I normally run really early in the morning. I’m out the door by 4:15, when I can talk my body into it. Most of the time time, it’s pretty much just me and the road.
But sometimes, I stumble on other creatures in the dark. Most of the time, they’re just cats. There seems to be a fair number of feral cats on the outer edges of town. They’re bold and stand their ground, but are pretty harmless.
Then, there’s some big flying creature that does a close fly over. Guessing it doesn’t see me as food, but competition. Can’t make out much of it in the dark, but I’m guessing it’s probably an owl, given that it’s still dark at the time. I don’t think the other big birds that are in the area during the day are cruising around yet. I also hear a lot of hoots, but it’s surprisingly difficult to triangulate where they are.
Then, there’s the coyotes. I hear them a lot, during the summer; but always in the distance. I also think I heard some coyote pups. They sound kinda like a bunch of hyper toddlers, but they’re probably not out in the middle of dark fields. A month ago I saw one run by. The roving security patrol for the neighborhood stopped me the other morning to let me know that folks report seeing a pack of coyotes in the park I just ran through.
Then, there’s skunks. I’ve run up on skunks dozens of times in the past. Most of the time, I make them out before getting into the trouble zone and can safely alter my course. But, a few weeks ago, I didn’t see the skunk it was too late. I don’t think got a direct hit, but I had at least collateral damage. Wasn’t terrible, but it did take a few days to fade.
Recently, on my nextdoor.com neighborhood, folks have been reporting seeing a mountain lion. Wow, that’s pretty wild. Hey, wait a second… I know exactly where they’re talking about, and that’s in the first few miles of my daily run. I run they’re literally everyday at 5am. Gulp.
Gonna keep my fingers crossed that I don’t meet up with any more wildlife, or maybe start carrying some pepper spray.