Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One last snake

Chilly today--raining at times, and no warmer than 50 on Aqueduct Rd--but I ran into my favorite, and likely last, "narrow fellow" of the year. A rubber boa, stretched across the road, moving slowly, blending in. I'd never seen one of these before but I knew instantly what it was.

When I reached down to pick it up, it wrapped into a ball around my fingers, sticking its orange burnished tail out, as if to mimic its head. I read later that this maneuver isn't likely to foil an intent predator--fat chance an eagle, fox, or raccoon would be deterred from gobbling up this little guy. But it does allow the boa to fend off a mother mouse while it eats her entire, pinkie litter. (As result, rubber boa tails are extra hard, and often quite scarred.) I also learned that these snakes are more tolerant of cold weather than almost any other.

An aerial view, after I set it down:

To my college teammates, who, in Oregon, years ago, claimed I couldn't catch a snake--ha!

I'll admit, I finished my run, then drove back to the snake with my camera. The jog went okay, but my leg did bother me 10 minutes in. The same thing happened Monday on Hwy 167, when I tried to run down a slight hill. Both times I stopped and stretched, and was able to go on with my run. I'm hoping its healing, even as symptoms persist. Yesterday, however, I was able to run without incident: 14 on 167 from mile 10 at about 6:30 pace. Go figure.

10 mi, 70 min; Aqueduct Rd on Williams Butte

Tuesday, 10/19: 14 mi, 130 min; Hwy 167 from mile 10

Monday, 10/18: 10 mi, 70 min; Hwy 167, close to home (back and forth)


  1. you must have found those photos online. (a) who runs with a camera, (b) those can't be your hands.

  2. It only took you five years to prove!