May 15th, 2007

bikebear

Bear on a Bike '07

I just thought I would make an entry in good ol' LJ to mark this year's first bike ride to work. I could have done it last week, but I just got lazy. The city declared this week "Alternative Methods of Commuting Week" so I thought it would be a good excuse to get off of my big bear butt and ride in. 11 miles in 40 minutes. Not bad. I love this time of year as well because the air is perfumed with the scents of all of the flowers in bloom. Nice.

Speaking of flowers, teh Interawebs is great for many things. It's not all that hot, however, for wildflower identification. It's tough to find a regional-specific guide that's very easy to use and comprehensive. Even field guides to New Mexico are tough because we have such a wide variety of habitats from alpine meadows to the Chihuahuan Desert and everything in between. I decided to resort to old skool technology, the library. I came away with 3 books on wildflowers and quickly identified a few plants that were giving me fits in identifying. I'm also discovering one of the reasons why I dislike botany. Some plants are known by their scientific name, some by a common name, and some by regional names. For instance I could not find scorpionweed in one guide but I found it by its common name. In one guide I found an entry for milkvetch with a caution that it can be harmful to livestock. In another book I found that milkvetch is commonly called locoweed. I also have big plots of phlox up on the mesa that make lovely purple carpets of flowers. Most books just go on to say that there are several dozen different species. So much for identifying the specific type that's common by the den. It's all good fun, however. I feel like I am getting more in touch with the mesa and all of the living things on it. It's nice to learn new things as well.
  • Current Music
    "Ball and Chain" -- Social Distortion