I was surprised by a Road Runner this afternoon when I started my four mile walk. The plucky little bird captured a small lizard and wandered off down the road. It was cool. The Road Runner is an interesting creature. They look like they’re going really fast when they’re standing still. In Tucson, it is not unusual to see one of these from time to time. When I first moved here in January 2000, I saw one of these prehistoric looking creatures chasing grasshoppers around in the Raytheon parking lot where I worked. Nancy packed me a great lunch including a fried fish sandwich. To my surprise, the Road Runner wandered over to where I was eating and gladly accepted every piece of fried fish that I threw its way. It was then that I got a good close up look at the Road Runner. It is definitely a bird but I got to see a close look at its eyes. Nothing says living dinosaur more than the eyes of a Road Runner!
Currently, we’re in “Monsoon Season.” I should have had an umbrella with me but I didn’t. I got lucky this time. It was cooler than it had been for the past month but the humidity was a bit high. I’d guess it was up into the 40% area and while I realize that in most locations around the country that wouldn’t be considered “high,” it seemed high to me and I was sweating a bit.
My preferred walking path is part of the bicycle loop around Tucson. I like it because it is paved and marked for bicycles and pedestrians. It doesn’t run next to the roadway but it does employ one of the Tucson created HAWK road crossing lights where it crosses the well-travelled Valencia Road. I can listen to my podcasts on my iPhone in peace and don’t have to worry about loud mufflers and those ridiculous “thumper” automobiles. Also, I like to pick up trash along the way and the bike path doesn’t collect the amount of litter that is normally found along car roadways. With just a little bit of effort from time to time, I get to enjoy a litter free four mile trek.
Today, my walk started off with a Road Runner and ended with a Jack Rabbit. I see a lot of birds and quite a few ground squirrels. From time to time, a family of Quail will cross the path and once a small snake slithered into the scrub. There are many lizards and a few grasshoppers on the trail. When I walk the path at night, I’ll see the occasional Tarantula.
It’s days like this that remind me that I retired in the right place.