I went out for a run this morning, and on the way to my favorite trail I was reminiscing about the beautiful things I've seen outside recently. A few weeks back I was running up the major street that is closest to my house. There is the hint of a bike path along one side of the road so I keep it in my running rotation. The street is very busy, but one side borders a wet land area. As I was running I glanced down into the swamp water immediately to my left I saw a beaver swimming. He/she quickly hightailed it away from my view, but I still got goosebumps thinking about how incredibly cool it is that I can be right next to a major road and still see wild animals going about their lives.
The beaver was a somewhat rare sighting for me. I mean I routinely see rabbits, mostly at our house since they seem to have formed a colony underneath our multi-level deck. Good thing we don't garden! I also see squirrels and chipmunks or gophers, whatever it is they actually are. Of course there are also the geese, and the ducks, the ducks who decided our driveway was a fine place to land a while back. Lest you think we live in the boonies, I'll say we are right smack in the middle of suburbia, albeit a suburb that does have a big chunk of undeveloped wetlands in the middle. Wednesday I saw a blue heron on the banks of a tiny pond as I ran past. It really has been a fabulous few weeks in the nature watching department.
All of the recent animal sightings had me in a glow of wonder and amazement. I decided to run down to my favorite creekside trail so I could enjoy the creek rather than staring at houses. The trail is a nice little treat. I started running because of this trail. We used to live much closer to the trail, so it was my daily running path, but now I only get over there a few times per month. I'd run a little over a mile on the trail when it happened. I saw a dead snake on the trail. I briefly freaked out, but since it didn't move at all I just gave it some space and kept on my way. Perhaps 40 feet later I saw another snake, and this one wasn't dead. I screamed. I stopped in my tracks, and I waited for the little baby garter snake to get out of my way. Shit. I hate snakes. All of my thoughts about how much I enjoy nature just vanished as I could feel my heart racing faster than the running pace I was keeping could cause. I'm sure I sounded like an idiot, but thankfully the trail is not well traveled. I doubt anybody heard my little girly scream. Stupid snake, now I'll have to avoid the trail for a few months before I feel like it is safe again.