I am on my bicycle again today, in spite of the 53 degree temperature this morning. I ride through the park to my studio to work on photos before heading home for lunch and a few more miles of riding. It’s along the prairie boardwalks north of the Steinberg rink that I alarm the black crowned night heron, who in turn startles me with a sudden takeoff from under the boardwalk a few feet from where I am photographing water lilies and false indigo. I find him closer to the skating rink, slowly stalking the edge of the waters, eager to introduce himself to some unwary citizen of the local water world.
I stand by the bank and shoot some videos of him before being distracted by a small field of Indian hemp and spider wort. At the base of Dinosaur Hill a young robin lies dead on the bicycle path and I pause to look more closely. His feathers are lovely, and I admire him more than, I suspect, others will admire me when I am laid out in death.
But life goes on, and so do I, as fast as I can into a light headwind, cruising at speeds between 15 and 20 miles per hour. I fly out of the Hampton underpass and slam on brakes, my attention arrested by the gardens surrounding me, overflowing with bee balm, blue wild indigo, evening-primrose, columbine, and purple and yellow coneflowers. May is a great month to be alive!