It's not Colorado -- not even close -- but I got several glimpses of nature Saturday.
Sandwiched in between two busy streets is a lake, likely manmade, that has a cement trail (read: sidewalk) around it. The lake is split in two by one of the busy streets. If you run around both halves, you've gone roughly seven miles.
I needed to run seven this weekend, so I headed to the lake.
I opted for the smaller half first, the three-mile half. I've always liked this side better. It's quieter there, a bit more natural, way fewer people, fewer dogs, more trees.
I noticed this time that there are a few trails that snake off into the woods (I'm stretching the definition of "woods" here, but you can't actually see to the other side, so it works, right?). I followed one almost right away, only to lose the trail 10 seconds later. So I backtracked and hit the pavement again, curving gently clockwise around the trees.
I looked up soon after and saw a small skinny snake slithering across the sidewalk, its tongue out.
A mile or so later, around another bend, I looked up to see a deer nonchalantly crossing my path. It was incredible really. A doe, she seemed to not even know she was hanging out at a manmade lake frequented by runners, bikers, roller bladers, walkers. I stopped to watch her go, into the trees on the other side of the trail.
I thought about telling the people just ahead of me, who were headed the opposite direction. If I would have pointed her out, they probably still could have seen her. But I didn't. In a split second, I decided she was my own personal deer.
My run around the small half concluded with two hawks hovering in the sky. At this point, I could see the mansion that signaled how near I was to the busy street again, how close I was to modernization, civilization.
I saw no acts of nature on the bigger, more populated half of the lake. Mostly rich west Omaha women too dressed up to actually be exercising.
But that was OK. The run was good, if long, and I'd seen the deer. That counted for a lot.