25 May, 2014 Autism 5k
Yesterday was the 12th Annual Autism 5k, held this year at the Innsbrook Pavillion in Glen Allen, VA. I did it the first year with my old buddy Skye, back in 2002, and I’ve done it intermittently since. Last year I did it with my friend David and we had such a great time we decided to return this year. We were well rewarded; it was even better. Last year there were over 1,600 people in the race. I haven’t heard the final tally but I suspect this year’s turnout was even larger. The weather was beyond compare.
The light’s been beautiful nearly every day this week, but my photography hasn’t been brilliant. I’ll put a few pictures in. The cliff swallows near Brown’s Island are coming along but I haven’t gotten any pictures I’ve loved. Perhaps this swallow was scolding me for my other-than-stellar effort:
One good thing about being in that area was seeing my first privet of the year, rounding out (with multiflora rose and of course honeysuckle) what I consider the “big three” of fragrant spring flowers in central Virginia. The link I provided above was to an NC State web site about urban landscaping and it notes that “Many small, white, and fragrant flowers appear in April to June.” Please please please smell some privet if you have the opportunity. It will 100% put a smile on your face, and that can only be a good thing. Here’s what to look for:
That bush is at the edge of the train tracks, not fifty feet from the cliff swallow nests. You can smell flowers and watch cliff swallows and trains too! How could you possibly have more fun? You can even see the river from there!
My buddy and I were walking along the path beside the railroad tracks and a rabbit hopped out of the bushes maybe a hundred yards in front of us. Luckily I had a zoom lens and was able to take this picture. Because the rabbit took a few steps and lay down. I didn’t know rabbits even did that. I think it was sunning itself or just rolling in the sand. Because a few minutes later it got up and walk/hopped across the trail:
While I’m putting up pictures of fragrant flowers, I can’t skip magnolia. Though it’s not as ubiquitous as privet. This magnolia drops leaves on our cars in the driveway:
I looked up the dragonflies I posted last week. They are “Common Whitetail Skimmers,” or “Long-tailed Skimmers,” (Plathemis lydia). The male is the one with the white tail, the other one is a female. I never knew.
Dragonfly larvae (I’m learning) hatch from eggs and become nymphs. They have gills and live underwater. Damselflies are similar and they are prolific at Pony Pasture and I’ve put a few photos of them in previous posts. When damselfly eggs hatch they’re called naiads. I digress. Here’s the fascinating blurb I read about dragonfly nymphs in wikipedia: “The nymphs… feed on aquatic invertebrates such as tadpoles… Because of their abundance, [they] are in turn an important food source for various… frogs…” Isn’t that amazing? Before they turn into dragonflies they live in the water and they’re “nymphs.” As nymphs, they eat tadpoles. The tadpoles that survive climb out of the water and become frogs. Then, as frogs – stay with me here – they go back to the water and eat the nymphs. That were trying to eat them when they were tadpoles. What a life cycle. Everything eats everything and is eaten by everything. Human beings are the only animal that chooses to be a vegetarian. As Joseph Campbell said, “life lives on life.” It is a free for all out there.
This has been a slender blog post – more next week, hopefully. Until then, have a great week,
PS I don’t take pictures at the Autism 5k – I’m too busy doing other stuff and I don’t photograph people well. But they took some great pictures. As of this moment, there are only pictures from the 2008 through 2013 races on this site but I’m sure they’ll get this year’s pictures up within the next day or so. Click on this link if you’d like to see some fantastic photography from one of my favorite sporting events anywhere: Autism 5k photo page