i really had nothing planned for this saturday. i slept late, waking up to nothingness. a good sleep last night, cold enough that i needed a blanket, but i like it sort of brisk. a morning tour of the backyard revealed some new flowers.




after a quick run to buy some groceries and a breakfast lunch of raisin bran cereal, i went out for a motorcycle ride on this very nice day (perfect beach weather). i headed to microcenter, where i wanted to recheck what kind of kvm switches they have there, which turned out to be not a lot. instead, i bought a php/mysql book (which i will probably return, since i saw the same book at amazon.com for $4 less). i came home, changed, and went back outside, this time for a bicycle ride. i had a few options, but decided to take the minuteman bike trail, wanted to maximize my time spent outdoors, and i knew i could get some nature photography enroute as well.

there was some traffic on the minuteman, which isn't a surprise since it's the weekend, and i don't mind the opportunity to do some people watching. there was a lot of wildflowers in bloom, including tansies, daisies, black-eyed susans, daisy fleabanes, knapweeds, lilies, queen anne's laces, loosestrifes, milkweeds, bindweeds, dame's rockets, deptford pinks, various types of clovers, cinquefoils, and butter-and-eggs. i was happy to see some early season jewelweeds as well, one of my favorite flowers.

there was also a lot of dragonfly activities. no red meadowhawks (they come later in the season), but i did see a whitetail, followed by many blue dashers, both males and females. i even caught sight of an ebony jewelwing from a distance, one of the prettiest damselflies you could ever see, metallic green with black wings. tried in vain to get a better photo, walking through thorny bushes and poison ivy in my shorts, but jewelwings are timid insects, and flew away whenever i got close. i didn't see much butterfly activities, despite all the flowers. the most conspicuous lepidoptera were the cabbage whites. i looked for signs of monarchs on milkweeds but didn't see anything.

skipper on

american copper

blue dasher,male
(perched, wings forward)

blue dasher,

blue dasher,male

blue dasher,male
(top view)

i didn't quite make it to the end of the minuteman bike trail in bedford (a few miles shy), but i must've biked at least 20 miles today. the return trip was quite tedious, but fortunately it was mostly downhill and i had some music in the form of my not-often-used mp3 player. i was so beat by the time i got home, my ass sore from almost 3 hours of pounding (it was still smarting from that little charles river bike excursion i took with julie earlier in the week). andrew and maura were already gone, i took a shower then rode the motorcycle back to belmont, where i had a family dinner at the sichuan gourmet restaurant in billerica. my eyes felt a little weird, like the onset of conjunctivitis. i'm not surprised, all this riding around, it's very easy for a speck of germ to land in my eye.

afterwards, we returned to belmont, where i biked back to cambridge, very little traffic on the road on a cool summer's night.