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The view from my handlebars on a very frigid evening…

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Urban Simplicity.

The View from My Handlebars…on a really incredible morning commute

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Urban Simplicity.

The View from My Handlebars…

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I had to be at work a little early this morning. It was cold–the first really cold morning of the year–probably about 30F, and not a breeze in the air. It felt good; crisp. And then as I rounded the corner and faced east this was the view in front of me as the sun rose. Beautiful. I stopped in the middle of the street to snap a photo. I was, and still am, so grateful to be on a bike in the open air. It was a great way to start the day.

A Crescent Moon, Pink Sky, a Murder of Crows, and a few other Things I Saw while Riding My Bike Today…

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So a couple things. Firstly, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Western New York has been experiencing an incredibly beautiful autumn. Each day is nicer than the next. And the evening’s skies are simply spectacular. Because it has been getting dark earlier, as I leave the health club in the evening it is just before dusk, which is my favorite part of the day for light. And each night when I leave I am not sure what to expect. Tonight when I looked south and east the sky was both pink and blue and looking west it was blue in some points but at others a burnt orange. Incredible. At one point, while I was waiting at a traffic signal it was almost too overwhelming for me…tears literally welled in my eyes (no kidding). This is also the time of year that crows begin to take over the city. It’s an incredible sight. So at one point I coasted into a parking lot to watch them fly from the roof of  church and adjoining buildings to tree tops and back again. Crows of course remember faces, and I wondered if they remembered mine from last year when I took their photos (I hope they thought I was friendly). Anyhow here’s a few pictures from my short ride home this evening. Click any for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Two Views from My Handlebars…

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Pinkish-orange sky. This was the view in front of me as I rode home this evening. Lovely autumn weather. Beautiful.

Urban Simplicity

Day and Night: Two views from my handlebars on a really beautiful day…

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Urban Simplicity.

A few views from my handlebars…

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 Another incredibly beautiful evening to be on a bike. It was crazy busy today at work facing the stove so it felt especially good to be out in the open air. These photos are in chronological order from top to bottom; I shot them about 15 minutes apart. The above one is facing east and the two below face west as the sun set. Evenings like these really inspire me…

Urban Simplicity.

Morning and Evening…the view from my handlebars and front porch

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It’s incredible to think that these two photos were taken a mere 11 hours apart and on the same day. It was/is a beautiful autumn day. The above photo was taken on my very short commute to work at about 8am and the below photo was taken from my front porch about 7pm. I just thought I’d share…

Urban Simplicity.

The View from My Handlebars…Undulatus Asperatus

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I find this stuff fascinating.  Clouds, stars, atmosphere… you get it. Anyhow, I saw these cloud formations as I pedaled to the health club tonight. They look really good in the photos but in real life they were breathtaking. They quite literally stopped me in my tracks a few times (when I took these photos). I thought they might be the somewhat new cloud formation that I had heard about (first new one to be categorized since 1951) and sure enough when I arrived home and looked them up they fit the description. The phrase Undulatus Asperatus translates from the Latin as “rough waves.” I heard others describe them as like looking at waves from underneath them, and that’s exactly what it was like…these incredibly beautiful slow moving cloud-waves rolling past. Then, as quickly as they appeared they were gone, returning to greyer and less wavy clouds. To see a photo of mammatocumulus (mammary clouds) I took .last spring, see this post.

And lastly, a few words from Gavin Pretor-Pinney, author of The Cloud Collector’s Handbook…“Even if you live in the middle of the city, the sky is the last wilderness you can look out on.”

Urban Simplicity.

Aerial Ballet…predators looking for food in the city

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This is pretty cool (I think)…birds of prey looking for food in the heart of the city. I first posted about these birds last year, when one of them took up residence in a garden where I work. At the time I thought it was a falcon (our city does host does have them…click here, here, or here) but a reader suggested that it may be a Cooper’s Hawk. Whichever they are they certainly are impressive…and graceful. They were circling above a large construction site where the earth is being excavated. I can’t help but wonder if they weren’t on the prowl for mice and rats. They were, for the most part, hundreds of feet up just circling, then dipping a little, then circling some more. I watched for about 10 minutes or so as I snapped photos, waiting for the strike but it never happened. Anyhow, I thought I’d share a few of the photos. 

Urban Simplicity.

Starry, Starry Night…

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Image found here.

I was at meeting at our church tonight and was feeling overwhelmingly exhausted for some reason; I didn’t stay for the entire meeting. I hopped on my bike and rode slowly; it was a cold and cloudless night. The cold–at first–felt jarring. But then as I pedaled and coasted I warmed up and it felt good (as it often does) to be on a bike pedaling through the city at night. I was on a side-street so there was no traffic, and at one point (when there was a slight decline in the road) I coasted and took my hands off the handlebars, leaned back, and looked up. The sky was incredible. I coasted like this–hands free while looking up–for half a block or so. I felt small. I still do. Sometimes things overwhelm me. Life is good. And it’s good on so many levels (for me, anyway) to be on a bike. I’m just sayin’…

Urban Simplicity.

From My Front Porch…

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It’s interesting, I think, how these two photos were taken five minutes (or less) apart and from the same location but looking in different directions; the top photo is looking west while the bottom photo is looking south. But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I have the weekend off this week…the first in about a month. It feels great…two days in a row! But I had some reading and writing I needed to accomplish and that’s what I was doing when I looked out the window and saw the above scene. Knowing that skies like that usually only last a few minutes I took a break from my keyboard and grabbed my camera and went out on the front porch. I took the above photo then a couple minutes later then one below. A minute later the view pictured above had passed and it was officially dusk. I stood for a minute and welcomed the cold air on my skin. It was a nice break; I needed it. Anyhow, I thought I’d share.

A View from My Handlebars…Crazy Swirly Sky (three photos)

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If you’ve been to this blog before then you know that I enjoy taking photos of the sky. And lately there have been many opportunities…there have been the craziest swirly cloud formations. I took the first two photos on my way home this evening, and then about twenty minutes later–as I left the house to go pickup some Chinese take out–I saw the below scene…it was as if the sky was on fire. Incredible.

Urban Simplicity.

Three Photos Looking Skyward

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These photos were all taken yesterday but are not in chronological (time-wise) order. The photo above is of last night’s blue moon…did anyone else see this? It was incredible wasn’t it? I couldn’t stop looking at it. Thus I thought I’d post it first. It really taxed the lens of my Canon Power-Shot. The sky this summer at dusk have been incredible. The photo immediately below was taken at the corner of Allen and Elmwood here in Buffalo, which is also where the Bubble Man of Allentown lives (click here or here to see more pics of him); you can see bubbles visible in the photo. And the bottom photo was taken while standing in the parking lot of my bank, looking westward over Lake Erie just before sunset.

Urban Simplicity.

Six Photos of Buildings and Sky

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Urban Simplicity.

The View from My Handlebars…

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It’s starting to get dark earlier as the season progresses. I worked a split shift today. The kitchen was hot but not crazy-hot. But still it felt good to get out and hop on a bike in the fresh air for my short commute home. On my ride, and when I took these photos, it was just about 8:30pm…that magical time when the light turns to night; when everything seems to glow with the last of the light in the sky.
What a lovely summer evening.

Urban Simplicity.

The View from My Handlebars…six photos of buildings and sky

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I’ve mentioned this before but I will again. I find it interesting when on a bike how keenly aware you are of the weather (how could you not be). Last week, for example, we had a mini-heatwave and I was conscious of being a sweaty mess wherever I pedaled. Today, though, was just lovely…I know it sounds hokey but that is the word that best describes the weather today. It was breezy and cool with big fluffy clouds moving rapidly across the sky. And–as is often the case–I had camera with me so I snapped a few photos. It’s also interesting, I think, how the sky kept changing…from overcast to clear and sunny, and then finally the incredible sunset seen in the bottom photo. The bottom photo, I have to add, is the only one that is not viewed from my handlebars…I took it while standing on my front porch 🙂

Urban Simplicity.

Five Photos of Buildings and Sky

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These were taken over two days. The top and bottom were taken today, and the middle three were shot yesterday. What a difference a day makes. Today there was nary a cloud in the sky and yesterday it rained for most of the day. The clouds broke just before sunset yesterday and it had the perfect conditions for color and depth. The way the setting sun shone on the backs of the clouds was amazing. And today brilliantly blue sky, not a cloud. Nice.


Urban Simplicity.

Dusk

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I was at my desk working this evening when I glanced out the window and saw this view…breathtaking. And knowing that at dawn and dusk when you see the light just right it is fleeting and you only have a few minutes to see it and/or capture it with a camera. I was already in my lounge pants (aka pajamas) but I grabbed my camera and stood on the front porch and took a few photos…not caring what the neighbors thought (they’ve seen me do weirder things). If you look closely in the bottom photo (click either for a larger view) in the center of the sky but slightly to the left, you can see Venus and Jupiter already in view. To see better images of them, and a bit more explanation, click here.

Urban Simplicity.