Friday, July 8, 2011

Running and Nature

I don’t live in a rural area. At least, not by my standards: in my mind, Ashland, MA is a typical suburbia in that it’s a place where they cut down trees and name the streets after them. (There are no actual Ash trees left in Ashland.) So it’s been suprising to me that I’ve seen so much wildlife on my last two runs. These include:
- Two young white-tail deer. Disturbed them munching on some bushes right next to a busy road (Rte. 30).
- Woodchuck. The size of the burrow that this guy ducked into was very impressive.
- ~Six turkeys. Looked like a momma and her young.
- Lots of rabbits, a few here, one or two there.
- A squirrel in its death throes after being hit by a car. Coming up upon this poor guy I thought that it was a piece of paper caught up in the breeze, but quickly realized my mistake. An ugly scene made worse because there was nothing I could do to put the poor thing out of its misery.
It's interesting to note that the deer, woodchuck and turkeys were perfectly happy doing their thing next to busy roads. it was only when I came by that they got spooked and bolted away. I figure that they've figured out that cars can't leave the road and so are okay being right next to the road, but people outside of cars are still unpredictable and so spark the flight mechanism.
Any good nature sightings on your recent runs?


  1. I love the birds down here in DC. Orioles, bluebirds, cardinals . . . for the first time, I am seeing these up close and in nature.

    A lot of butterflies (in the morning) and fireflies (in the evening). Nothing on the ground though. Or maybe I'm just not looking in the right place?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I took a new route this morning, exploring some great little single-track trails running through the woods on some islands in the middle of the Anacostia River.

    A red fox (which I later identified by its white-tipped tail) bolted out of the woods in front of me and ran ahead up the trail. It stopped, looked back, and when I got close, it ran ahead a few hundred yards more, then again waited for me to catch up. For a few moments, I felt a like a primitive hunter in Born to Run - until it slyly decided to head back into the undergrowth.

    A little bit later, I looked up from the trail to realize that a big old spider had spun a web, right at my head level, between two trees on either side of the trail. And it was waiting smack in the middle. I ducked only just in time to avoid an early morning protein boost.