About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Indian River Run

Day one: The Indian River is not a river at all, but a large lagoon on the east coast of Florida south of Titusville. Wildlife is abundant here so I’m running to a bridge to see what might allow me to photograph it. I leave before the sun comes up and run south on US RT 1. This highway carries motorists all the way from Key West as far north as Maine. Before long I take a left and stop on the bridge of the lagoon.

The sun is coming up over the water where several fishermen are taking advantage of the cool morning and calm water. I see a Great Egret, a very large snow white wading bird with bright yellow bill. Surprisingly, he allows me to get pretty close for a few shots. A juvenile White Ibis, with his long curved bill, is also present. The bird has grey spots that will turn all white as he matures. After enjoying the sun rise I run back in the humid morning air.

This is a shock to my system, because I’m used to running in the desert back home. Florida is the extreme opposite of West Texas as we only get 9 inches of rain per year back home while Florida receives around 50. However, I enjoy visiting this small town on the Indian River known as Sebastian –“Home of Pelican Island, friendly people and six old grouches”. I’m pretty sure that my dad is one of the old grouches, god bless him. Pelican Island is our country’s first wildlife refuge and recently celebrated 100 years in existence.

Day two: I heard a rumor of some foxes that live in the area, so I’m off for a run to try to sight one. As I’m running I see a White Ibis feeding in someone’s yard. They seem to love the sprinklers that attract grubs, frogs, and other fodder. While running around a retention lake a fox has seen me before I see it and runs from behind a house towards some brush. I get my camera out and see the fox at the edge of a clearing, but before I get a shot he is gone.

As I run along this residential road I see a bag of garbage that has been torn open and strewn around the area. I wonder who is responsible for this mess. I enjoy the rest of my run and return home without any fox photos. As I’m cooling off, my sister, who has left for a walk calls with a fox sighting. “Grab your camera and get down here”, she says. When I arrive several immature red foxes are at the edge of some brush and the mamma has been keeping close tabs on them.

Day three: Today I’m running back to the Indian River in hopes of spotting some dolphins or manatees. I’ve seen both from the bridge before, but never with camera in hand. The humidity is high, but at least the sun isn’t up yet. I decide to take a fast clip this morning to get a little tempo run in. I see some movement in the calm, glasslike lagoon. It appears to be a slow moving manatee, but it never shows itself. Usually you will see a little snout sticking up out of the water when they breathe.

As the sun comes up, I keep running on the road and ascend to the highest point of the bridge where I get a spectacular view of the “river”, Pelican Island, and even a small portion of the Atlantic Ocean. This is my dad’s favorite view in this retirement Mecca so I stop for a few photos and then back I go. As I’m running home, I spot some lilly pads in a pond where a female and male wood duck are enjoying the morning as much as I am.

Soon I’m finished my third run in this friendly little hamlet with only six grouches. Bird, dolphin, and manatee watching, as well as kayaking and fishing are abundant here. If you are ever on the east coast of Florida, please visit Sebastian, just watch out for the six old grouches. See you on the trail.

P.S. A trip to Sebastian Inlet on the Atlantic Ocean produced some manatee sightings and a Snowy Egret catching some fish.

West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus)

"Snowy" catches a fish

Juvenile White Ibis


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