Summer Running

My eye ordeal knocked me off my running schedule, but back at it now, I’ve discovered that it’s high summer in the prairie. There are two main signs of this state.

First and best are fields full of yellow-and-black flowers. The black-eyed susans lean gently in one direction or the other, trying to find open space to soak up the sunlight. The sunflowers, on the other hand, just grow straight up on their thick, prickly stalks. They seem to get taller in the twenty minutes between my outbound northerly passage and my southbound return trip. I hardly noticed them two weeks ago, when they were poking their heads up over the other prairie grasses, but now they’re as tall as I am, and soon will tower over me.

The second, and much less appealing, emblems of high summer are the grasshoppers. Everywhere. Brown, green, black. Hopping, leaping, flying. Buzzing, clicking, making no sound. They look like rocks or twigs lining the path until I get too close and they launch themselves away from me, around me, toward me, into me. I haven’t had one actually fly into my ear or mouth or nose yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time. I can see why Yahweh used them to punish evildoers.

4 thoughts on “Summer Running”

  1. I’m about to head to Northern Michigan for 3 days, which means I’ll get a taste of the same…runs on endlessly straight roads with monotonous cherry orchards and cornfields on either side. Because I’m flying I can’t even bring my rollerskis to take advantage of some surprisingly large hills. I just hope the grasshoppers aren’t too bad.

  2. That must be the northern chunk of the Lower Peninsula. They don’t grow many cherries or much corn in the U.P. Traverse City and environs have some good skiing in the winter – I raced, junior year, at the state championships at Boyne. I hope the training goes well!

  3. Yup, TC is where I’ll be. A little north of there, but yeah. More there for the lake house and the motorboat than the running though

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