Flowering Trees at Druid Hill Park

Pink flowering trees at Druid Hill Park on a gray day.

The ladyfriend was working from home on Monday, and as I got ready to head out on a bike ride, she was like, “You know it’s raining, right?” My rule, borrowed from my dad, is to never start a bike ride in the rain, because I’ll finish enough in the rain as it is. It was barely drizzling and my weather app said it wouldn’t be more than drizzle, so I shrugged and headed out.

I headed west toward Druid Hill Park with a plan to ride reservoir-to-reservoir and see if the red winged blackbirds are showing up yet. It was indeed drizzling a bit, but I had all my stuff in a plastic bag inside another bag, so whatever. Pedal, pedal, pedal, up and left and up and right and up to the park. It was mostly empty–because, you know, it was raining–but I did get to do my how-you-doin’s with a couple of men working out on the exercise equipment. I zipped around half of the reservoir, then back around, because both Druid Hill Park and Lake Montebello are under serious construction. My kingdom for a circle I can mindlessly pedal around without taking a car to get there!

I snapped this picture as I left the circle to head up to Safety City, around the tennis courts and Swimming Pool #2, and back around the baseball diamond and toward the pool. Flower trees are my favorite part of spring, and the Druid Hill Park ones, along with the ones in front of the University of Maryland Medical Center Nursing School, are always among the first. It is too early for these, of course, and it always feels too early. On Monday’s bike ride it also looked too early–gray skies, cool and windy, drizzle that later turned to small bits of hail–why are tiny ice chips hitting me in the face?

And then the bargaining started. Maybe just do a short ride today, I thought to myself. Five miles is great, just ride home, warm up, have a snack, and do some work. But I really wanted to hit both reservoirs, so I decided to just get cold and wet. Which I did as I rode down the hill, up the hill, east on Lakeside, right on Hillen, left into the park. It was pretty empty too, just a few kids out of school from Mervo, walking home or to the bus stop, or just taking a walk. It felt quiet and solitary, and if I can’t ride around in a circle, I’ll take that.

And then I was too cold, so I cut out the ride around Herring Run and headed home, hot shower, cold seltzer, cats and a book on a Monday afternoon. What a life I get to have!

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