Going Batty

Posted on July 26, 2013. Filed under: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Twice this week I hit the road at just the right time. Although I enjoy any morning run, I especially love running early, when night and day collide, during that short crack in the dawn when the birds are not yet up and the bats are getting ready to call it a day.

If I run with my eyes up, I can usually spot dozens of bats flitting and diving for their last meal before they disappear.  They’re hard to spot against the darkness at first, but as the sky fades to pre-dawn lemon, they’re pretty visible.  If you know what you’re looking at.

It’s easy at first to mistake bats for sparrows, but they don’t fly the same.  Or sound the same.  As soon as the bats disappear, the sparrows come out to chase down the scraps. I’ve seen a sparrow hunt a bug as big as its head, chirping bloody murder all the while, and win a meal big enough to feed a family of four.

This time of morning is the loudest of the day.  The treetops quiver with birdsong.  Long before they arise from their nests, grackles, doves, sparrows, and every other bird in the neighborhood announce the dawn.  If you’re quiet and run without an electronic device shoved in your ears, there’s no mistaking nature’s music. My favorite.

If you want to see the bats and the birds vying for the sky, you have to be quick. The crack closes in less than half an hour.  It’s about that time right now, in fact. I guess I better get moving.

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