We had some pretty strong storms last night, and due to a loose downspout outside our bedroom, the rain was really loud! I don't know if that was the reason, but both Ken and I were really restless last night. He said he started tossing and turning around 3 AM, and I know I started doing the same around 4 AM. I finally got up a little after Ken did, a bit after 5 AM, and was able to wish him a good day as he went off to work. I started a load of laundry, and eventually got drowsy enough for a cat nap on the couch. I woke up rarin' to go, the sun had come out, and since Ken had filled our bike tires on the weekend, I decided it was a perfect day for a bike ride. And oh...I was right.
Sunny, mid-70's, a slight breeze, the smell of rain still lingering in the air...I'm sure there were times when I had an idiotic smile on my face as I biked along and took in the beautiful surroundings! There's a little tune we sing when biking or walking--a sort of "De-dee-de-dee-de-dee-dee." Perhaps next time I'll take The Flip and do the little song for you...or not. Anyhoo, I had to do that as I rode along, and that made me smile even more. As you can imagine, I probably looked like a complete freakin' idiot as I rode along! And guess what? I didn't wear a helmet! *GASP* I know what you're saying. How can anyone ride a bike without wearing a helmet? Well, it's pretty easy, actually, since I don't have one! Believe me, if I rode in town or in traffic, I really would wear a helmet, because that's a little too dicey these days. But we're talking country roads here, and in the couple of miles that I rode, I had only one vehicle pass me, and I heard them coming for quite a while. When Cousin Shane and Cousin Greg and I rode around these roads as kids, we *GASP* never wore helmets either, and we all lived to tell the tale. These roads are not superhighways, and it's not like there's a bunch of traffic. I'll take my chances. Besides...Danger is my middle name, baby.
Anyhoo, I took my camera and got some shots of our road and some of the surrounding woods. I know I'm biased because I was born here and grew up here, but it was just so gorgeous to me. Oh, and I also decided I need to get a basket for my bike, because if I do a little exploring, who knows what treasures I might find?
I started out going west from our house. This is our road, but a couple hundred yards down the way. I love the trees that border the road, and their overhang makes for a green, living tunnel!
The hardwood forest in here reminds me so much of Georgia. There are even a few gentle hills and rises, while most of northern Indiana is as flat as a pancake.
I'm not sure how much you can see in this small picture, but this is very wet and marshy. Much of our property and surrounding property is wetlands, and that is probably what saved us from getting wiped out by the highway project that is coming through the area in the next few years. There was a real possibility that they were going to go right down the abandoned railroad bed that is part of our property, which would have taken out our house and the rest of the place. It was a happy day for us when they announced the route on the news and Nutwood was spared. I called Ken, then called my Mom and Dad, and I think I actually cried. I didn't realize until then how much of a burden it was hanging over us to think about moving and finding another place as special as this. Or how much I'd already come to love it--thinking about them chopping down all the trees and razing the land was almost more than I could bear. I love happy endings!
A house down the road had this pretty little patch of white flowers. I don't know what they were--not Queen Anne's Lace--but they looked daisy-like.
Another stand of hardwoods, in a low spot off the road. I see places like this and wonder why we never flood--this is such low ground here, with plenty of standing water, very marshy and basically built on a swamp. But the closest river, the St. Joseph, is in town and nowhere near us, and while some may get a little water in their basement and in their yard, I don't think we're in any danger of serious flooding here. That's certainly been on my mind lately, with what is going on in the Midwest!
This is a field just across the road from us. I think it's just grass, and there are wildflowers in there, too. The blue of the sky and the clouds over the field were just so beautiful to me. Again, I knowI'm biased, but while we may not have mountains, coastlines, or beaches (I love seeing those when we're on vacation), there is a special beauty to me when I see an open meadow like this, or even a corn field lush and green and bristling.
There is no place I'd rather live. We may have our faults, but this area brings me peace and quiet, and complete contentment.
No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be
John Mellencamp (he's small town, just like me)