A couple of days after a winter storm, the haze usually appears. Shadows grow slightly fuzzy around the edges, and the pines, reflecting less light, seem not only darker, but larger. On these days, my thoughts grow vague like the light. As I was returning from my walk, two bicyclists passed me going the same way. I watched them ride down the hill, heard the sound of the whirring wheels diminish, saw them pass through hazy light and grey shadow. As they reached the top of the next rise, there was an odd optical illusion, almost like a mirage. They seemed to be riding through viscous water which ran down the backs of the bikes and slowed them down. Then they vanished over the hill. I knew it was the light reflecting from their nylon jackets and the metal of the bikes, but when I reached the spot, I half expected to feel myself slowed by some invisible barrier. But there was only the grey pavement stretching on under the hazy light in the chill afternoon air.