Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16: Things that go bump in the night

My friend Ian, who runs long-distance races, was running in the dark last night on the back roads of Appleton, a very rural town (in which he lives on a very remote dirt road!) when he heard a pack of coyotes howling in the nearby woods. He said it certainly made him run faster. There's nothing like that primal thrill to get the adrenaline pumping.

Meanwhile, around the same time but in St. Louis, my husband was walking back to his hotel from dinner when he saw a bird fluttering against a store window. He said the poor thing was so exhausted from its struggles that he easily caught it, cupping it in his hands, and was able to release it away from buildings. He identified it as a Louisiana waterthrush, duly impressing his dinner companions.

Tonight driving home from dinner with friends in Belfast past the long dark fields alongside Route 52, we oohed and ahed at the big egg-shaped moon right next to bright Jupiter. Here and there in the roadside weeds, various eyes gleamed in the headlights, and we watched a fat raccoon waddle toward a lawn, perhaps on its way to raid someone's garbage.

You never know what's out there. Some nights my neighbors are playing music till the wee hours. Other nights I hear strange animal noises down by the river--raccoons, maybe, or flying squirrels. The dark cloak of night hides many secrets.

Cold night, rural road.
The dark turns everything wild.
Do you hear that barking?

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