Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Last Day of School and the Pair of Barred Owls

Ah, summer break!  No teaching for two and a half months (though I might be working a summer job as a mentor).   Nice and warm out, so I celebrated with a trail run in the woods out back.

It was the warmest part of the day, meaning deer flies were very active.  At certain spots, they were swarming big time, but at least they weren't really biting.  Managed to kill five of the buggers.   I think a Deer Fly Experiment Part Two might be in order.  I have something else I want to try, and it's pretty much guaranteed to make me look even stupider.

A real treat though about four and a half miles into the run.  I came across two barred owls sitting on the trail, which was quite odd.  No signs that they had prey or anything.  They flew apart, both landing in nearby branches.  One was about 50 feet away, but into the woods a bit and I couldn't really get closer.  We stared at each other for a couple of minutes, and then I went to see if I could find the other one, which had flown along the trail.

Sure enough, the second one was perched on a branch about 20 feet over the trail.  I slowly crept towards it, getting up to within 30 feet of it.   Never had as good of a look at a wild barred owl like this before.  He/she totally didn't seem to mind my presence, only giving me the occasional look.  I sat on the trail and just watched it for several minutes, even talking to it (saying hello and what not) to see what he/she would do, but it was totally unphased.  After a while, it flew up to a higher branch and I decided to continue my run.  Really cool encounter.

Run itself went great!   Mix of very hilly fire roads and technical trails, and the overall pace was excellent at this stage of recovery.  Didn't feel like too much effort either, so the rust continues to come off nicely.

Ran 7.0 miles @ 9:00/mile pace.
Deer flies killed: 5
Technical trails and fire roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 70s, mostly sunny.
Short, short sleeved shirt, cap.


Sparkplug said...

Wow, Jamie! That really is a cool sighting.

Blaine Moore said...

I've been waiting 2 years for part 2 of the experiment... :)