When T Junior went down for a nap on Christmas Eve, I was practically kicked out of my mom’s house. I know I shouldn’t be surprised about the support I receive from my family, but I was.
These people get it.
Since it was the middle of the day, I wasn’t too worried about running into coyotes and my mom said she’d never, ever seen a mountain lion. My plan was to run for 30 minutes on the newly paved road next to my mom’s property.
It was absolutely gorgeous outside. I wore my capris and my long-sleeve Seattle Marathon shirt, but I could’ve worn a t-shirt. Sunshine and about 55 degress. That is the kind of California weather I like. Summer? Not so much.
I started back by my mom’s barn and ran out toward the highway, then turned around and headed back toward the cul-de-sacs.
Back at the barn, the road splits — like a Y — into two cul-de-sacs. The person who owns the land around the road sectioned it into lots for future homes, seven acres here and 13 acres there. Here’s the first cul-de-sac:
You can’t see it, but there is coyote poop everywhere. A constant reminder that they are out there somewhere. Obviously, I didn’t listen to my Zune. My ears were busy. The cul-de-sac was downhill, which means it was uphill on the way back. My legs were stiff from the two-day drive.
I returned to the three-way intersection near my mom’s. I went left down the other cul-de-sac. These are long cul-de-sacs, not like the short, crowded ones in my neighborhood in Washington.
This cul-de-sac also went downhill. From this one, I could look toward the back of my mom’s acreage, which rolls down into a canyon.
There’s a trail that goes down toward the canyon under these power lines. I didn’t take it. Yikes. I really didn’t want to run into any wild animals. As I approached the end of the cul-de-sac, I saw something up ahead.
Is that a hedgehog? Do they have hedgehogs here? Maybe it’s a porcupine.
I couldn’t tell what some large, spiky looking creatures were doing just hanging out in the cul-de-sac. I slowed down, but kept running.
Are they moving?
When I saw what they were, I felt like an idiot.
I’ve never heard of anyone getting attacked by a pinecone. But you gotta watch out for these guys, especially if they are hungry.