Sunday, 19 September 2010
This cat is NOT broken
I wanted to reassure everyone before we get started, that Ghost here is NOT broken, this is just how he likes to relax.
A week ago we picked the bulk of our corn crop. We'd been puzzling over why the ears seemed to be shrinking, and hoping they'd recover, but it turned out that earwigs are so named because they eat ears of corn, and our crop had suffered.
The corn was a yellow/white mix, which pleased me as I thought this was only possible on different plants. We ate a few cobs the same day and very tasty they were. Next year we'll harvest earlier, and use some organic method to discourage the earwigs.
I took a couple of bike rides last week, as we had a couple of sunny days coinciding with my days off. On the first I stayed local, and discovered the above sign in the field just to the north of our road. I tried panicking, looking small and passive, being quiet, making sure there were no small children nearby, and walking alone, but couldn't tempt the cougar into view. On the far side of the field is a hazelnut (filbert) orchard, and I took a spin right round the field. Still no cougar.
The next day I drove further to the Valley River Center with a bike strapped to a bike rack. Behind the Center is a massive carpark abutting the river, and along the river is a wonderful bike path. That's my car with the bike on its rack.
Just to illustrate the size of the carpark, the buildings in the distance are the (now defunct) Gottschalks, a department store that closed last year, and to the right the Regal Cinema. These are both part of the Valley River Centre Mall complex.
Off I headed along the riverside bike/footpath. The Willamette River has a bike path that runs along both sides of the river as it curves through Eugene, the brainchild of Mayor Ruth Bascom in the 70s. The path is wide enough for bikes and pedestrians to co-exist peacefully (unlike the Thames Towpath), and well paved and maintained (unlike the Thames Towpath). There are a few cafes, restaurants and bars alongside, especially on the north/east bank, so a well-planned route can start and end near a refreshment spot.
In remote corners the path meanders through woods, but always with the river gurgling along in sight through the trees.
At my turnaround just west of the I5 bridge is the Knickerbocker Bridge, named after a local character from the 70s. I could have gone on a bit further on the bike path on the north bank, but this was the easier option.
Viewed from the bridge, the river is nearly as wide as the Thames in some reaches, though shallower and less heavily trafficked. There are five foot/bike bridges in Eugene compared to three car bridges, showing how bike friendly the city is.
Back home, the cats have not been the least incommoded by my absense.
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