Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Osprey

I was lucky enough again today to be able to enjoy a run during the most perfect fall weather possible. Tom and I headed out a little before Noon to run the L.L.Bean/South Freeport trail system. The run started as usual as we headed across Casco Street onto the trail system, into the tunnel under the road and around L.L.Bean's distribution center at Corporate HQ. We then entered the woods again to follow the network of trails that permeates the woods behind the office.

After running through a nice mixed forest for a half mile, the trails enter a clearing for about 200 yards. This is where the coolest thing happened. I heard squawking which I immediately recognized as some bird of prey, but I just figured it was a hawk or falcon, which we see often while running the woods. Instead it was an Osprey. A big Osprey with lunch in his/her mouth. There is an Osprey nest over at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park a few miles away, but I had never seen an Osprey away from the water. Although as is obvious from the picture above we are never far from water in Freeport so I guess it was just out hunting one of the rivers or many lakes and ponds that dot the landscape. This sighting was very motivating and carried us along the rest of the run. After the Osprey left our sight we continued on up a nice long hill that left both of us breathing a little heavy. After this hill the course levels off for the next few miles as you run around some beautiful ponds. On the way back you have to navigate a pretty rough and rocky downhill and then one more challenging hill to get you back home...or at least to your computer in my case.

The trails in Freeport are excellent and ripe for a trail race. Maybe next season we will have to contemplate a 5 miler early in the season. The trails are relatively wide. They are definitely wider than Bradbury but not nearly as wide as Pineland. The couple hills, up and down, do make this a challenging run despite is shorter distance. Look for this one in 2008.

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