I wasn’t feeling up to snuff today, but I could hardly not go on a ride – the weather was finally better, feeling positively balmy at 55 degrees. There was only a light mist, and even though I donned knickers for the ride, I actually had to remove my gloves once I was underway because I got too hot! I decided to take the funky winter bike as its slower speeds would match my sluggish cadence. I started out on my usual perfunctory route out to Sellwood, through Oaks Bottom and back into town – about a 16 mile round trip from my house. As I rode, I started to feel better and my spirits lifted.
On Springwater Trail at the Oaks Park junction I was treated to a crowd awaiting passage on a bedecked Christmas train – the Holiday Express. I had to walk the bike through the crowds, then re-mount to proceed back toward town. As I approached the gully that hides the hiking trail turn-off I decided to take a side trip. At first I was planning on parking the bike and walking toward the wetlands to view the wintering birds. But as I was riding I spotted an area I hadn’t explored before – Tadpole Pond.
Little did I know that this tiny pond was restored to help bring back the Pacific Chorus Frog. As I dismounted and parked the bike I quieted myself to see if I could hear anything resembling frogs calling. Well, it didn’t take long before the frogs started in, with occasional bird calls to accompany them. I made an audio clip which you can listen to here:
It was an absolute treat to feel so close to nature after such a short ride, and to sense the vibrancy of these little frogs calling to each other. There are apparently also red-legged frogs and long-toed salamanders that share habitat with the Pacific Chorus frog. I didn’t spot any, though. Maybe next time – I plan to return again.