Today I got on my bike and went for a 75 minute bike ride. It was chilly to start, especially on my hands and my face. It got warmer as I went, as it always does. I rode through the farm roads around where we live and saw (gratefully) signs that "winter" is losing its grip in our neck of the woods. I'm not usually particularly appreciative at this time of the year. I don't like the bareness of the landscape, the dull grey skies, the mud in the fields and that little nip in the air that really is all that constitues winter, well at least this year.
Today however, I looked through different eyes. In those bare trees I could see massive eagle nests. All around the fields, the trees and those nests soar one of the most elegant, beautiful creatures on our earth. I love the trill they make as they chase each other up and down and far and near. Today they were near. And there were many of them, perhaps thirty or forty. Several sported the signature white caps but many were the mottled brown of the younger generation.
In the muddy, dead fields filled with last year's cut off corn stalks I could see the mallards pairing off as they do at this time of the year. Everywhere I looked, every puddle there were pairs of mallards. Through today's eyes I saw nature at work. Those broken off corn stalks will soon be ploughed under and either a new crop will take its place or the field will sit bare signifying that it's that fields turn for a dormant year, a time to renew the soil.
Cloudy skies, mainly grey, settled down low around our snow-capped mountains. The sun powered its way through the greyness and I could feel a hint of warmth on my face as I stopped to take pictures. Far on the northern hilltops the clouds parted and that soft blue sky you get only at this time of the year peeked through, a sight for sore eyes.
There are many hobby farms in the Fraser Valley and those I passed were filled with shaggy animals. All of them looked about ready to lose their patchy, scraggly winter coats. Horses, goats, and llamas glanced as I rode by. Pigs rolled in the mud (yes, they actually do that), chickens scattered and dogs barked. It wasn't my speed that caught their eye, just my presence.
I do struggle staying active during those dark winter nights and today was a promise of more activity, on my part and mother nature's. I'm hoping we see more of each other as the days stretch out and I find my biking legs again.