Saturday, March 5, 2011

ten miles, 28 tennis balls, and a Darwin Award candidate


Why yes, I think I will do that long run today. I’ve been on the beach in thunderstorms. It’s not a wise place to be. And I hate running in the rain, so yes, let’s do that run today. It was more-or-less high tide late this morning when we finally all rolled out of bed, so I went onto and plotted my route.

plan for the day

The Tally:

    • Miles – ten
    • Hours:Minutes – 1:46
    • Turtles, big, sunning themselves – five
    • Turtles, small, rescued from road by cop – one
    • Alligators, of demure size – four
    • Alligators, humongous – two
    • Blue herons – two
    • Anhingas, flying right over my head – one
    • Suicidal squirrels I nearly tripped over – one
    • Idiot texting while riding a bike, with no helmet – one. This is why God invented the Darwin Awards
    • Husband, on bike, lurking near tennis courts to steal lost tennis balls – one
    • Tennis balls found by said husband, for our doggie niece – 28

It was a pretty decent run – I averaged (with my walking breaks included) a 10:37 pace, which puts me on track for a 2:20 half marathon. This would totally rock, as I did my first half in 2:30.  Of course, today’s run was about as level a course as you could get, whereas I recall my hometown of Pittsburgh – the scene of my next race – as a wee bit hilly.

After lounging about for a couple of hours, I took myself to the beach.

I love moon shells, and generally take unbroken ones home with me, but this one was still occupied – something I’ve never actually seen before!



I came across a beautiful whelk, lying in one of the tidal pools…


Like the moon shell, someone was home here, too.


This was also a first, to find such a big whelk, on this beach. The internets inform me that this is a lightning whelk. It opens to the left, not the right.

It was a good day for starfish as well. Big-ass starfish. That is not the taxonomically correct name.


But it’s apt.


happy sigh.



I saw a couple of this kind of crab.


I’m having no luck identifying this guy.


Then I came across another whelk and a huge starfish, and rudely plucked the former up to see what there was to be seen…


This is a different kind of whelk from the last one, because it’s not left-handed. After trolling the internets trying to ID that crab, I’m a little About Done with trying to ID stuff. I’m just thrilled I saw the occupants of three different species of shells today. How cool is that?


It makes me feel all sunshiny and happy.

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