Friday, March 21, 2008

Return of the Eagles

Another sign that spring is just around the corner: After being absent most of the winter due to area rivers and lakes being froze over, American Bald Eagles have recently returned to the La Crosse area while on their way to nesting areas farther north. I took the above photo on March 14 as three eagles rested on an ice floe in the Mississippi River off Riverside Park in La Crosse . . . providing an easier than usual view of them as they tend to keep in the distance by perching in treetops or circling high in the sky.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hurray! Back On My Bicycle!

On Tuesday, March 11, after two months of using the city bus service to get to and from work I was finally able to use my bicycle again. It sure felt good to “be in the saddle” and the streets were clear and dry (see attached photo looking north on Sixth Street from Division Street) so safety was not an issue. January and February were not bicycle friendly in La Crosse due to what seemed an endless cycle of snow and subzero temperatures, turning the city’s side streets (where I ride 99 percent of the time to escape annoying auto traffic) into narrow ice skating rinks. Not owning a car by choice (Egad! How unAmerican!) I’m glad I have the option of city bus service when the weather is too crappy for bicycling but the bus takes me twice as long (30 minutes) to get to work compared to bicycling. The added time is due to having to wait for the bus followed by its indirect route to the downtown area. None of that with my bicycle as there is no waiting involved and I can make a beeline for downtown. Plus, the exercise of pedaling has to be better for me compared to sitting in a bus seat. And not to bash the bus service further but bicycling also allows me to come and go when I want without paying attention to the bus schedule . . . especially in the evening when the buses run on a hourly schedule. In short, I am one happy camper now that spring is just around the corner with the promise of decent bicycling conditions. Oh, I forgot to mention that besides saving time, bicycling also saves me $2.50 in daily bus fare . . . money that I can now spend on candy and comics.