I get why people move to moderate climates. It’s easy to get sick of cold weather. That’s especially true when you like to spend time outdoors.
These last weeks of May and early weeks of June are special here in Illinois. The weather may go up and down from cool to hot but the days between are amazing at times. We’ve sat outside to have dinner several times and the temperature was near perfect.
All around our house the irises are in bloom. There are deep purple and light, yellow and Japanese iris all in full regalia. As some of the yellow ones tipped over with the weight of wind and rain, she clipped them to bring a bunch inside. I’m so grateful for that. They stopped me in place to look them over today.
On the other hand, I also love the energy that comes with better weather. This past weekend I cruised through another ten-miler with Sue. At one point she turned to me and said, “I feel good.” Which is wonderful to hear from a person for whom running has not always been easy.
My own running has improved this year after 2019 turned into a debacle with a bike accident early on and health issues later in the year due to a tooth infection. Then a dog at the park ran into my left leg and tore the medial collateral ligament. As a result, I got heavy and slow and frustrated over the winter. But I’ve shed ten pounds and am back running healthier again.
It was hot as heck yesterday afternoon with temps in the high 80s and a thick wind blowing from the southwest. But I put on the triathlon gear and went for a five miler in the late afternoon sunshine.
I didn’t go fast, but neither was I slow as last year. My average times have been dropping steadily in the last month. My Garmin keeps telling me, “You Set a New 5K Record!” or “Your Longest Run!”
All I can say about that is I’m grateful. Just to be running again. And at my age, to be running at all. So many folks get bad knees or have other issues to take them out. I’ve survived my share of strange maladies and have kept going.
There is even hope of a couple races this summer. But we’ll play that by ear. It’s tough to find anywhere to swim right now. But we’re plotting trips to open water at lakes and the few pools open.
For now, I’m happy with the sights, smells and sounds of spring.
And if you’d like to see some of the other stuff I do, here’s a video of my citizen science adventures birding in the prairie. If you ever have a bird you can’t identify, or get an iPhone pic that you can’t distinguish, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to tell you what it is.
It’s a great time to get outdoors. Iris it could be like this all year round.
I am so jealous (in a good way) of the varied, diversified life you lead. I don’t think I will ever appreciate nature in the way you do as a specialist, knowing different species of plants and animals. I guess I’m more of a generalist and just appreciate more than anything the sweat, running or hiking to the top of a mountain in total amazement of this world created by God. But when friends like you introduce me to beautiful flowers, species and unique characteristics of plants, animals, birds, trees I am in total amazement and appreciation of your unique gifts!
At the same time, I have to make choices on what to do each day, and am not always good at it. My interests tug me in different directions. While I’m out running on a spring day, it feels like I should be out birding. And when I’m birding and someone comes running by, I’m jealous of that. A lifelong dilemma.