“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.”

I’ve trumpeted it before: the magicalsad happybad intriguing provoking unique surprising things one finds from the saddle of a cycle through the city, and yesterday was no exception. OK, so maybe mine aren’t anywhere near as spectacular as attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, but they’re compelling to me nonetheless.

At the top of the bill has to be the drama I paralleled on my way home for about a half block on Jefferson between Western and Normandie as a peregrine falcon chased after a sparrow. I saw the raptor first when it flashed across my bow past me and dove into one of the curbside trees behind my right shoulder where it flushed out a sparrow that it apparently was looking to eat. Instead of heading for open air, the smart little sparrow barreled into and out of the obstacle-rich branches of the next tree I passed and the peregine took the bait and came in right after it. Out of that tree the sparrow shot and darted away where I lost track of it because my attention returned to the falcon, which came out about eight feet above my right shoulder winging it in a hard and fast pursuit that brought it next to me. But it too had lost track of its prey. So instead it laid off the velocity and coasted alongside me for several more trees until it banked right and away out of view.

That may be a big so what to some, but to have paced a cruising peregrine falcon a few arm lengths away at your 2 o’clock high is my privilege to witness, and getting a chance to do so — damn hell yeah I got a bit momentarily choked up.

A few miles earlier, coming off the Ballona Creek Bikeway in Culver City and crossing the railway median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of National Boulevard, I came upon this enshrined sadness in the memory of someone’s dear feline friend who departed way too soon:

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Rest in peace, Miles.

In between I rolled on Jefferson at 11th Avenue past the controversial and intense “To Protect And Serve” mural illustrating the Black Panther movement. I’ve biked by it dozens of times, but never had I seen it in the drama of the late afternoon sunlight:

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Lastly and leastly, this morning coming off the Ballona Creek Bikeway at Sepulveda I spotted a strange plume of smoke rising over the bluffs between me and the sea. Given it’s whiteness I’m hoping it was perhaps some sort of refinery or powerplant emission, but it still spooked me a bit:

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I couldn’t find any news about it so fingers crossed it was nothing of consequence.