Sunday, April 8, 2012

Climate Shift

I find it fascinating that the descent from warm and sheltered, brick-lined downtown Burlington to the waterfront takes on this climatic shift. It can easily be 5-10F colder. And, with the wind, oh that biting northern wind that comes unbidden from Canada, well, it feels like another place altogether. While I frequently head to the lake, I don wind protection; headband and gloves are necessities. The flip side of clear, colder weather is the spectacular view of the Adirondacks in New York.

A couple years ago the city sunk the utilities in this block, part of a master plan to redo the appearance and thus appeal of the waterfront. The street lights and cruise boat is an attractive gateway. I'm also taken with the square-shaped sculpture with the hole. This is the symbol outside the ECHO science center. A metal fish is suspended in the circle (not visible here), but mostly it's distinctive in that it allows a view of mountains, water, or sky, apparent in this photo.

I headed into the wind on the bike path, searching for signs of Spring. There are hyacinth and daffodils blooming in my garden. Maples are budding. A rhododendron is bursting fuchsia blossoms. But along the lakefront it still looks like stick season, the only color coming from greening grass. I looked for trillium, usually a common sight in April, but it was clearly too early. In one sunny spot a carpet of blue scilla scattered along a fence line. I pounced on the opportunity for a photo.

A while later the way is sheltered by trees and neighborhoods and riding becomes pleasant. I forgot to turn into a park for a loop that would bring me back home. Instead, I decided to continue and check out a family camp. The driftwood that my husband and I collected last fall remained on the deck rail. They still resemble bleached bones.

The lovely clear view holds the power to entrance. Ski trails on Whiteface Mountain are discernible, reminding me that some resort areas are still open. In the heat of summer, especially when the humidity is cranked unbearably high, we cannot even see across the lake until a thunderstorm breaks the moisture.

I head homeward, retracing the route. There weren't many cyclers or walkers. A father and son played street hockey at a rink. Nearby the skateboard park was eerily quiet—it was a school day—but then I noticed a sign. The park is permanently closed due to unsafe conditions. I heard the place will eventually be relocated, but it may be a couple of years before it happens. This park is highly utilized and has been monitored and kept clean for many years. Our children often bring skates or ride their bikes if it's not too crowded, so I was sad to see it's demise.

I rode an alternate route up the hill, stopping at a bakery for a dense loaf of raisin bread. It was well past lunchtime so I couldn't resist tearing into the crust. Then it was time to continue home. I welcomed the balmy realm of flowering forsythia and magnolias.


  1. It is the same here in eastern Australia, I can go from our place about 5 km from the beach where it is so hot, but at the beach there can be a strong wind blowing and it is unbearable and quite cold, so time to go home again!

  2. I love it that your seasons are vice versa to Oz. When it's settling into Autumn here it's lovely to read about new growth peaking through and in Winter checking out your sunny rides will be a warming distraction.


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