My recent visits to Moose Hill have been good for my spirit but not so good for my body. Time spent sitting on a rock, searching for birds or gazing at my navel is time not spent getting exercise. A few months of knee pain helped justify slowing down a bit, but my slothful ways lead to amazingly quick weight gain and loss of fitness.
The knee is feeling better now and I am running and biking more.
I didn’t have the time to explore and sit in the woods Saturday morning, so I went for a run from home to the summit of Moose Hill (26 minutes.). We had a strong thunder storm Friday evening and in the morning, the air was warm and humid. As I ran through the neighborhood, the fragrance of flowers was in the air and I could almost feel the life bursting forth around me. Insects were buzzing and birds flew about as if on important missions. It was high season in New England.
The road to Moose Hill is not busy, but plenty of cars go up and down in the course of a day. There are several swamps, ponds and vernal pools near the road and someone on foot or on a bicycle can’t help but notice the toll our cars take. Adult painted turtles and snapping turtles die on their way to and from egg-laying, and hatchlings die as they scramble from their nests and head for the water. When the weather is right, amphibians slink and hop from one small body of water to another.
We were visiting out daughter in Berkeley, California in February. February there is like April here. We went for a run on a park road that – in classic California style – was closed to automobiles to protect migrating salamanders. I have fantasies about closing the roads over Moose Hill, but who should be protected? Almost every trip up the hill reveals new roadkill: Frogs, toads, turtles, snakes, salamanders, birds, chipmunks and squirrels are all crushed under the tires. I’m sure deer have taken a toll on car bumpers, but in the end, they always lose too.
As I ran up the hill on that warm, damp late spring morning, I knew the road would never be closed, but I found myself wishing we could all slow down and be more careful when we drive.
Rain lets bullfrog move
Warm road feels good to cold blood
Driver does not care
Labels: Haiku, Roadkill