Sunday, March 05, 2006

Spring!

The weather was perfect for this morning's run - 68 degrees (20 N), perfect blue skies, green fields, surrounded by spring flowers, and glittering blue seas. And I almost tripped over my first lizard of the year, so that means it's Spring.

The tendency of creatures to dash across the paths of runners is a global phenomenon. In California (Stanford campus), the threat is ground squirrels - skinny little brutes that live in burrows and move in flocks. In Minneapolis (banks of Mississippi) solitary ground hogs - very friendly, corpulent creatures - lumber in front of you. In Virginia small yappy dogs give chase (until squirted with water bottle). In England (Oxfordshire) in spring it's baby rabbits that roll underfoot while fighting - plus I was once narrowly missed by a roe deer. In London (Hyde Park) the threat is tourists, from, er, Northern Europe.

This suicidal behavior in such a wide range of species seems abnormal - Mrs G's says it's blind panic, but refuses to elaborate...