Fall approaching

And with the cooler temps, come the animals. Yesterday, as Nick and I were walking home from the Wednesday Night TT awards, I noticed a dark shape at the end of the road. Nick was on the phone, so I investigated a little - crouching down to eliminate some of the shadows, looking from a few different angles. I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking at, but I wanted to be sure. Then the shape moved and the outline of a head became clear. Yep - a nice, big bear. I motioned for Nick to look and we watched the bear for a few minutes. Then he vanished down into the creek a few houses down. Perfect. Time to start being more alert when I run in the mornings - especially before work. The neighbor has a loaded crab apple tree and there are plenty of apples on the ground. Great bear food. And then there's the garbage cans - the ones across the street are knocked over on a regular basis.

Luckily, when I glanced around from the window this morning, no evidence of the bear. Outside was a different story - our neighbor's can was tipped over and garbage strewn about. I feel sorry for the bears - they've learned that our street has plenty of food. But not healthy food or safe food, especially when people start freaking out.

Even without seeing the bear, my run was still pretty interesting. The three bucks with the huge racks were out near Parkside again - munching on flowers. The fawns are starting to get big. And I think I know where the coyote den is now. There's always a few coyotes running around Bear Creek. I've seen them at all hours and all over the park. But this was different. I was running along, minding my own business, listening to the birds. Then a rustle in the bushes caught my attention. Of course, my first thought is "bear!" But no, a plump and healthy looking coyote dashes across the trail. And stops, looking back the way it came. Another, much smaller coyotes follows, with the puppy clumsiness that is so cute to see. I stop and watch the two and soon see the third, a second pup, still on the far side of the trail. But the second pup isn't as brave and retreats back into the brush. Since the mother doesn't seem to aggressive, I continue on my run - watching as I pass between them. I did have my finger on the trigger of my pepper spray (I don't trust the animals or the people). Another experience worth waking up early for - and another reason to be alert and fully open to the experiences presented on the trail!

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