This glorious morning I went for a run and thrilled at the cool air that greeted me as I headed out the door. It was just at the break of dawn, my favorite time, when everything is bathed in a soft pink light and the neighborhood is just starting to wake up. Only a couple of my neighbors were out and about, walking their dogs. A few houses had sprinklers running and the air was noticeably cooler as I ran through the mist.
Two miles around the western loop, a quick stop at the house for a swig of Gatorade and a bathroom stop, and then back out, running toward the exit to my neighborhood and out onto McHard Road. An entourage consisting of a momma muscovy duck and an impossibly large number of little fuzzy yellow and gray baby ducklings was working its way across the fairway at the 10th hole as I ran along McHard Road, heading toward Cullen and my turnaround point. There are two significant water hazards on this hole and there are always a number of ducks and geese populating the banks, preening themselves, or lazily floating across the water with no particular destination in mind.
As I neared Cullen, my nose caught a familiar, sweet fragrance and I began scanning the dense scrubby woods that line the sidewalk for its source. Aha! Lots of honeysuckle has established itself alongside a good 200 yards of this portion of the road. So this lovely aroma stayed with me as I ran this stretch in both directions.
A couple of weeks ago the floor of the large retention pond which captures the overflow from Clear Creek was completely filled from the rains we'd been having in late March. It wasn't full, but the footprint was filled. Normally only the western portion - about 1/4 of it's potential capacity - is filled permanently. In the early mornings this pond is visited by a large number of "fishing" birds: heron, egrets, seagulls. Today it wasn't as busy as usual. But as I ran over the little bridge that crosses the bayou, I paused long enough to look down and immediately spotted two enormous red-earred turtles floating with the current, letting it take them toward the pond.