Saturday, March 14, 2009

The owls are not what they seem

A glorious day here in the metro. As I type this, it is 47 degrees and sunny. Wow!

It was slightly cooler when I went running. The temperature was a comfortable 27 and had warmed to 33 by the time I returned. Skies were clear, and there was a decent breeze coming out of the south.

This morning I ended up running 17 miles. I had only intended for 16, but part of the route I had wanted to go was not plowed, was really icy, and just not a lot of fun in general. So I deviated, which took me an additional mile! It ended up being a fun, if not somewhat challenging scamper around the neighborhood.

Owls were everywhere this morning!

I heard great horned owls in three different locations, and even got to see one of them. Early on in my run, it was still dark, but a bright 3/4 moon was lighting my way. I heard the his distinct "hoo-HOO" call and could tell the owl was close. The moonlight revealed his silhouette on the very top of a pine tree, perhaps not more than 50 feet from me. I stopped and decided to talk to him.

"Hoo-HOO!", I said.

"Hoo-HOO!," the owl replied.

Yep, he talked back to me! That was pretty funny, and a great way to start off my run.

As a side note, being a fan of the old TV series "Twin Peaks," now whenever I see or hear an owl, I think of one of the cryptic clues from the show; "The owls are not what they seem." I loved this show. It was mysterious, creepy, perplexing, and it sucked me in the way "Lost" has me hooked right now.

"Twin Peaks" - Agent Cooper with the giant, talking about owls.

Last week I talked very briefly about discovering an old farm road, but I didn't really elaborate. I ran down it again today. The road is actually gravel, and it is completely cut off from the developments that surround it. And there is an old farm here that sits on the edge of a creek. What a neat place. It is like an oasis of yesteryear embedded in the metro area.

As I crested over a hill on the farm road, the sky was bright pink in the east. Light was starting to hit the big round hay bales sat along the edge of a field. Another great horned owl hooted from a grove of trees. And several cardinals greeted the morning with song.

Running is fun.

Running was also kind of tough! There were lots of icy areas on the trails, and some place had not seen a plow since our last storm. That made for slow going, especially over the last 5 miles or so.

But the slow journey was worth it, because I also discovered a new section of trail that I had never been on before. And it is gorgeous, taking you through deeply wooded areas and along side of a creek bottom. I had known about this trail but could never figure out where it started, so I was glad I did some exploring today. Ought to be great bird watching here this spring!

Tonight I bust open the "Urban Italian" cookbook to prepare my dinner. Full report to come.

Until next time,

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