The ride to work

The weather for the past few days has been jumping around lot. Every day has been mostly hot and humid—the usual for July—punctuated by brief but heavy thunderstorms. This has played havoc with the kids’ sports schedules, but has been great for the bike path I take to work.

Most of my ride to work is on paths that run along major roads, but for a couple of miles I’m on a crushed limestone path in the Springbrook Prairie Preserve. It’s a pretty heavily traveled path, and during dry spells the traffic pushes the gravel off to the sides, leaving dust in the center. But heavy rains redistribute the gravel evenly across the path, as if a meticulous groundskeeper had come by to groom it.

While I’m sure Springbrook isn’t unique, this doesn’t happen to every limestone path. The Greene Valley path, for example, gets soft in spots after a big rain, and the gravel collects in loose piles that make cornering difficult.

In other commuting news, the big tree limb that hung low over the Waubonsie Creek Trail (another nice part of my commute), and which I figured was going to crack off and kill me one day,

has been cut down and hauled away.

(I wish I’d had a better memory of how I framed the first photo when I took the second. Oh, well.)

So far this year, the wildlife along my route hasn’t been all that interesting. I’ve seen a few bobolinks in Springbrook, but not nearly as many as last year. And although I look every day, I’ve not seen that snapping turtle along Waubonsie Creek again. There have been a few bold toads out on the path, refusing to move as the bikers zip past, but they’re just not as exciting.