Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Last Weekend in September

What a great weekend. Went to the Carpenter Nature Center's Raptor Release on Saturday. The skies threatened rain but changed to partly cloudy and warm sunshine. What a great opportunity to see these amazing animals up close and learn more about them as a species. The knowledgeable volunteers shared the individual bird's stories.

Three raptors were scheduled to be released in the morning. The bonus bird was a gorgeous young eagle that flew low over the audience before heading towards the river. The morning seemed to go too fast and then we had to leave. Friends were meeting at the Gasthaus for Oktoberfest and we had to be there early to get a table.

The Gashaus was "party central". Running legends Dave & Luther were there. Larry & Marilyn, Jim & Rose, Jim's brother Don shared one table and a big bag of kettle corn with us. We talked to another table of runners that were swapping stories about their training for the upcoming Twin Cities Marathon. Dancing the polka must be good for the legs! And the famous Pennycook was there. He is famous for the story he once told us about running the TCM "on memory" with his longest run of 6 miles. A week later another runner told us Pennycook had been at the 20 mile training run. Hmmm.

Throw in a long run (4 hours) on Sunday at Afton SP with great weather and it becomes another perfect weekend. It was good to see so many people out on the trails, walking with their friends, family and dogs. One group of 3 women were enjoying the horse trails and asked us to take their photo. Hope it turned out !

While there were lots of butterflies along the trails, this one really stood out for me so I stopped to take a photo. The Audubon butterfly book called it a Giant Swallowtail. In addition to the unusual pattern (most black and yellow swallowtails we see are Tiger Swallowtails), this one is yellow when the wings are closed.

Hope your training is going well, too. See you on the trails !