Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creepy Creatures

Sweat in my eyes. Heart rate racing. Gasping for air. Runners High. I love it! I am one of those freaks that actually enjoys looking like a sweaty fool by the side of the road. After a 9 month hiatus from my sport due to an injury, I have been pounding pavement yet again. Most mornings I grab my two running buddies, B.O.B. the stroller and Lil the motivational coach extraordinaire, and search for new and exciting routes.

In Canada I raced around local lakes and hilly neighborhoods but now that I am back in California the terrain that I gravitate towards tends to be dry and flat- sometimes deserty. There is also an added element to running in California that makes me quake in my running shoes: creepy creatures.

In the last 2 weeks, Lil and I have had many creepy encounters of the crittery kind. Last week, while on a trail that runs through a residential area, we noticed a large stick in our path. As we came closer the 'stick' suddenly jerked to the left and slithered further along the trail. So turns out that the stick was actually the largest snake that I have ever seen outside of captivity. What did I do? I veered the trusty old BOB around the master creeper and whipped out my phone in an effort to prove to all doubters that I was not exaggerating when I say that this thing was over 2 ft long!

Sometimes I try to embrace the creatures and will nod at the little lizards that scatter across my path. Other times, like this afternoon, I might even try to interact with the local animals. Lily loves cats and while on yet another path we stopped to say 'Hi' to a little cat. It was brown, kind of fluffy and had a long tail. It seemed a little scrawny, but I chalked it up to the cat being a stray. Lily was trying to entice the cat over by saying, 'meow, meow,' while I mostly stuck to 'Hi, kitty.' The cat sat there very, very still and did seem to register our calls. It suddenly dawned on me that the stray cat was in fact a giant squirrel. What?! Now I looked like a psycho animal lady talking to the local squirrels with my baby in tote. I ran away quickly, my cheeks burning with embarrassment.

The past few animal encounters have been relatively tame compared to what I know might be lurking in the dry, tall grasses surrounding our home. I have been told tale after tale about the enormous spiders that live in our hills- specifically Tarantulas. My aunt recently shared about an experience where when she noticed a black sock moving across her white carpet. Yeah, you probably guessed it. Not really a sock, definitely a Tarantula. They say that the month of September is when the giant spiders come out to be romantic and breed in our hills. So if you have any sort of arachnophobia I would delay visiting us until the following month.


Family of Five said...

Sherman and I are laughing as I write this: picturing you and Lily enticing the giant Squirrel!!

The G Fam said...

Yeah, I started cracking up when I realized it was a huge, sick squirrel! They grow 'em big around here.