Thursday, November 18, 2010

running the bayou

I went for a run early this morning in Houston, along the west side of the famous Buffalo Bayou ---- or so I thought!  It's supposed to run all the way downtown, and I was only going to run a few miles along its length.

I parked on the south side of the bayou/road interestion at Dairy Ashford (see good pix attached), and started runing down what I thought was the trail.  The first part was paved with asphalt, and I had seen a sign that talked about a maintenance entrance, but I though nothing of it.  The paved trail wound its way for 1/2 mile among the trees, with the bayou a fair distance over and below me.  I thought, "bummer, I'm not seeing much of the bayou!"  At least, I'm running among the trees, I thought.  So I wound left and right, up and down on, along the trail and then the surface changed to red clay and gravel, and the trail opened up and made a right turn, and opened up with grassy areas, with trails both sides of what I thought was the bayou.  I figured that the earli winding portion had got me disoriented, and that this right turn was getting back on track to a general easterly direction.  Also, I thought, "Wow, that bayou is pretty small and puny here. Oh well!"So I keep running, happily, for a couple of miles, wondering why this bayou park is so straight and boring, and when the bayou will receive a tributary that will make it grow into something interesting...

Then the "bayou", and the trail, ended. 

There it was gone, into a drainage tube boaring under a roadway.  "Well," I thought, "I guess the bayou goes UNDER those highschool grounds ahead, and becomes available again after."  So I detour my run between the school and the next neighborhood, doubling back to try to find the bayou on the other side.


"Wow, this bayou really bores underground deep and far!  Well, I'll look for it after the next block." 

Nothing.  "What??  Where the hell did it go?"

Next block.  Nothing.  "Okay, this pathetic bayou is really pathetic!  I'm heading back"

As I reach the end of the red clay trail again, I see a park sign.  "Where is the "You are here" sign?"

"What???"  "What am I doing down there!!?"  Turned out the right turn was really a right turn, and I had begun heading South, not East, along a storm water viaduct!!  Turns out the Bayou Trail is on the north side of the Bayou, not the south side  where the parking lot was located.

"Oh well, that settles it.  I'll come back tomorrow..."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's the difference between a fisher, weasel, polecat, stoat, ermine, ferret, genet, mink, marten, sable, goshawk, serval, caracal, and wolverine?

I happened to be surfing YouTube the other day and I came across some interesting home videos of a ferret as a pet, and of the tiny stoat who lives off attacking & killing the much larger rabbit.  That let to finding more and more related links to other similar animals -- all relatively small, scurrying, furry, cute but kinda nasty busybodies.  I see some difference in size, agility, color, etc -- but are they all related? 

Luckily I discovered someone else wrote a whole book on the problem...  "This Is Not a Weasel" by Philip Mortenson

It's on my reading wish list