Tuesday Trippin’ February 28

The week has been beautiful. Early on I heard Sand Hill Cranes migrating for the first time this year. They started sounding just before where I was when I talk about them in the video and stayed with me for some time. I wanted to stop and record them, but I was in a rush to squeeze the ride in. I had to be done in time pick up my granddaughter from pre-K.

With the warming weather comes the insect season. They’re not bad yet, but I’ve seen reports of ticks in north Georgia in my outdoor groups and I’ve personally seen mosquitos. North Georgia has mountains and its northern boundary is 298 miles north of the southern extreme. The warm weather is early, but it still comes later here than it does south of the Fall Line.

I actually saw mosquitos in January at Big Creek where insects flush in the still wet areas after every little warm spell, and Russ says he’s been bitten a couple of times this week. They’re not bad, or even very noticeable yet, just lying in wait for the coming season

I’m wondering just how warn the spring will be. I had decided which expensive cool weather cover I was going to get for this season in lieu of the even more expensive cycling specific jacket. I like sweat shirt fabric in a tunic with a mock turtle, funnel neck, cowl neck or hoodie. I like having some fabric readily at my neck to put over my nose when riding into an area with burning, exhaust, smoking, or now, coughing.

Last spring I really liked using the neck gaiter that I started using during the pandemic as a mask (before I found out they were less effective). I never would have thought of it before, but they are great for pollen season. I don’t know that I’ll want to tolerate it this year though. The predicted high tomorrow is 77 degrees and the predicted last frost through much of the ride area is March 30.

Pumpkinvine Creek Trestle reflecting in my glasses, built in 1901, 750 feet long, 126 feet high

Pollen has started, but we’re in the low hundreds right now. The high count last year was 5071, a number that seems unimaginable to people in areas where the counts never get so high. It is strange that pollen counts can be higher in cities than in forested rural areas. That’s not all ornamental plantings either. Thinking about these things is important to planning, whether it is appropriate clothing and gear, or what to plant in your own yard, For this week though, it’s been pretty easy to just go out and enjoy the glorious weather.

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