Saturday, January 25, 2014

Surprise swans

Reader, I am a Saturday morning long run fan through and through. But two degrees and a -20 windchill this morning had me leaning toward heading out tomorrow morning instead, after a forecasted overnight snowfall but with milder temperatures before the big winds and cold come back Sunday afternoon. (Big kudos, by the way, to all the runners who participated in a local half-marathon, 10K and 5K this morning!) By noon, the ship had all but sailed on the notion of me completing a run today.

You'll understand, then, how surprised I was at about 4 p.m. - after errands, shopping, crafts and a few HGTV shows about beach houses - to find myself thinking that it was a good time to see about that run.

I figured I should go with it, so I bundled up (the temperature had risen to seven degrees, with a light breeze) and scurried out to make the most out of the remaining daylight. I stayed pretty comfortable (thanks to my facemask) and enjoyed some peaceful miles around town.

In one Mississippi River crossing, I was admiring the St. Paul skyline from my bridge:

You can see there's a long open patch of water in the otherwise frozen-over river. When I got closer to the bridge's end, and thus closer to the open water, I noticed what appeared to be two swans!

I think the ice looks like coastline on a map, so I like to pretend that the swans are gigantic. Giant swans or not, this surprise fauna sighting was one of my favorite parts of a rare-for-me late afternoon weekend run.

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