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A great blue heron, a bear, and a butterfly: Notes on a mini-tour in late Aug.

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John Saxby:
Have just posted this on CycleBlaze.  Should be available here:

Great read, John. Thanks for the writeup and the pointer here.

Nice pics, too.

I see so much from a bicycle saddle that I don't capture, because a capture would mean a stop and I don't want to stop. So my pics end up being pics of places where I have stopped for lunch, camping, etc. I wonder whether that one will be solved in a decade or so. (Or maybe it has been already and I just don't know about the solution).

Meanwhile we work with descriptions, and yours had me out there with you grinding up the rollers and freewheeling down.

Edit: re the camera, I'm not thinking just GoPro and the like. I was thinking of something you could control quickly hands free or via a remote for framing, zoom and depth of field, with a means of seeing what the camera sees, so that you could record a good representation of what you were looking at in any particular moment.

Andre Jute:
Super, John! You know, the most difficult thing in teaching creative writing is to make the aspirants grasp that "simple and direct" in the Barzun sense applies to the language, not to the associative process of what you wish to convey. Eggs Florentine! I haven't heard or thought of them since my family decided they didn't like my Zuppa Pavese and by association all egg dishes that aren't scrambled or plain boiled went bye-bye and it became a special negotiation to have poached eggs. Instead I snuck in a vegetarian lasagna with spinach, chopped leek and onion replacing the meat. Thanks also for the addendum about the bike luggage -- awful choice at 30 degrees between saving a kilo and a half and being infuriated by fiddly fastenings, especially when your memory has fondly reduced four killer hills to two. Heh-heh!

I must tell you though, the bit I enjoyed best was the boy sirring you. I thought, That's our John, natural authority, but approachable. And the detail of the toasted marshmallows.

Moronic, I've been meaning to write something about a new implement I acquired for another purpose, in which I'll have something to say about less worrisome and more conveniently controlled action cameras than the GoPro -- I worry the thing, mounted to my helmet, will be smashed into my brain. I'll move it up the list.

John Saxby:
Thank you, Andre.  You're just too kind.  Mind you, having met his mum & dad, I reckon that the young lad who approached & sirred me is well-brought-up.  Or maybe he just thought, this is how you speak to granddads.

You pretty much nailed that irritatin' choice between weight and simplicity that I've decided to put off for a while longer.  As I think about it, I reckon I'll make the choice on a case-by-case basis:  Where I "expect" (dodgy, fraught word, that) to be able to leave the front panniers on the bike, I'll use the lighter Alturas. In other circumstances, I'll stick with the Arkels, and be much more vigilant about not taking clothing, etc "just in case".

(The Arkel Ultra-lites on the rear pose no such dilemmas.  They're not quite as quick to release as their heavier siblings with the cams, hooks and shock cords, but the elasticated hook at the bottom is easily located and operated. First-rate design.)

Egg cookery is a delicate business, for sure: both the art of cooking the egg(s) in their various forms, and the Strongly Held Beliefs of those eating, watching, whatever.

We've finally begun to move on from meat-based lasagna--Marcia is now a dab hand with the vegetarian option--so I'll borrow your inclusion of leeks.  (Eggplant is v well-suited, as well.)

Cheers,  J.

John Saxby:
Thanks, Moronic, glad you enjoyed my wee story.  I've been meaning to compliment you, too, for your account of receiving & getting to know your Mercury.  Have enjoyed it immensely, esp your accounts of riding in Melbun and surrounds.

You're right about the dilemmas of photography: it's not so difficult to stop 3/4 of the way up a hill when you're in 2nd, quite another when you're barrelling down at 35 km/h or so, thinking "Damn! Shoulda' been ready for that view, oh well, next time."  I have learned over the years that stopping is worthwhile more often than not -- and I say this as someone who "takes pictures" but is not a photographer.

A device controlled by brainwaves--my interpretation of your remark about an on-demand camera thingy--is probably some years off, and/or will likely be crazy expensive.

Hope you're able to do some overnights & more on your bike!  Look forward to your stories.

best,  John


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