It rained overnight, but by 7 a.m., it was over and the sky was clearing. Despite the wet streets, I rode my bike to work today. After a brief stop in my office, I had to go downtown for a visit to The Gazette that my Intro to Journalism class makes each year.
And it was a beautiful, clear spring day, warm in the afternoon, crisp and clean for the rest of the day. Here are 20 things I saw today:
1-Right outside my door, on the way to get my bike. The flower is still wet with rain, but you can see the sun. Rhododendron blooming for the first time by my front steps.
Daffodils and Clarence
2-Just arrived at MMU and parked my bike (the bike is named Clarence). The bike is in the background as I make an image of some daffodils.
More MMU daffodils.
3-Still in the garden by Warde Hall at MMU. Damp daffodils in the cool, clear morning.
4-Pelican on Cedar Lake. I can’t go around the lake for a closer view because I’m riding quickly to get down to The Gazette. Just passing by the lake.
Blooming tree by Cedar River Trail, downtown Cedar Rapids.
5-I passed a pair of CR bike cops–one of them waived me on. “We’re in no hurry,” he said. “We’ll be here all day.” And lucky they were to get bike duty today. I’m in downtown CR, almost to Greene Square and The Gazette.
Executive Editor of Gazette and MMU student.
6-Each year, we are hosted by Zach Kucharski, executive editor of The Gazette. He always seems bright and thoughtful, and I appreciate his comments to students. On the other hand, he’s one of those men perpetually cursed or blessed to forever look 16 years old. I had an inappropriate thought when editing this image–it looked to me like the president of the chess club was trying to ask a cheerleader to prom, and it doesn’t appear to be going well. Of course, I could not say something like that on a public Facebook gallery! So I put it here in my blog. Anyway, I think Zack is actually talking about the Pulitzer Prize won this week by Art Cullen, editor of The Times in Storm Lake, Iowa.
Zack speaks with MMU students.
7-Maybe it’s the change in angle or that there are more people in this image, but this looks more like a newspaper editor talking with college students. Note Gazette’s Pulitzer in background, won years ago. Since Art Cullen’s daughter works for The Gazette, I asked Zack if he had bought her a box of doughnuts and asked her if Pulitzer’s run in the family, and when she would win a second one for The Gazette. He did say he heard from Art Cullen this week, and Art said to give his daughter, Clare, a hug from dad and a raise.
Diana Nolen, arts and entertainment.
8-Another Gazette journalist who each year generously spends time with my students is Diana Nolen, talking in conference room as other editors gather for morning news meeting/smartphone party.
9-The Gazette’s managing editor speaks, while next year’s managing editor of the MMU Times and another student listens. (Man in cap is ME–an ME cap).
Spent forsythia flowers.
10-I am chugging up the back hill at MMU–the one that goes behind Andreas House to the library. Along the way, I pause to take some forsythia pictures. The best turns out to be spent flowers that have fallen onto the grass. Then, it’s onward, up the MMU hill!
11-At the top of the hill, I pause to photograph the Busse Library pear trees.
12-And, near the Donnelly Nursing Building (not it’s official name, but it will do), a magnolia bush in bloom. There is also a white one blooming by Warde Hall, but this is the Donnelly magnolia.
MMU football. Student throws (above) and catches (below).
13 and 14–MMU students where enjoying the morning, which by 11 is finally getting a little warm, by tossing the pigskin on the campus central green space.
Birds at Cedar Lake.
15–Now the day is ending. It’s around 7 p.m. and I am biking home. Naturally, since it’s so pretty, I head to the trail and check out Cedar Lake one more time. This is a very distant shot–I’m looking north from the south end of the lake, and way above, a bit north of the lake, I see this. Not sure at this distance, but the bird in the left corner looks like a bald eagle, to me. Some nest next to the Cedar River and sometimes can be seen over Cedar Lake.
The maybe eagle.
16-The maybe eagle, or possibly an umbrella, heads off into the sunset west sky.
17-Mallard on Cedar Lake. Two males were hanging out together and I caught some couple shots, but I thought this individual shot with a hint of reflection was better.
18–At night, I have more time, so I can circle the lake and get a bit closer to pelicans.
19-I am now riding north on Cedar River trail, looking west over I-380. Clouds are building to the west, and the sun is peeking out through some holes in the clouds. With the late afternoon, early evening, the lights is a pretty gold.
Hey pinkie! Get out of here!
20-And on a fence along the trail, a blackbird lets me know how much he appreciates the company of bikers. He doesn’t.
Well, that was it, my day, from about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It was an interesting day, and a great day to be outdoors as spring really grabs hold.