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Up Jumped Spring

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I took a break from writing this morning and went for a ride with my friend Bianchi Vigorelli (pictured). Here in the lee of the Cascades, it was the first truly hot day of the year. Melted snow is rushing off the mountains, filling the rivers to the tops of their banks, running them fast and muddy, carrying along the occasional downed tree and drowned animal. The Yakima and the Naches are not at official flood stage, but they're getting close. If I lived in one of the low-lying areas nearby, I'd be making evacuation plans.

Along the river banks, in the parks and through the towns, dogwoods, magnolias, apple trees and profusions of flowers are in full bloom. Large numbers of redwing blackbirds and cedar waxwings (pictured)  have materialized -- and platoons of people in shorts and tank tops. For the most part, I found it more edifying to watch the birds. The ride--a twenty-miler--was a warmup for a longer round trip on Sunday through the Yakima River Canyon, which will be free of motorized traffic that day. A few of the hills are long and challenging enough to be character builders, but for the most part it's a leisurely cruise with a few hundred cyclists of all ages. Great fun. I wish that you could join us.

Have a good weekend.

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