Saturday, March 27, 2010

14 miles and a turkey

I woke up to 41 degrees with a faint drizzle today - warm enough to wear shorts on the run, anyhow! I put in a shade over 14 miles.

A pretty easy pace for the most part, and it ended up being kind of a pleasant morning for running, even if it was damp and overcast. A fairly strong southeast wind was blowing. But after about the fifth mile, I had the wind helping me on the way home. Not surprising, there were few runners out this morning.

Yesterday on my run, I saw my first common loon of the season out on my lake (the MN State Bird has returned!).

Lots of birds on today's long run, but no new arrivals. Dark-eyed juncos are moving through in great numbers, and the common grackles are plentiful. Lots of cardinals, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, red-tailed hawks, mallards, Canada geese, and I even heard a few ring-necked pheasants crowing. The red-winged blackbirds are all over the place - just the males, though. They arrive first, stake out some suitable territory, and wait for a girlfriend to show up and express interest in them (they make it look so easy).

After my run, I was preparing to head out to run some errands. Pulling open the shades of my living room window, I saw something that seemed out of place. This guy was running around in the yard below me. I quickly grabbed my camera and sneaked out onto my deck.

Gobble, gobble!

The wild turkey was only here for a few minutes. Had I not opened the shades when I did, I would have completely missed seeing him. He did a lap around the yard and got a little nervous when he saw me on the deck. They are really quite pretty birds, and they are becoming an increasingly common sight here. However, I have never had one in my yard before, so this was a treat!

Another humorous nature note - I have gray squirrels that nest in a hole in a large maple tree outside my window. Clearly, they are not home, because as I type this, I have been watching a female white-breasted nuthatch repeatedly entering the squirrel nest and pilfering seeds! The 'hatch has been emerging with all kinds of goodies in her beak. The squirrels ain't gonna be happy about this! :)
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