One of the many things I love about riding bikes around Chapel Hill is the quick access to rural roads. These roads take us past fields of corn, alfalfa, and, on our longer southern routes, tobacco. It’s gratifying to watch the corn grow. (About a month ago, Wes and I passed a group of three people throwing ears straight onto the flatbed of a pickup truck. Only after the fact did it dawn on us that they might have been poaching.)

Passing the same fields every week, or every other week, a rider can note some real progress; ideally, the corn reflects other heightening: the height of summer, the height of fitness, a fruition of the work of the spring and early summer.

Today, the corn we passed was dry, yellow. Ears were blackened on the stalks. It’s been horribly dry, despite the humidity. Portentious, disheartening.

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