Monday, September 07, 2009

Runner up!

This was possibly the best weather I have ever experienced over a Labor Day weekend. Every day was glorious.

Monday morning I actually slept in (7 AM counts as sleeping in, right?), and then I did a nice 5 miler. Turned out to be a really good run, and there were a ton of other runners, bikers, walkers and rollerbladers out and about.

During my run I met a pack of four bikers (the serious guys decked out in lycra and riding expensive machines). Well in advance of getting to me, the lead biker shouted out, "RUNNER UP!"

The lead biker was calling out to identify traffic on the trails. The guys following all ducked into a single file, slipstream position, and cruised by on my left. I waved, and we all wished each other a good morning.

Two things worth noting:

1. I found this to be an extremely effective method of communicating by letting me know well in advance that they were approaching without scaring the hell out of me, AND it let the rest of the group know about pedestrians so they could react and share the trail appropriately (you might recall me lamenting earlier in the summer that I though all bikes should be equipped with a bell).

2. They identified me as a runner! It just sounded cool. I get called a lot of different things over the course of a typical day, and "runner" is usually not one of them. :) Kudos to the biker guys!

My Monday run was capped off with a two hour hike at Elm Creek. I was excited that I got to see some sedge wrens, including a juvenile. If that wasn't the cutest little bird, I don't know what is. I am convinced that these wrens were moving on through, as I have not seen them in the area for almost a month. A real treat to see them, perhaps for the last time this fall. I also saw many more eastern wood-pewees. And, the yellow colors are still trying to make their presence known. This was a great weekend to be a Minnesotan.

A few additional images from the weekend:

A New England Aster; this is one of our last flowers to bloom

Turning leaves along the trail

The Giant Sunflowers are everywhere in the park

A yellowing meadow at Elm Creek Park

A maple tree going red; fall is nearly upon us!

Until next time,

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