On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota I mean New York

Today I was running along the reservoir with my running partner when we happened to notice what looked like a cute, furry dog along the fence that separates the path from the water.  It turned around and we saw first its bushy, striped tail and then shortly thereafter its distinctive robber-mask face.

This was no dog, my friends, but instead a ginormous raccoon.

On one hand, raccoons and opossums are old hat to me, having grown up in an area where these things are pests that steal into your garbage cans at night.  On the other hand, this was broad daylight and this thing was moving erratically, trying desperately to get to some water.  You know what that means: RABIES.  You'd be surprised by how many times in one's life you get to say, "Don't worry, I'm vaccinated against rabies."  Assuming it's true.

So, we did the obvious thing, and stopped our run long enough to get a few photos.  If you live in the city, it's not every day that you get to see wildlife actually, you know, in the wild.

I'm more than a little disturbed by the raccoon "penis bone" image.  TMI, wikipedia, TMI.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry about that -- just inadvertently removed my comment. Anyway, I agree with you. The wikipedia page was pretty disturbing. It makes you wonder who thought to include that tidbit. Nonetheless, I'm glad to hear you didn't get too close to the wild creature on your run...