattered across the landscape.
Almost exactly a year ago, I took pictures of Basil and Dr. Diarist’s mountain bike in this same area (and next to this very tree); the ground was clear then, and we had to lean both bikes next to a tree for the picture. This year, there was enough debris to keep Argyll and Basil upright even on a slope.
Argyll fell over, though, when posing for his solo shot, and his mirror buried itself in the mud and muck — loosening quite a bit in the process. I thought I had the right size allen wrench in Basil’s saddle bag, but was quite wrong.
Happily, Argyll was covertly transporting the elegant Brompton tool kit, which turns out to be as functional as it is beautiful. (More on that later; I’m a bit behind on writing about Brompton paraphernalia.)
Winter isn’t entirely over. We took the Uwlchlan Trail the other day, and greenery wasn’t all we saw. (It’s pronounced with an “ooch” as in “mooch” and then “lan”: “ooch-lan”. Or should it be “ooulch-lan”? Is it Welsh? Somehow I think it should be.)
There are still mounds of grubby snow around, looking, at this point, rather like permanent fixtures. This is residual from a parking lot near a train station. It’s going nowhere fast, in spite of the 60 F/15.5 C temperatures.
Dr. Diarist spotted a solid block of ice under the tracks. Closer inspection revealed that it was melting from within, thanks to a drain pipe located in the track bed above, from which a few desultory drops of water slowly fell.
Water can be soooo destructive. And messy; is that swath of black due to a high mineral content in the local water?
The ice pyramid doesn’t look as impressive from a slight distance; as we rode by I thought I’d see a crumpled piece of plastic out of the corner of my eye. Those fluffy white bits didn’t register as snow, either, probably because I’d long before shed my light jacket.
The trail goes past a park, then alongside a country club, and into a neighborhood, where a slightly less organic display of flora — not skunk cabbage — testifies to someone’s belief that freezing temperatures are gone for now.
It’s kind of rural-urbia in this area; Basil is checking out a field, here, that is next to a pretty ordinary suburban development.
There’s an old grist mill along the trail. Basil introduced Argyll to the pleasures of posing on top of things; they’re nicely framed in what once was either a window or an opening for a loading chute.
The ruins date from 1811. That’s antiquity for those of us here in North America. (Well, “antiquity” for a purpose-built structure that’s managed to survive.)
Southeastern Pennsylvania is dotted with similar ruins; one of the pleasures of the area is running across them unexpectedly. How better to find them than on a Brompton? (Or two!)