Friday, November 6, 2009

Night run: "whoo...whoo..who is out there"

I met Paul and his dog Corky at Liberty park for an early evening run. He is training for the 2010 Lake Placid Ironman, and I am more than willing to help him get his third IM finish! It was dark when we started and the remnants of a rain squall were fresh in the air and on the ground. A quick lap around the meadow and into the woods we went.

The fallen leaves made trail navigation interesting since the ground all looked the same. Instead, we ran by 'feel'. If we got off-track, the ground was much softer; on track, the ground was packed hard. After a while we realized that Corky knew her way pretty well and stuck to the trail; except when she darted off after a deer.

We were pelted with some sleet for a few minutes and then the clouds blew away and the stars came out. We were making our way back to the car when I noticed something fly through the trees in front of us. It was too big to be a bat and I immediately thought owl! Sure enough, it flew past us and lighted on a tree limb 20ft up and just off of the trail. We stopped to get a better look at this nice-sized barred owl and (s)he just looked at us back.

Good company, great trails, and wildlife sightings!! It doesn't get much better than this!