The Accidental Cloud Spotter

   What a glorious morning! I woke early and decided to bite the bullet and ride my bike to the Co-op for a the first time. The Co-op is just 3 miles from my house, but is not along a scenic route or full bike-laned, so I usually drive. But today, I need just a few things and I needed to get out. I attached the buckets to the back of bike and set off.
  I am kind of a wimpy bike rider, but it's Bicycle Commuter Month here in Olympia, and I needed to rack up some miles doing errands. I work from home and do not commute, but errands count. Recreational biking does not. On Mother's Day Sunday my husband dragged me on a seemingly endless 19.8-mile ride and, because I was in agony, I begged him to let me stop somewhere and buy something, dammit, so I could count  each and every mile. "That's not the point," he said. 
   I dreaded my ride to the Co-op and half expected to be run over by a car when I hit the short, uphill stretch of road with no bike lane. But, on this morning, the car traffic was light; I had timed  my ride (accidentally) to occur after the 8 o'clock school rush and before the 9 o'clock school rush. It was a breeze and I was at the Co-op in less than 20 minutes. I was in agony-free ecstasy. 
  I parked my bike, bought a few essentials that make me sound like I live on a Tuscan commune (olive oil, milk, yogurt, Dr. Bronner's soap, kale, polenta), and then strolled into the Co-op Garden to drink my coffee and call a friend to wish her a Happy Birthday. I pulled a few clumps of weeds, found someone's sunglasses, set them on the picnic table, talked for half an hour. I was home before 9 and still ahead of schedule for my 12-5 writing day.
    So, I loaded up my car with things to recycle, donate, and dispose of responsibly--you know, the things that had been piled in the front hall for two weeks. To save on gas, I decided to drive a loop that would take me to the county landfill where I would dispose of my many compact fluorescent light bulbs at HazoHouse, drop some things off at the on-site Goodwill, walk my dog at the on-site dog park, then visit a friend for a walk on our wonderful rails-to-trails path.  
   I set out thinking I knew where the landfill was. When the right turn onto the road leading to the landfill failed to appear again and again and again, I turned the car around. I was going to be late to visit my friend. Oh, but the dog! There he sat in the back, with a full bladder, panting. Luckily, I hadn't mentioned the D-o-g P-a-r-k.  He would just have to endure a fast-paced leashed walk with me and my friend.  
   The hour-plus walk was wonderful despite my dog having to mark his territory every twelve feet one way and having to be dragged back by his leash the other. 
  After our walk, I consulted my map and set out for the landfill. About ten minutes into the trip, I pulled the car over, whipped out my cell phone and called my husband.
   "Can you check real quick to see when HazoHouse is open? I'm on my way there, but am thinking they close mid-week." 
    Less than a minute later my suspicions were confirmed. I headed home, passing the Co-op as I did, bummed out that my eco-plan du jour had bombed. 
    The silver lining of my tiny cloud was that my driving around allowed me a view of the sky I would not have gotten from my bike. Well, I could have gotten it from my bike, but it would have been agonizing.
   What I saw was the celestial dome covered in cirrus clouds--long, long cirrus "mare's tails," the hooked cirrus uncinus, cirrus intortus, and cirrus fibratus, and the thick cirrostratus cloud from which most seemed to originate to the north. The sky was spectacular, almost like fireworks. And, of course, I had not brought my camera. 
  When I got home, I found my camera, went outside and could not see the "mother cloud," but captured this: 

     And this:
  Which is just a tiny, tree-hampered view, a slice, a glimpse, a fraction of the sky en route to the landfill. But isn't it wonderful?