Weeping Cherry Tree at Greenway & Southway

Pink flowering tree against a bright blue sky.

The weather this week has been wild. Monday was just perfect–bright and sunny, cool but warm enough for short sleeves, and only a slight breeze. Then it warmed up, a lot, and it was too hot on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is here, and it is cooling down again, thank goodness. I know spring is always up and down, and I also know I am very lucky if this counts as “wild” weather. The devastation in parts of the south and midwest–that is wild and terrible weather. We get the dregs of those systems, and while they make it a little funky, we’re ok. So far. Knock on wood.

Climate change is real, and I know it is different from weather, but these big shifts in weather patterns are not just weather. In the apocalyptic stories about the end of the world, it always seems to go from things being mostly ok to a sudden shift that everyone understands means things aren’t ok anymore. But are we the bunny in the pot, chewing on carrots, not noticing that things are heating up and we are about to be rabbit stew?

I thought about this on Monday’s long ride around the reservoirs in Guilford, Lake Montebello, and Druid Hill Park. It is spring, and I can’t tell if it’s too early for all these flowering trees to be in bloom, or if they should be in bloom all at once and they are going in phases in a bad way, or if this is just how it goes. Flowering tree season is my favorite season in the city, and I like to ride my bike around and visit my favorites. The ones in front of the nursing school downtown came and went first, and they were quick about it. The redbuds are coming in down there now.

Druid Hill Park shows off with daffodils early in spring, clumps of them all over the hill leading up to the reservoir. The cherry trees are in full bloom, though many are still behind the barriers that keep us from doing the whole circle as the endless project to put the reservoir under cover continues.

Guilford is the tiniest reservoir, and it got its remodel recently. The plants still look like babies, and there were no flower trees yet. Heading up there, though, meant riding around all the rich people’s professional landscaping. It already smells like mulch and fertilizer, and landscaping crews were everywhere. And the flowers in yards and in Sherwood Gardens were popping.

I snapped this picture of the weeping cherry tree on Greenway as I zipped out of Guilford and headed to Lake Montebello and Herring Run. I love this tree, and I get to ogle it every year, and every year it feels like the first time I have seen its majesty. It will be green soon, and I’ll miss it until next year. And check out that sky. What a gift, Monday’s ride!

I hope the weather never changes so much that we don’t get these flowers.

I finished my ride, did my stretches, ate a whole bunch of food, and spent the rest of the week complaining about how it was already too hot as I did my regular commutes. One thing I really appreciate about bicycling is that I am deeply in touch with the weather, the phases of spring growth, the way this city looks and smells and feels in these transition periods. You just don’t get that in car where you can make it always be 68 degrees.

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