Today’s ride took me over to Waverly and then up to Druid Hill Park for some laps around the reservoir where I could safely listen to a song or two on repeat. Halfway around the circle and I was zipping through clouds of gnats. I ducked my head down, but there’s no way out but through with these things. Not willing to hold my breathe for the long straightaway, I veered off the path and up over toward the Jones Falls Trail for air hopefully less filled with these tiny bugs. I stopped to snap this picture on the bridge over the falls on the way to the zoo. This stuff is everywhere in the parks around here right now, carpets of ivy covering everything–in this case, everything but the bits of tree trunk sticking out of the mass. I figured this was some invasive plant, like the kudzu that has blanketed the entire south, because what kind of nature would let one plant just grow all over all the other plants, no matter how pretty? Kudzu got here as part of an exhibit at the 1876 World’s Fair, but a trip through any part of the south in the summertime will provide plenty of evidence that that stuff got out the door. Turns out, though (I think), this is Virginia creeper. Correct me if I’m wrong, Marylanders! It’s from here–a native plant–which I guess means it belongs, unlike that non-native stuff that must be eradicated. Oh, logics! Right now it is all this brilliant emerald green, and I love it. We’ll see what happens in the fall–I don’t remember this turning gold or red or orange, but I bet it does, and I bet it is going to be amazing. I can wait, though. I rode back home the long way, a stop in Hampden to catch up with V. She can wait too–summer, don’t leave us yet!