2011 Streak Day 168/365: Run - 6.52 miles, Time 1hr 8seconds, Weather - mostly wet (though it was dry when I ran), always overcast, blowy, and distinctly cool
Today I separated picture-taking and running. I wanted another photo of water on flowers and leaves to show that, yet again, the day was wet. I didn't go far - just into my garden for this delicately damp, pea flower. So on my run I took no camera, and could not record my encounter with swans and signets.
I had planned to run up an alleyway, off the canal, as part of my loop, but two swans were eating grass on the side furthest from the canal, with their goslings in a line, stretching behind them, blocking the path. As I got near one of the swans stood very tall, opened her beak and rasped a warning.
I thought it best to adapt my route.
I can remember being told as a child that a swan could break your arm with a blow from its wings and that all swans were owned by the Queen. This plus my liking for the story of the ugly duckling, cemented the idea that swans were near mythical birds, even though they were common. Ever since they have never failed to give me pleasure. I love watching them swim serenely on - but I never cross them.
I know comedians have built routines around the story of swans breaking arms and the failure to find even one recorded example. But as a kid I believed it - these things stay with you. I was happy to give the swans a wide birth.
Later on, I was running back by the Water Gardens - the home of many Canada Geese. I was reaching a road leading to the car park a car was turning in. I did the familiar, sub-conscious, calculation of speed and the time it would take to clear my path and knew I would not have to break step. Except it stopped dead, right in front of me. Damn it was close! Without a very ugly, juddering side-step I would have run into it.
The reason was that three geese were very slowly and sedately crossing the road. Something that quite often happens.
So if you asked me to describe my run I would say it was characterised by swans and geese