The Heat is Making Me Loony

Well, the weather conditions that have been hammering the southwest has made it to the Midwest. Heating up outside which is a bit of an issue. If there was one notable impact on the running front from the 6 weeks with my mother it was in my body’s thermostat. I need ease into hot runs or my thermostat will easily “panic”, immediately dumping fluids to prevent another heat stroke incident (link here). Took a while to retrain the thermostat after that and then wrecked it all again with the heat exhaustion episode (link here) years later. Now I have to be even more careful in high temps and the conditioning takes even longer.

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

Forced to jump started in the heat, opted to go with shorter more frequent runs starting before the temps reached critical level. All was going well until yesterday when I was sabotaged. It had stormed overnight and the humidity caused fog conditions in Jubilee State Park (7:45am). Started sweating the minute I stepped out of the truck. Checked watch, temps still in the low 80s so set out at a controlled pace. Besides the damn Horsefly sorties over my head, all was good until about mile 4 when things went loony. Out from the woods comes a rabbit (note, this one was normal sized). It hops in front of me, points into the woods and yells “Look, a talking Squirrel!”. So I look ‘cuz, well, who doesn’t want to see a talking Squirrel. Unbeknownst to me, a Raccoon comes riding up on a skateboard and throws a stick down in front of me. Foot lands on stick, ankle goes “marbles” then “frosted flakes” followed by a wave of pain. Disgust came over me knowing exactly what happened and then turning to see the Raccoon laughing so hard it falls off the skateboard which then manages to jump the curb and hit the Rabbit in the chest – serves them right!

Hit the jump – I promise I’ll eventually get to the meat of the post ha!

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

… bu not just yet…. Runners (especially trail runners) treat their ankles with upmost care. Depending on the severity, you can find yourself anywhere from a 1 week to 6 month recovery. Over the years, I’ve developed my own pain barometer (that stupid smiley face scale can suck it).

  1. Snapper fireworks – just like the lame firework pop, not much worry, likely just released some trapped air in the joint – continue running
  2. Marbles smacking together – eh, that one’s gonna sting for a while, continue running and it should push out the swelling
  3. Frosted Flakes cereal crunch – okay, that isn’t good. it’s gonna need ice, probably a couple of days rest and hopefully some sympathy from the wife. Damage is done, might as well run it off, but don’t stop until you reach your car or you’ll be crawling the rest of the way.
  4. Sledgehammer – a hard thud on outside of ankle that at first feels like nothing and then you find yourself reliving the end of Old Yeller. The twist was so bad you plowed your ankle into the ground. Likely not able to bear weight, the hobble of shame is on tap and weeks of wobble board exercises on the menu.
  5. The whap of a retracting sun shade. Luckily NEVER experienced this and makes me shudder when I think of it. This would be the dreaded Achilles rip. Find the closest Deer, have it grab a wet Possum in its hoof and smack you across the face as hard as it can. If that doesn’t knock you out, at least the shock of experiencing the sting of a Possum slap will dampen the excruciating pain in the ankle. Note, this is one of the very few times, Linda is allowed to hit me over the head with a frying pan.

WARNING: the Life Intrigued lawyers insist I mention this scale is not approved or endorsed by the medical profession. They do, however, conceded it IS better than the stupid smiley face scale.

Applied the assessment, no time to stop and give those pesky critters a talking too. Ran the remaining mile or so back to the truck, noted the baseball size swelling and headed home totally pissed off. In light of all this craziness, decided it was time to finally feature this bird (see, told you I would get to it).

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

Yep, the Common Loon. This particular specimen comes to you from Kentucky Lake. We were on our way to Dauphin Island back in April of 2021, when we decided to stopover at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreational Area. There is a dam there along with large bodies of water making for good birding opportunities. I also like to watch the people bow fishing there – never tried it, but looks like a lot of fun.. or incredibly frustrating. Beyond the 30+ Great Blue Herons hanging out on the rocks there wasn’t much to shoot. Took the really nice bike path they have there and found a nice section of backwater I wasn’t familiar with. Not much there either, so headed to an area we found on our last visit.

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

There is a somewhat hidden road that takes you to a picnic area right on the lake. The road starts out paved, but then quickly turns to gravel/dirt as you make your way through the trees. We keep our fingers crossed no one decides to come out at the same time or we’ll be holding a tight line to keep from going over the nasty shoulder drop off. Lucked out again, and made it without issue. As soon as we came to a stop, I noticed this Loon come to the surface with a prized catch.

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

It took forever for that Loon to get that Fish under control. It kept slapping it on the water, letting it go just slightly and then grabbing it back up again trying to get it situated between its bill. Slap on water, release, grab, wiggle it a bit and then repeat. I wish I could relay how the actual consumption went, but a juvenile Eagle went flying by and I took the time to get a few shots of it. Turned back probably 5 seconds later and no more Fish! That was a bummer.

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

Took a few more shots and was getting ready to head back to the RV when it starting looking around – almost agitated. Left, right, and then up. All of sudden it starting rocking way back in the water – I swear that Fish was trying to get out.

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

I might have missed the Loon downing its dinner, but maybe I could get a Fish cannon. Slowly it rocked back some more and then started rising out of the water.

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

The wings came out, the neck extended straight up….

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

… and in that Loony shrieking clown call screams out “I’m the king of the world”.

Common Loon found at Kentucky Lake in April 2021

Okay, I did not expect that at all. I know, I know, you wanted to see that Fish come flying out didn’t you ha! A talking rabbit, a talking Loon and then a projectile Fish vomit in the same post – now that’s just plain crazy.

Update: Just a quick note. I was able to get the swelling down in my ankle by this morning. Was feeling pretty good about it until this afternoon I walking down the two steps to our garage and landed wrong on it – full Sledgehammer – whatever tendons had survived the devious Raccoon are officially toast. I swear I heard a Chipmunk chuckle. SO PISSED #@$!%!#$%!#$%!#%@#$!!!

Stay cool everyone.

28 thoughts on “The Heat is Making Me Loony”

    1. That scale has been honed over many many years ha! (I also have one for a number of other vulnerable body parts). You are right, lone crazy loon acting quite loony! Thanks for dropping in Timothy.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Common what? It’s a Great Northern Diver! Wish you colonials would learn the proper bird names not make up something stupid because you lost the books we gave you 🙄

    Nice bird B. Only ever seen them in winter/juv plumage in this part of the world. Watched one once in a harbour (note correct spelling) trying to swallow a large flat fish, hilarious!

    As for the ankle, well, as I keep telling you when you get injured it’s natures way to tell you to slow down. We ain’t no spring chickens any more! 😎

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      1. Yes! Thanks for the support CJ. I had to wonder if you were looking over my shoulder when I was prepping for this post – I jumped over to read your email and chuckled when I saw the Loon reference. I will say, if you can fall asleep to their calls, then you must not be afraid of clowns hehehe.

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    1. Ha, those books were either lost on the way over the pond or thrown into the harbor with the rest of the tea! I don’t go into my career much here, but I will say I spent a majority of my time dealing with manufacturing plants all over the world. As you would expect, I also reported directly to managers across the globe (ex: Belgium, France etc,) and had coworkers based in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, Brazil, India etc. Wanna know what drove me absolutely crazy – that DAMN ‘U’ some of them kept tainting their words with. They’d send me a presentation and the built in spell checker would constantly complain and when I made ones for them I’d have to waste time adding them back in so they felt “included”. The horror, the horror. Sounds like you have been listening to Linda on the injury front. I have to constantly remind her that I have to run to keep the crazies away – injured or not, Bri’s gotta run or I’ll be sleeping with those chickens hehehe., Thanks for dropping in B!

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  2. Very sorry about the ankle. At least no box fans were involved.
    And yes, while reading along, I too was waiting for a fish cannon. Maybe next time. Almost sounded like an exorcism of sorts was going to be required.
    Heal quickly.

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    1. Eh, life of a runner – something always on the mend, just pray there’s a nonsurgical path to recovery. It is still tender and the swelling hasn’t gone done yet, but I did get an easy 5 miles out of it today on the road – will probably be a week before I test it on the uneven trails. Happened to eat out with some friends last night – one happens to be an ankle surgeon and she gave me some things to try that should help prevent this from happening as much in the future. Sorry to disappoint on the fish cannon – I really thought it was going to happen. Take care – how’s Jan’s recovery coming along?

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      1. Much better, though now her “good” knee (same leg) is bothering her. A Cortisone shot a week ago helped tremendously, but she keeps running on it. She’s out there right now! No clowns or box fans to worry about in our neighborhood though. Of course, I already did my bike ride and downed the appropriate levels of Ibuprofen (can’t use brand names here can we?) and am trying to keep cool during another week of high 90’s temps.
        Hope your non-surgical recovery is successful. But if you keep insist on running with swelling . . . Was one of the preventions suggested to stop running? 🙂
        We both just need to make it to our vacation in August. And I need to be able to carry the large glass to see how much of the homework you gave me I can complete. Or just change metadata on prior shots to suffice.

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        1. I have no problems with name brands – especially if you are calling out a poor service or under-performing product! Always hesitant to take the Aleve’s and the Advils knowing how bad they messed up the kidneys of a fellow ultra runner. That was an extreme case, but I try to shy away form of meds (much to my doctor’s displeasure). One option was to stop running, but …you know, the crazies… I got 5 on it yesterday another 5 on it tonight. It is still swollen, but it is getting better and I can feel it getting a little stronger each time – still supper focused on making sure that foot lands flat and it will turn out pretty easy at the moment. I’m expecting great things from you in August .. maybe a guest post to show everyone what you found.

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    1. You forgot a couple steps – ice, elevation, massage, whine to the running gods, put on running shoes when Linda isn’t looking, run, then repeat hehehehe. How cool on the Bear front – their babies are soooo cute (stay the hell away though). Hoping the hubby got to witness that. Safe travels, we’ll get heading up there in around a month – will keep my camera at the ready.

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  3. So sorry for your injury, Brian. Wishing you a speedy recovery! My mother used to say, “You might as well laugh as cry!” Did you know my mother? She would have been proud of you for writing this entertaining post, especially under the circumstances! ❤

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    1. Thank Cheryl – as the Black Knight says “Tis but a flesh wound”. Mentioned to Brad above, still tender and the swelling is still there, but managed to get an easy 5 mile run on it today (shhhhh, don’t tell Linda) – lungs felt cheated. Sound like your mother was like my father (tears don’t heal). Glad you enjoyed the post Cheryl, take care and have yourself a great week.

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  4. The only visiting Loons we see here in the sub-tropics are in their winter plumage. That’s true for the birds, too.

    So sorry your were viciously attacked by the forest gang. Hoping for a speedy recovery.

    When I was very young, about two-hundred years ago, I stubbed my big toe on a rock. Ever since that tragic incident, I do not run unless it’s to escape something or Gini announces fish for dinner. This has cut down my foot-related injuries a lot. I still have several incidents a year where tooth-marks remain after one of my pedal extremities makes it into my mouth.

    Stay cool!

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    1. Thanks for the well wishes – when I get back to full strength I’m gonna have some words with those varmits! Sounds like you and my middle brother would get along great. He keeps asking for a 0.0 magnet to put on the back of his car. Be careful, without the required training, you might end up pulling something when the fish call goes out. Not a big fish fan, but it is good to know that I can probably run to the next county if someone alerts me to fresh waffles! Appreciate you dropping in Wally and for joining the conversation.

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  5. Oh, I know your pain, and I feel for you! The worst thing ever (perhaps that’s a BIT exaggerated) is not being able to do the things you love due to injury. I enjoyed the king of the world screech. Made me think of Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones’ Diary. Take care of yourself, Brian! 🌞

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  6. Thanks Lisa – it doesn’t do me or Linda any good when I can’t run off the crazies. I do tend to heal quickly (if not, I have uncanny ability to ignore it ha). Got an easy 5 miles in today taking extreme care making sure none of those devious critters snuck up on me. I have to admit, I have not seen Bridget Jones’ Diary so I’ll have to take your word on that one ha! Thanks for coming by Lisa and keep a look out for talking bunnies and squirrels when you are out hiking.

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  7. Oh my goodness, what a story you can tell and you leave us hanging to the end of the page, because I did not want to skip ahead because the story of the loon is just as interesting. I see a book or an animated movie out of this entire page. Seriously, you could have a complete tv series of your daily adventures, with you being the writer of course. Hope the ankle gets better. 🙂

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    1. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring you the Fish cannon…now that would have added some excitement. Not sure I am cut out for the movie industry although some of the stuff coming out from those studios has been absolute crap. Brad M. keeps on my about the book endeavor and I keep resisting having already made one that absolutely devoured every second of free time I had. At least the post approach lets me space the work out a bit ha! Ankle is progressing – hope to get the swelling ran out of it in a couple of days – 5 ginger miles on it Sunday and 5.5 yesterday – still weak and I have to make sure my foot doesn’t land on anything uneven, but it is improving. Take care Sandra – on one of your posts I got the error again when trying to comment, but all the rest seemed to work okay.

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  8. Glad you captured the spread wings of the Loon, really a treat to see. And glad the fish stayed down, wouldn’t want him to lose that find catch. And I’m missing the Fish Cannon… or is it the Fish Canon? Stay flexible!

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    1. Never really had the full visual of all the ornate spotting on their backs and wings before this encounter – most of the time I just seem them floating or diving in the water. I implying that the Loon itself would be the fish cannon if it were to project that fish back out ha. I like the Canon play on words. I’m notorious for my hatred of stretching – one of the many reasons I switched from road to ultras – no need to stretch before heading out as the first miles are ridiculously slow anyway! Might have to do some now to help keep the scar tissue down. Appreciate you coming by Sam!

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