Sunday, February 27, 2005

Running and Birding

One of the things I love about living where I do is the close proximity of nature. There is variety. There are surprises. The mountains change and stay the same. Right now looking out the window of my office I see chickadees, a nuthatch, a yellow-bellied sapsucker, crows and bluebirds. The bluebirds are always a nice surprise. I didn't see many bluebirds during my forced "incarceration" in the city. We have several bluebird houses, but none moved in last year. Right now they are checking out the various accommodations. I hope they find one to their liking.

I went for a run an hour or so ago. Yesterday's prediction about the weather was correct. It's 40 degrees, windy and cloudy. Rain is forecast for later this afternoon. We have a winter storm warning and snow forecasted for today and tomorrow. The cold and my sore knee made the run a little more taxing than I wanted. But I saw a couple of pileated woodpeckers. They are slightly prehistoric to me. They are so big and they have that funny dipping flight. I love to see them. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see so many around here. We are surrounded by large tracts of woodland after all.

During the last leg of my run, which is up hill, two vultures were flying low over me. Made me wonder if they knew something I didn't. It's a particularly difficult stretch for me. I am returning to running after about a 10 year hiatus, I have a bum knee and asthma (although since our move from the city I've been able to go off my daily medication and have had no attacks in a year). Last week on that route, I had to walk the last bit and felt defeated. Today I just focused on making it to the speed limit sign, then the driveway, then the green mailbox, then the cemetery road and finally the Tom's driveway. I did it. My lungs were burning, but it felt good.

After my cool down walk I trudged up the hill to our house and saw a blue heron fly over the front yard and down toward the valley. That was a little strange. There are a lot of birds today.

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