Nature Blog Network

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oh, What a Night!

I know, I never write any more.  It shouldn't be a chore, I figure, and when it seems as such, I may as well just not.  But tonight I am inspired... I probably have no readers left, but I'll write for myself nonetheless.

I went for what I call a chasing-the-light run this afternoon.  During the shortest days of the year, if I want to run at all, I have to go right from work, as soon as I can get out so that I can get back before dark.  These runs usually end up being brief and speedy... I'm chasing both the light AND the warmth.

Today, I ran out into the Oak Openings preserve across the street.  It was, to say the least, crisp -- the air temperature only in the 20's and the ponds covered with a delicate layer of ice.  To my left, the trail runs parallel to a stream corridor lined with spreading bur oak trees.  To my right was prairie, some patches recently burned, the rest in the shades of brown and gray that characterize the late fall landscape.  Ahead of me, I looked across the stubble of a dormant corn field, with the Ranney's rambling white farm house on the far end and a copse of trees behind that.

As the sun set behind me (run, Naomi, chase the light!) a full moon rose in front of me, completing the picturesque scene of Mid-west farm in November.  It shyly slipped behind hazy clouds, obstructing its face, and then peeked out, large and butter-yellow on the horizon.

I saw movement in the field ahead of me, and focused my gaze on a herd of deer the exact color of the dead grasses.  One flicked its white tail in warning, but they didn't run away.  They stood and stared at me as I ran by, not 30 feet away.

I got back as the sky turned that shade that Crayola calls midnight blue, just in the nick of time.  It was one of those moments... right place, right time, lucky to be there... (I should remember that when I don't want to run in the cold.)