Thursday, February 20, 2020

Another spectacular sunrise and moonset at -11F

Click on photo to see it in entirety

"Just" an hour run yesterday morning. We are in a mini-cold snap here and I had a passing thought about using the treadmill as I layered up. But being outdoors is always worth it! As I ran through the park the waning crescent moon with Jupiter to it's left was visible. I made it a point to summit Rock Knob in time to catch the sunrise and moonset over Lake Superior. Despite the cold I took a few minutes to stop and soak in the beauty before moving on. 

I am not by nature a morning person, but in order to get my workouts in, have dinner at a reasonable hour, and get at least 7 hours of sleep each night I have switched to running(biking) in the mornings vs after work. It often means getting up at 4:30 am in order to be out the door by 5:30 am. Which also means going to bed no later then 9:00 pm (I think my grandkids and I have the same bedtime now!). 

It was hard at first, and often means running at the coldest time of day. But the trade-offs have been worth it! I almost always have the trails to myself, and if it has recently snowed, this means I get to make first human tracks. And see who else is out there sharing the trails with us two-footeds. 

Tuesday morning I followed fox tracks for much of my run; most days there is ample evidence of the rabbits, deer and smammals that inhabit the park. Often I hear Barred owls hooting, and now that the sun is rising earlier I am greeted by the songs of Black-capped chickadees. They have recently been throwing in some "fee-bees*" to their usual "chick-a-dee-dee" routine. It's getting to be that time of year! *fee-bee is the chickadee's version of a pick-up line

Today, as it's my day off,  I am taking a much more leisurely approach to things and waiting for the temperature to get above zero for my run. I took the time to make myself some gluten-free blueberry pancakes using a baking mix I found in a small natural food store in Great Falls, Montana. I am really impressed with Montana Gluten Free - not only their Pancake and Waffle Baking Mix but their commitment to gluten free (and other common allergens!). Cross-contamination with other allergens is unfortunately all too common in many products and can severely limit options for folks when looking to purchase food items. It has meant that I do a lot of cooking and baking from scratch and have learned more about the sources of some common baking items then I thought I would ever need to know. 

So, get out there! Enjoy our remaining winter and the transition to spring. 

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