Sometimes it’s a good idea to slow down when you’re running. Surprising things happen – when you take the time to look.
So it was last Saturday – April 20 – and I was on a relaxing, recovery run IN A SNOWSTORM!!! The snow was pounding down, and the country roads were greasy. Totally uninspiring day for a run. But I stuck with it, and did the full 21 kilometer loop around Beals Lake. I didn’t go fast, maybe 7 mph, but the effort felt hard, and my spit tasted like rust. So I took a break.
Beals Lake is long and narrow, with a series of bulbs that, on Google Earth, make it look like a weird necklace. You can’t see it from the roads, and the only way to get a glimpse of it is to trespass onto private property. So I followed an old cart track, hopped over a rusty metal gate, and walked down to the shore. A thick grey mist hung over the pine trees at the water’s edge. A thin crust of ice covered most of the lake, like the skin on mushroom soup after its cooled. I could hear the tinkling of ice cubes in the water.
Then I heard a sploosh. Not a splash, but a sploosh. There’s a difference. Splashes happen when something enters the water. Splooshes mean something is emerging from the water.
Suddenly I saw a beaver. Correction: two beavers. They circled around each other, then dove back under the water.
They re-surfaced a few moments later, fifteen feet to my right. One of the beavers waddled ashore, and began gnawing on a branch.
CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH!
The beaver had no idea that I was there! The second beaver dove back under the water, and then re-surfaced somewhere to my left. It too crept onto the shore and began chewing on a branch.
CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! to my left.
CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! to my right.
I stood there, watching them, for close to an hour. When I finally got home, the snow had stopped falling. The Spring Peepers were singing joyfully in the bog. They were so loud, I had to cover my ears.
Mother Nature knows it’s springtime, even if we don’t.
One of my partners in our venture to hike the Bruce Trail is also an ultra runner. Helen is also the race director for the Haliburton Forest Ultra races held in September each year which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. You may want to check out her website at http://www.haliburtonforest100.org/
Thank you for checking us out. I look forward to your adventures.