Recovery Run

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.

beavers3

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.