Biological gifts on the run

I heard a podcast yesterday featuring Rhonda Hampton, race director for the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run. In it, she spoke of her love of trail running and the “biological gifts” she encounters along the trails. (To go straight to that section of her interview, fast forward to 47:15.)

Her comment made me think of my own daily wildlife count when I’m out running or walking with the dog. This week alone, my wildlife count or list of biological gifts includes a coyote, two deer, at least a dozen turkeys, countless songbirds, a hawk, and, just this morning, a pair of American White Pelicans.

American White Pelicans in a place I’ve never seen them (along with what I guess to be Double-crested Cormorants). One pelican is hiding behind the other.

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The mercy of summertime trees

Summer has arrived here. Yesterday and today brought 90+ degree days. Summer in this part of California is when I pray most especially for clouds and also send up running prayers of gratitude for the few trees along the trails where I run or walk each morning. Some trails have lovely tree canopies but most are open to the sun with only the occasional tree to provide a bit of shade, a place of respite for the dog and me.


Standing in the shade of a small tree along the trail

Brown and dry are starting to take over from the springtime green, and, as I stand in the shade of the tree, I know I’m not ready for the relentless heat and brown of summer. Continue reading