Birdwatching on North Point State Park’s Black Marsh Trail

Birdwatching on North Point State Park's Black Marsh TrailI’ve been biking seemingly all day, every day for the past week. Saturday was especially long, up to Loch Raven, taking the lane on some seriously busy streets, down and over to check out the tulips and babies and puppies and mansions in Roland Park, and then down to Fell’s Point to avoid Pirate Day (you know pirates were often slave traders, especially when piloting the superfast Baltimore clipper ships, right?) and Record Store Day (the ladyfriend’s got that covered) and choke down a quick crepe before taking the Lombard Bike/Bus lane–good lord, I love that thing–to Ridgely’s Delight for a ride home. Continue reading

Birds in a Bush at 32nd & Barclay

Birds in a Bush at 32nd & BarclayI meant to get a bike ride in on Monday afternoon, first down to Mount Vernon to meet E. for a chat and then, oh, wherever I felt like going. But then I was stepping off the curb with my bike and stepped funny, and I heard a crack so loud it made me want to puke on my new orange Ortlieb front roller classics. That was the end of the ride for me, so after sitting on my front steps long enough to catch my breath, I headed back inside to elevate and ice it. Sigh. Continue reading

Tangles of Freeways Seen From the Middle Branch Trail of the Gwynns Falls Trail

Tangles of Freeways Seen From the Middle Branch Trail of the Gwynns Falls TrailIt was sunny, dry, and over freezing, and I had a whole lot of errands to run, so I got to pull out the Surly and go for some rides today. It took less than a block on the bike to feel at home; I love Brompty, and she’s made life without a car so much easier, but oh, Surly, that’s my home bike. The first leg took me just a bit up the hill to Waverly to meet with O. and R. to talk about art and history and girls and cats. And then it was a zippy ride down the hill to meet with D. to drink coffee and talk about material culture and museums and representation and race. And then it was a slow pedal back up the hill for lunch with J. and to talk about the War of 1812 and the difference between “slave” and “servant” and what happens when you use them interchangeably. Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good life with pretty good people in it, and then it just got better. Continue reading

Brompty Checking Out the View at Chalmette National Battlefield

Brompty Checking Out the View at Chalmette National BattlefieldMonday was my last day in New Orleans, and I used it to bike as many places as possible. When I first moved to NOLA in 2007, there were no bike lanes. Then the St. Claude bike lane went in, and then there was one on Broad Street, and that tiny stretch of Magazine in front of the WWII Museum, and the protected bike lane out in Gentilly, and now they are all over the place, and I wanted to ride them all. I wanted to take that favorite ride out through City Park and to Lake Pontchartrain to see the bayou and look for pelicans. I wanted to get lost out in Gentilly and do laps around Audubon Park and ride the Mississippi River Trail out to the end to see what they’ve done to that riverfront park in Kenner and if that abandoned suitcase is still there. Continue reading

Birds in a Bush at Barclay & E. 32nd

Birds in a Bush at Barclay & E. 32ndWe were promised snow and sleet on Saturday, so that meant an earlier-than-planned bike ride under chilly gray skies (yes, the sky was chilly, not just the air). My first stop was the Waverly Farmer’s Market for coffee and that special spice mix N. likes to put on everything, the one sold in tiny packets by the lady who also sells all the mushrooms. Continue reading

Birds Snacking at Tulane Next to the Newcomb College Institute

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Oh, it felt so good to ride my bike yesterday that I was most especially looking forward to today’s ride. I did a quick jaunt to lunch with K. before heading down to the river. I waited with all the tourists heading to the aquarium for the train to pass, and then bike to a bench, sat back, and enjoyed the view. It has finally been good and summer rainy the past few days, and the wind is stil blowing waves, clouds rolling in. I had to get back to the office, though, so back on the bike I went, pedaling fast. My fall commute’s going to be much, much longer; might be time to practice. I grabbed a ridiculously large iced tea from the cafeteria, and on my way over to Newcomb Hall, I noticed these birds poking around in the mud we’ve finally got with their needly beaks. Yeah, y’all are going to need a bath after that meal. A woman passed me, remarking the the birds are a long way from home. Yes, yes they are.

Blue Sky & Clouds Over Lake Pontchartrain

Today was my last day of classes for the semester, and in the fall, I’ll be teaching somewhere else. It all felt rather bittersweet. I have loved teaching at Tulane. I enjoy the students, my colleagues, the Take Your Professor to Lunch program (I’ve been eating with charming students on the college’s dime for weeks now), Doug in Media Services, the two way mirror separating me from R. in our basement offices inside the old children’s anxiety clinic (no, really–it’s nice down there (that’s what she said)), and all the campus cats. Fortunately, I get to teach summer school, so I’ll be eased out slowly. Continue reading