On New Year’s Day my brother and his young son and I drove from Helotes, Texas to Medina Lake to see what we could see, having done no research on the Internet prior to going. It was a beautiful drive, passing through Texas Hill country and several small towns. Had we checked on the Internet, we would have found out that Medina Lake is currently suffering greatly from the drought that began in Texas in 2010. According to this article, which has some great pictures and information, as of November 30th the lake was 68.99 feet below “conservation pool,” which I take to be its standard level. The water has not been this low since the 1950s.
And even though Medina Lake was designed with such changes in water level in mind, it was sad to see the long, long boat ramps and pontoon docks sitting in the middle of the lake bed, long past being near the water’s edge. It must be trying times to be a lakeshore property owner there just now. I would love to see Medina Lake back at its full level, as it looks amazing in these photos of the section where we were at Bandera County Medina Lake Park, but the low water level did make for some intriguing photos. Click on any photo to see a slightly larger version.
Wednesday morning, 7am, the magnolia tree’s leaves are glowing a warm yellow with accents of green. Unfortunately, the air is warm too, and the leaves lose a little of their magic, unaccompanied as they are by the cool pinch of an autumn wind. I put my trusty brown cardigan in my car nonetheless, willing a cold front. Junior is raking leaves across the street and agrees to rake mine next.
Seven am today and we’re still stuck in the doldrums of 70-80 degree weather in October. Work is muggy and stifling; the brown cardigan comes off as I teach, no matter how nice it looks with that nice paisley tie. But then a change. Leaving work the leaves are being tornadoed in the courtyard, then rush towards me like a tributary, like wild maenads in an autumnal dance. It is times like these that I wish I were as adept with a video camera as with my first generation Canon 5D. I want to capture motion as well as color and light and compositions. I contemplate my attempts in the past and blanch at the thought of shooting and editing it would take to get what I want. The temperature is 20 degrees cooler, and when I come home it becomes evident that the wind has visited here, too. The magnolia has experienced a sea change with the amount of leaves it has lost in a day. The buds which will bear through the winter and blossom in spring are now clearly visible. I nestle in my cardigan and smile.
What is a 100 year bicycle? Well, it’s one that only gets you where you really want to go about once every hundred years or so, and surely a Cubbies bicycle would qualify The picture below seems an even more apt metaphor for their perennial exercise in futility.
Ah, for shame! It is unkind to kick a team when it is down, though when else would one kick the Cubbies And perhaps it is foolishness to be so mean and tempt the wrath of the baseball gods when one’s own team, the St. Louis Cardinals, are up in the wild card chase by a mere 3 games. All kidding aside, though, this is one sweet looking bike. So cool. Such sharp colors, a cool custom fork, and I do love that walking cubbie bear logo.
One of the reasons the blog has not been staying updated as well as it might is that I have set a goal this summer of cycling at least 100 miles a week. This is modest by the standard of cyclists but is a good start for me, and will hopefully help me take off some weight. There has been some success already…but also failure with long road trips out of town and good food at my brother’s.
These are the cycling gloves I am wearing these days, and they are literally falling apart. In truth, I already have a new pair, but they haven’t nearly the character of these.
More on The Ottomen here.
More on The Heavy Anchor here.