Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blanket of white

In Minnesota, the weather in unpredictable. Wednesday we saw temperatures in the mid 70's. This morning, here is what I woke up to:

A photo from my deck, four days before the start of May!



31 degrees, winds steady out of the west at 20 MPH (gusting to 35!), wind chill of 19 degrees, and SNOW!

A blanket of white was cast over the grassy areas, perhaps an inch or so. The snow was heavy and wet, so it clung to the trees, making for a pretty scene. But the wind was brutal.

I ran 14 miles in these conditions, a run that "builds character," as they say. Only three other people were encountered on my journey, and they all pretty much said the same things; "Nice weather, huh?", and "A lovely spring day, isn't it?" Yes, this was really something.

Thankfully, the woods offered some decent shelter at times, but there was a horrible stretch between about the 12 and 13 miles mark where I was going west, directly into the teeth of the wind. Crystalline snowflakes stung my face and eyes, and the wind nearly stood me up. It was awful! But I made it. Certainly, one of the most challenging runs I have had in some time.

I did see three new birds, however, so that made it worthwhile; there was a dainty little pied-billed grebe on the lake, the beautifully speckled blue-winged teal, and one of my favorite little birds who also has a lot of character, the chipping sparrow. Nice to see these guys coming back!

Not much else on the agenda today except for some shopping, a few good eats, and sports on TV. I probably don't have much energy for anything else; Mother Nature kicked my butt today! :)

Still waiting for spring,

Jean
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