It seems as though the weather lately is trying to deny us a chance to remember that we are actually nearly through Spring already and Summer is only weeks away. Hard to believe, I know! I actually had to Google "the first day of spring 2011" just to make sure that my math skills weren't deteriorating as quickly as I thought and that Summer is fast approaching. Did I mention yet that I had to add another blanket to the bed the past few nights to keep my teeth from chattering?
I've been trying to get out for bike-rides on the days that aren't 100% miserable and today I went for a good long ride out into the country. For the first few kilometres I basically just frowned at the cool temperature and overcast sky, but have been trying to keep my promise to myself that I would not complain about the weather much anymore. Then I got past the interstate and out a few more kilometres when it happened; a steady supply of pleasant reminders that it is actually late Spring.
The first was a large tree covered in beautiful apple blossoms. I love apple blossoms. They are one of my favourite things and I actually have a large tattoo of these lovely flowers down the right side of my torso. While on my ride I got seduced by their romantic scent which cause me to come to a halt and take a picture of some blossoms with my cell phone.
The second sign of the time of year is the frequent visit of foxes that I see on the trail. A couple weeks ago I saw a family of 5 foxes all enjoying the afternoon. In fact, one of the young ones was chasing a butterfly which was one of the sweetest things ever to witness. I have yet to ride the trail this year without at least one fox sighting. I probably won't see any now for the rest of the year just because I said that. I hope not.
My next spotting was of multiple families of Canadian geese who all inhabit a large pond on a farm out in York. It's this quaint farm that runs along the trail right as you enter the town of York and there were dozens of geese and their little ducklings there. I stopped to watch them for a few minutes because the ducklings are so cute. It also gave me the chance to enjoy the calves that also live on the farm. They are growing up quickly now and barely even look like baby cows, but they're still super cute nonetheless.
Living in BC you become very defensive when driving a car because you're constantly on the lookout for deer to prance out onto the road. For me, when riding the trails on my bike, I have become a defensive rider for squirrels and chipmunks. They will dart out in front of you at any given second, leaving you with only a second or two swerve out of their way. Most of the time they are quick enough to get back into the bushes well before you reach them, but every so often a little dare-devil squirrel will come out and just stare at you...possibly playing chicken with the rider of the bike.
Next are one of my other favourite creatures: bumblebees! They've been having a rough go this year since they came out when the weather was warm but now they're struggling with the cooler temperatures. I see them wandering around the sidewalks, unable to fly or really have any concern over their well-being as living things. It's sad to see such a wonderful little creatures having difficulty thriving in such a green and lush province. But I was fortunate enough to enjoy their company a bit on the ride as they lazily flew around from tree branch to tree branch amongst the blossoms.
Last, but not least, are the wild bunnies that live around here. Today was the first time I saw one this year and it made me happy to see it poke its curious head out of the underbrush and onto the trail. I have no desire to ever own a bunny as a pet but they're sure cute to watch as the hop around the woods.
Maybe Mother Nature was tired after the long Winter and decided to just skip Spring and move right into Summer. Maybe in a couple weeks it will get really warm and we'll all be wearing shorts until late September. Fingers crossed!