Yesterday, the dog and I took a little trip. We drove some distance to try out a new trail that turned out to be not exactly what expected. That's neither here nor there.
This morning, I headed out for my run about 7. I'm trying to figure out how the warmer weather is going to affect my running, as I committed myself to this after it had turned cooler in the fall of last year. The dogs have to stay home because they impact both my run and my enjoyment of it. For the better part of the first mile, I can hear them howling at the top of their lungs. They are utterly dismayed at not being allowed to go, and for the one with the shepherd tendencies, it's kind of rough when her 'herd' runs off down the road.
For a while, I trot along not thinking about much. I'm not a music runner... mainly because I don't have anything that works for that, but it is thinking time for me. Somewhere in that first mile, I have a few minutes of queasiness. I figure it wouldn't be an issue if I ran before I ate, but that really doesn't work for me. So, I eat my oatmeal 45 minutes before running and chug through the queasy.
Then... then I look around. And wow... what a morning it was today. There was a new burst of wildflowers everywhere. Kind of a crazy riot of purple and yellow and white everywhere I looked. The heavy, sweet scent of the honeysuckle, hanging thick along the river bank and the smell of warm wet earth were tamped down a bit by the gentle sprinkle of rain that joined me intermittently. The rush of the water over the shoals was more pronounced this morning because of heavier rains north of us.
Rounding the curve in the road, I see a great blue heron, stalking fish in the edge of the swollen creek as it tumbles over the fall. I slow to a walk to see if I can observe it a while, but it flies, wary of human contact, which is as it should be to keep it safe. The falls is far too populated most summer days to see any wildlife there, but the early morning, if I do have to share it, it's with the heron or my constant companion this spring, a female wild turkey who is no doubt, setting on a clutch of eggs nearby. Most mornings, early, she's foraging and we startle each other. A morning or two, she's clucked a warning at me from somewhere up the hill above where I run on the trail. I'm looking forward to seeing her with her poults.
I turned around and again, like nearly every day, realized what a beautiful place I have to run and to live in general. I enjoy the fresh air and the sound of the river and I love the birdsong and the flush of early summer flowers. I'll have to take a walk this weekend, with the camera and see just how many types of flowers I find. I'll bring home my photographic evidence and pull out the book. Not an ordinary book, it's a book about South Carolina's wildflowers written by one of my daughters college professors. I was gifted the signed copy for mother's day of her senior year and very few weeks go by when it's not referenced, but this is the time of year when it stays on my bedside table. I recommend you have a copy of your own if you live in the South and if not, I hope you can find yourself a comparable reference for your area. The book is A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina by Dr. Doug Rayner, co-authored by Dr. Richard D. Porcher.
The only downside to the morning was that the rains of late have spawned a fresh crop of mosquitoes. Ninety percent of the time, I am not bothered by them. (I think it's because I eat a lot of onions and garlic!) But this morning, even stopping long enough to watch the bird or look at the creek netted me a thick coat of the little buggers on all exposed skin. All the more reason to keep on moving!