Thursday, March 25, 2010

I committed the penultimate faux pas...

I accidentally took a picture of an Amishman! I think the only thing worse would have been if I had taken the picture on purpose.

There is an Amish farm that I ride by a few times a week and tonight the horses were out in the pasture grazing, rather than working with the farmer in the fields. I really wanted to get a picture of the baby above, but was also snapping photos of the grown horses. And yes, that's a baby-- just not a new born foal. I didn't pay enough attention to see if it's a male or female, but either way it's a Belgian baby.

Anyway, I was taking my photos when the baby and one of the big horses took off. I looked up and saw an old Amishman with a grey beard about down to his waist hiding behind a tree! He wasn't close enough for me to speak to, but I was afraid I'd done something wrong-- like maybe he was afraid I'd bother the horses or didn't want me taking their pictures, so I moved on. Needless to say, when I uploaded my photos to the computer there he was!

I'm sure most everyone knows that the Amish do not want to be photographed. I deleted the pictures and wouldn't have posted one here anyway, even though you could hardly see him. It would be disrespectful. But now I feel like I should stop by the farm tomorrow and apologize or something-- or at the very least let them know I was only trying to snap the horses and not them. I know they won't yell at me or anything, but I'm so nervous about going over there. I would never intentionally disrespect someone, though, and these are my neighbors. Not my next door neighbors, but close enough and I do pass by their farm frequently. It only seems right that I stop by.

This picture gives you an idea of how much bigger this little one is going to be. I do believe the lighter horse in the background is mom, and the other one is just another worker horse. I do love this baby's face, too.

All told I did 18 miles today. The weather forecast calls for rain tomorrow, so my 30-miler might have to wait for another day. But if the weather's decent I'll give it a try! And I'll stop by the farm (if I can keep my courage up I will, lol).

Here's a picture I took yesterday just because I liked the color contrasts between the light brown and bright green fields and also the almost-black of the trees:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring in Lancaster County means...


There are so many calves and colts and lambs around these days. So much adorableness is almost unbearable, lol. These babies are about four miles from my house. There are also some lambs a little farther along the way; maybe I'll get some pictures for Friday's blogging.

I went on two rides today for a total of 23 miles. I did go back to the spooky house to see if I would be brave enough to peek in the windows and take a picture, but while I was getting myself psyched to do it the wind kicked up and this piece of the (metal) roof started banging around and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I literally jumped off my bike seat! Can you see it hanging there?

I also got a picture of another decrepit tractor-- at least it's protected from the elements...

I did go left instead of right at an important intersection and ended up miles away from where I intended to be-- and at the bottom of a very steep, very long hill. Bummer. I walked it most of the way. I thought this was pretty funny as I was walking by:

Really? Is it that dangerous? Looks pretty benign to me, but what do I know? I'm from New Jersey!

I took a bunch more pictures today but I'll leave them for tomorrow. I'm doing as little work as possible for the rest of the week as my hands are literally burning from overuse. I need ice, rest and some massage for the next few days. Having a crank-forward bike has been a god-send! Because I sit back and upright there's no real pressure on my hands or arms while I'm riding, allowing me to still get out there and do my thing. Tomorrow I have my last two clients of the week as well as a school meeting so I won't get much riding done. Friday I'm off, however, and plan to try for thirty miles! If my hands are really bad I'll have to scrap it, crank-forward or no. So here's hoping I'm on the mend by then.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spooky house ride

I've been bored going the same routes over and over again, and so decided to head off in the completely opposite direction today. I got some great new photos but the ones I want to share today are of this spooky old house I came upon:
Getting closer:

Dilapidated tractor to go with the dilapidated house:
Two front doors (and now I'm starting to feel creeped out):
Riding away:
Riding FAR away:
And just when I thought I'd really gotten away, there was this mysterious arm pointing towards the house whispering, "Go back. Go back..."

Needless to say I took off!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Water! Again!

This time falling from the sky:
And this is what I have to deal with every time I ride back and forth to work. I'm only on this road for half a mile or so, but it's by far the most dangerous section I ride. Too many people speeding along not paying attention.

Anyway, I got stuck in the rain on my way home. I got splashed by passing cars and by all the water being thrown up by my tires-- time for some fenders, I think!

I took some other pictures before the rain started, but they didn't come out very well; they were all blurry for some reason. Hopefully the weather will be good for riding tomorrow. I don't mind riding in the rain, but I would rather do it with some rain gear-- and I don't have any rain gear as of right now, unfortunately.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Not just water-- rapids!

No, not really. This is a little ripple in Lititz Run. To put it into context here are two more pictures of the stream, looking in opposite directions.

To the east:
And to the west:

Looks kind of peaceful, doesn't it? But turn around and 772 is right there, with cars zipping back and forth. But if you're close enough to the baby rapids all you hear is water, so it's all good.

I don't know what the deal is but most of the cyclists I'm seeing out and about these days aren't all that amiable. Seems like everyone I saw out riding during the winter had a friendly hello or a wave. Now, though, they just blow right by without so much as even a nod. Maybe there's something about meeting a fellow traveler willing to brave the elements that makes people want to acknowledge each other. And hey, even rude people want to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather-- it's simply my bad luck to have encountered them!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm so tired...

In fact I'm so tired I don't have anything to say. I didn't make it to the pub; maybe one evening this week I'll get there. I ended up working at the scrap house a bit later than I anticipated so I have some late afternoon/early evening photos today. This one was actually taken about five minutes before the one up top:

I have no idea why they look so different!

Friday, March 19, 2010

No new pictures today; these are from earlier in the week. I'm so tired right now that I can't even remember which farm this is. It's somewhere within a fifteen mile radius of my house, I know that much!

I rode downtown for breakfast-- as usual-- and later went on my seven mile loop, only in the opposite direction. In between those two rides I ran errands, did some laundry and got a massage. I don't think it's a great idea to try and go for a bike ride after having a two hour massage. I was like a wet noodle, lol.

There's a new pub just opened in town called Marston's Bulls Head. I haven't been yet, but I'm planning to ride down tomorrow evening after I'm done doing massage at the Cozy Crop House.

Lititz doesn't have much of a night life so here's hoping the Bulls Head will help get things moving in our little burg!

I don't know if they're planning to have music there or if it's just going to be a gathering place, but I'm hoping for some entertainment.

Anyway, I'm not much of a drinker at all but from the outside looking in it looks like a nice spot. I guess I'll find out tomorrow night!

Just a small obstacle in my way yesterday morning!

I'm not a fan of the sun, really-- I burn too easily and hate hot weather in general. Plus I have a hard time taking pictures in the bright sun since I can't see anything on the camera screen. Hmmm... maybe that's a sign I should ditch the digital go back to a film camera!

Still, even I have to admit that yesterday was a beautiful day. All told I rode close to 22 miles-- around town and then back and forth to work three times. I finally finished riding at 9 pm!

Here's a point of interest in my town:
It's the Julius Sturgis Pretzel House, home of the first commercial pretzel bakery in the United States. I've not visited myself, but my son went on a tour in fourth grade and brought home some pretty good pretzels. During the summer there's often a line of tourists waiting to get inside, so I guess I should get there too, lol.

Isn't this strange? It's like a Lancaster County Stonehenge, only way less mystical. Another view:
The pictures don't really do it justice. Maybe I'll try again on another day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Actually it was a beautiful day today; I just didn't have time to take any photos. These are Tundra Swans heading to Middle Creek in Ephrata. Tundra Swans stop at Middle Creek during their migrations between North Carolina and northern Canada. There can be nearly 80,000 of them at a time, as well as thousands of snow geese and Canada geese! I hope to get up to the preserve soon to get some photos. I don't know if I'll be able to bike up there, although I do have a cue sheet for the ride. It's very hilly and I don't know that I'm up for it just yet.

My biking was mostly work related today. First, though, I had to ride over to the high school and deliver a forgotten set of gym clothes! Then I rode downtown for breakfast, and after that it was on to the office for my first client of the day. I had four clients and rode back and forth three times. All told I rode not quite 12 miles.

Tomorrow I'll be heading downtown as usual, and I have two clients. I'm hoping to get a "fun" ride in, too!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How about this mess?

It's a telephone pole! I'll be sure to get another picture after that vine is growing green again.

I decided to get right up in it:
You know I won't be doing that once everything is growing again-- I'll end up with spiders or other creepy things in my hair!

I didn't ride far today as I had to leave early to make an appointment in Wilmington. I just went downtown for breakfast and some window shopping, about 6 miles total. One of the places I stopped was Outback Toys, at Binkley and Hurst.

I was so disappointed! They used to have a huge aisle of Breyer horses-- both sides-- and now there's like less than half of one side of an aisle that has them. Boo! I've been collecting Breyers since I was a kid and they're not that easy to find.

I wasn't in a position to buy one so I guess I shouldn't complain, but still. More Breyer horses, please!

Finally, here's the tree picture I meant to put up yesterday:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Same tree, different perspective

But first, a worm...
The road looks dry up there, but it was actually quite wet. Why else would there be a worm in the road?? Seriously, I think I need to spend some time reading the instruction booklet that came with my camera so I can take better pictures. They don't always seem to reflect what I see with my eyes.

I rode out near the black walnut tree that I took a photo of last night and became entranced by this fence post-- don't ask me why!

It looks so much more interesting when it doesn't have any leaves,
don't you think?

I also think it looks kind of wistful, like it's staring off into the distance, looking for something.

Or its true love ran off, and now it waits patiently for his or her return.

I don't know! I just liked it. Anyway, my knee was bothering me quite a bit today so instead of going back and forth to work I just rode the seven mile circuit. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Oh! I forgot the tree picture! I'll put that one up tomorrow.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I went for two bike rides today. In the late morning I went downtown for my usual Sunday breakfast and then out into the countryside for a fifteen mile ride. Unfortunately it started raining about six miles from home and I ended up getting soaked! I definitely need to get a good pair of goggles for riding in the rain. Probably a rain coat, too.

Later I went for a ride around dusk. I only planned to go to the Mennonite church and back, but once I got going I really didn't want to stop.

So I flipped on my headlights (and tail light) and continued on my way. I do wish I'd thought to bring my florescent vest, though.

I only went about seven miles; as you can see it was getting quite dark. I was about four miles from home when I snapped this picture.

Tomorrow I have three clients spaced two hours apart. It's a crummy schedule from a time-use perspective, but it does mean that I'll get to ride to the office and back three different times!

And hopefully I'll work in a ride just for fun, too!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My new license plate:

'Nuff said.