Regarding numbers, I finished with a total of 202 species. I ran a total of 1273 miles.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Regarding numbers, I finished with a total of 202 species. I ran a total of 1273 miles.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Having been suffering from the dreary college application process, my SWSA list has not grown much recently.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Then I injured myself.
I don't really know what it is--tendonitis, it feels like--but after two weeks of not running, I decided on Wednesday to go for a run since I was feeling better. I felt great during the run--but the next morning, when I woke up, I was painfully reminded that there is no such thing as a happy ending. Regretfully, I had to skip the run, which was today.
Last week, every time I remembered this sad fact, I cursed extensively, luciously, and creatively under my breath.
I have vowed to not run for a month. In the meantime, I've decided to become a bodybuilder. Just kidding.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
In retrospect, eating two deliciously-disgusting 7-Layer Burritos from Taco Bell twenty minutes before a semi-difficult trail run probably wasn’t the best idea. However, after the effects subsided (the effects being extremely painful abdominal cramps and the need to stop every 300 feet to wait out the nauseating sensation of needing to heave beans, rice, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato all over the place), Welch and I got some pretty good SWSA birds.
We were running on the Lion Gulch Trail to Homestead Meadows, which is situated in Larimer County right between Pinewood Springs and Estes Park at an elevation of 7335 feet. From the road, the trail takes a steep downhill descent to a tributary of the Little Thompson River, which it follows for three miles up canyon to “Homestead Meadows,” a mountain park chalk full of old homesteads, all of which have been abandoned since the 1930’s. In addition to the historical value of this site, the habitat conflagration of lower-elevation Ponderosa Pines and higher-elevation firs along with a smattering of Quaking Aspens make for some superb birding.
One of many dilapidated structures.
After the Taco Bell side-effects had subsided and I was able to concentrate my full attention on birds and footing, so not to have a rocky wipeout, I started picking up birds instantly . . . a Western Warbling-Vireo doing its “Figure-8” call from the Narrowleaf Cottonwoods along the creek, a Cordilleran Flycatcher pseet-ing from somewhere on my left, and a Western Tanager warbling its husky robin-like song from somewhere up the hill. Once we actually got to the meadows, we really started racking up the list with Red-breasted Nuthatch, Dusky Flycatcher, Hammond’s Flycatcher, and Lincoln’s Sparrow all making their appearance.
As we trudged back up the final hill to the parking lot (it seemed a whole lot shorter coming down…), we calculated the total of new Sweaty Sanderling species . . . six!
But that was two days ago. This evening, Joel and I took the pain and did our third trail run in three days. This time, our trail of choice was the Antelope Trail nearby our hometown of Lyons. Although we often drive/run by the turn-off for this trailhead, I’ve only been past the trailhead once, and that was only for a few hundred yards. After the first mile of twisting-turning, uphill madness through juniper enshrouded slopes (complete with Spotted Towhees, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers), the view opens up into a huge foothills meadow with a sizeable Black-tailed Prairie Dog colony. The trail skirts along this, however, and traces the edge of the Ponderosa forest. We scored two new SWSA birds, a Rock Wren calling from an isolated jumble of granite boulders and a Yellow-breasted Chat running through its eccentric collection of odd noises and sounds. The chance to explore new territory was well worth the pain and our now-dead legs.
I’m thinking about a nice, short, flat run tomorrow…
2011 SWSA Totals:
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Yesterday, I put in another run and added a few more SWSA birds, including Yellow-breasted Chat, Bell's Vireo, and Black-chinned Hummingbird. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, there was a flight back home to California between those two runs...
Friday, May 13, 2011
I went out running for the first time in almost two weeks last night. Since my last run, a LOT of new birds have come in, and I scored nineteen new SWSA birds. Goodies like Veery, Barred Owl, Common Nighthawk, Chestnut-sided Warbler...SWSA = 153
Panting as I finished off my seven miles, I tried thinking of how different SWSA would respond to the situation. If BR was with me, he would have been like, "Ahhh nice little warm-up, now let's put in fifty miles!" Masai would have said, "I've been waiting here for you for two hours. You're slow. Hey, where's Welch, let's beat him up!" Pippin would have drawn upon her vast reserves of power hidden in her hair and punched a random passerby in the face. Delmi probably would have tripped over a crack in the sidewalk. Osama bin Laden would be like, "Oh man...wait nevermind I'm still dead."
Oh, and Rosy would look puzzled and say, "Huh? What's the Sweaty Sanderlings?"
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Before my latest accomplishment, I added a few more, the highlights being Rusty Blackbird, Pileated Woodpecker, Virginia Rail, and Yellow Warbler.
Thank goodness for swimming.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I glanced out the window, rain poured down in sheets of cold iron.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
how can we sleep when our beds are burning...how can we walk when our canes are breaking...how can we run when our feet are blistered
But was it worth it? Oh yeah. Ten new SWSA birds, with goodies like Summer Tanager, Violet-green Swallow, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Lawrence's Goldfinch. I'm at 115; I need to catch up with those Colorado Criminals. They're Such wimps; I mean, seriously, complaining about a little ice and snow? That's like something I'd do!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Weeks before, it was cold, snowy, and dangerously icy.* Now it is spring . . . 60° F, tender green grass sprouts, and budding willows. Best of all, spring migration has brightened the landscape with colorful birds returning for the upcoming breeding season.
The last weeks of winter only provided a few new SWSA birds: Northern Harrier (seen on the first run back in Colorado as it was getting mobbed by a couple rambunctious crows while flying over the snow-covered outskirts of Lyons), Pine Siskin (seen at a birdfeeder in Lyons), White-crowned Sparrow (heard along a ditch just above Lyons High School on the same day as the Pine Siskin), Mountain Bluebird (bright male seen on a 10 mile run in our neighborhood), Clark’s Nutcracker (a few fly-overs during a 3 mile loop in our neighborhood), Red Crossbill (a dozen or so type two crossbills chirping in a dense section of Ponderosa Pines), Cooper’s Hawk (an immature female flew over while running on the track at the Lyons High School).
On the 19th of March we stopped at Walden Ponds near Boulder, so Marcel could go birding, while I ran at Walden and the adjacent Sawhill Ponds. Both sites are the product of a land reclamation project at an old gravel mining operation near Boulder Creek.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Counting the cute, fluffy namesakes of BunnyRabbit is one of my past times when running. I honestly have no idea how this many manage to survive when the landscape is overrun with coyotes and Great Horned Owls, but I routinely tally double digits when I run in the flood control basin near my house. My all-time record is in the low twenties; this morning was mediocre, with only eleven individuals.
Apart from quadrupeds, it was an average run. I noted four new SWSA birds, all gimmes: Red-shouldered Hawk, House Wren, Wilson's Warbler, and Great-tailed Grackle. My calves are sore (again); I think it's time to start wearing my fivefingers to class to get used to them.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I wiggled into my fivefingers and hit the trail, picking up the usual species as I ran: Booted Racket-tail, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Russet-capped Warbler, Beautiful Jay.
Wait! Usual? For
Pelting rain was also usual, and it was pouring. My fivefingers squelched down the trail, leaving barefoot tracks in the mud. I turned onto the road, also made of mud, and ran through the “town” of Tandayapa, picking up a pair of White-capped Dippers foraging in a fast flowing, and very muddy, creek.
I did not see any new birds for nearly a half mile. Finally I came upon an actively foraging mixed flock. Buff-throated Saltators, Golden-naped and Blue-gray Tanagers hopped casually among the raindrops.
A bit later I turned around, returning to Tandayapa Lodge.
I was thoroughly drenched, my back, hair, and shoes were plastered with mud, and I had added a good number of species to my SWSA list—I had filled all requirements of a good run
Friday, March 18, 2011
Or, better yet:
RUN, AND POST TO THE SWEATY SANDERLINGS!
My excuse for not posting in over a month: I haven't run in over a month. My excuse for not running in a month: uhh...icy sidewalks?
On Wednesday afternoon, I emerged from my bio lab to a gorgeous, sunny afternoon with temps in the sixties. I had an hour before my next class, so I threw in a short run around campus. It was awesome. And I even got a new SWSA bird: a heard-only Sandhill Crane, which also happened to be new for my campus list.