Friday, May 15, 2009

Wildlife Run

That's my new name for yesterday's run. I had an eight mile general aerobic run on the schedule. I added a couple miles to one of my normal routes and ran from the beach at Corona del Mar to Reef Point at Crystal Cove for a 4 mile out and back.

At this point I would normally tell you how bland and boring the run was. But, yesterday was anything but. Immediately after starting, I noticed a flock of Brown Pelicans on my right. Hey guys - I know my shoes stink, but they don't smell like rotten fish (at least I don't think they do). Must have been 12 or so all together. It is so cool how they fly in formation - from afar it looks like the Blue Angels. For the next mile and half, I ran through a quaint residential neighborhood, turned a corner to run along a busy street, and finally found myself back on familiar ground at Crystal Cove. No sooner did I hit the trail, than on my right was the flock of Pelicans again! Cool!

Now, this part of the trail runs through an area where I normally see a lot of lizards and rabbits, but today there was something new on the trail. Quail! Yup. I had no idea that Quail were even around in Orange County! It was quite cool watching them scoot along and run into the brush as I approached. About now I was really wishing I had brought my camera. Sorry for all the stock photos folks.

The next flock of birds were easy to sight. They made a loud thumping sound as the two flew in formation over the coast. A couple Sea Knights buzzed over the coast. Being as close as we are to Camp Pendelton, the main USMC recruiting base on the West Coast, these aren't that uncommon. But, it's still amazing that something this large and non aerodynamic can fly.

My final sighting came as I neared my turnaround point. There it was sunning in the middle of the black asphalt path. Mr. Rattlesnake! It was a small (18 inches or so) snake with a couple of rattles on it's tail. Obviously a juvenile. I literally walked right up to the snake. Eventually he woke up and slithered off into the brush next to the trail. How cool.

I reached my turnaround point and headed back. The quail were still scattering ahead of me. Rabbits were scooting around and lizards shot across the trail. And the parting shot? My flock of Pelicans were flying in formation over my left shoulder. No - I do not have fish in my shoes!

Final stats - 8 miles in 1:20.12 (10:02 pace - includes time stopped watching the wildlife). Average heart rate - 77% of max. Jean (Run Jean Run) - eat your heart out!


  1. Looks like a VERY exciting run!

    At first though, a shiver went down my spine when I read the part about the rattlesnake. Now I am thinking it's not soo bad that might have spiked my adrenaline to run even better!!!

  2. I would have flipped at the snake! but I do love the birds that fly that area and my beach area too :0

  3. Nice run you had there. I saw a small snake last night too on my trail run. Freaked out when I realized it was a snake, also freaked out when I saw a lizard shoot across the single track too.

  4. Great run! Funny, I don't think of OC as being close to Camp Pendleton... because WE are! Just on the other side of it. :D

    I don't mind snakes (kind of like them) but rattlesnakes scare me. I can't believe you got close to it. I saw a news report a couple weeks ago claiming that rattlesnake venom is becoming more potent. Be careful out there!

  5. ok. this was a fine post until that last pic. gross!