Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wet Leaves and Frosted Rails

The track was firm and fast on the DERT yesterday morning at 31 degrees. Fallen leaves completely covered the trail in places, including at some rail crossings. In other sections the rails shone dully with a coating of ice crystals waiting to trip the unwary rider. Of course, at 31 degrees, there were few riders at all. Maybe just me.

Humming a song of praise to the inventor of wind briefs, I pedaled through the frosty morning air down the corridor of molting trees.

After eight hours at my creativity-crushing, spirit destroying job -- yes, it's much like yours -- I headed out into the gathering dusk to ride back out on the journey home.

Before the sun had disappeared below the horizon, I came upon this strange, perfect line of red maple leaves drawn casually across the trail. These photos don't show how distinct the line was. Most of the other leaves on the ground were yellow with a few red mixed in.

Is it like a crop circle?

It began (or ended) with this curl.
The line led straight to a cleft tree...
And ended (or began) within it.

After taking these photographs I continued on into the growing darkness. With no overtaking motor traffic, I didn't turn on the rear blinky lights, but snapped on the Beamer headlights one by one. Sometimes I'll meet another commuter inbound. So first I snapped on one Beamer in flash mode, then switched to two in steady mode. Finally I reached down to add the Beamer 5 mounted below my handlebars. The head of it popped off and it spewed its batteries into the leaves and acorns covering the path. I had rolled yards past the drop zone before I was able to stop and turn back.

I found the light head and one battery. I had to give up on the other one after several minutes groping around with one of my other lights. Maybe I'll spot it on Thursday, which is my next likely bike commuting day. Or I could get insanely motivated and bust out early enough on Wednesday to ride the bike to my pre-work dentist appointment. My dentist frowns on tardiness as much as tartar. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the guy with sharp implements and power tools in your mouth.


Nathan said...

The red leaves... Andy Goldsworthy?

cafiend said...

I wonder. You never know who is touristing in the 'boro.