I feel like a turtle poking its head out to sense the sun and warmer weather after having hid myself in a shell most of the winter–for the past two months to be precise. I’ve had a few times when I’ve been able to run outside, but not many, having to rely on mostly indoor activity or careful hiking/snowshoeing. Even last weekend we had planned to go to Kamloops to visit family, and all three highways were closed that would take us there. We are watching the summit weather to see if we can go tomorrow instead.
Yet, the fickle skies are rainy this week instead of snowy, and the sunshine is peeking through more and more. The overnight temperatures are no longer hovering around freezing or below.
As I begin to plan trail runs, hikes, and camping trips this coming year, I am becoming more and more aware of bears and cougars that are in the area. The animals alone do not worry me. Generally, they keep to themselves. But now they are becoming less frightened of humans. What we’re seeing is an influx of wild animals hanging out in neighborhoods. Just recently a cougar was seen in someone’s back yard nearby, curiously sniffing a pet. This kind of behavior is really not normal. It worries me to be out on the trail, even with my husband. Last fall were an abnormal number of bears seen in our town (500 sightings in September–could be some of the same bear, but that’s a lot).
When wildlife becomes acclimated to people, it’s unsafe and potentially we are too. However, I am always in favor of the animal being rescued and put back into the wild–there are so many places in British Columbia away from civilizations that animals can be.
Regardless of the influx of wild animals where we live, I am looking forward to running outdoors on a regular basis again. And I can now sense springtime in the wind–the early morning treks up to the train station are also now after sunrise. Days are getting longer, and I’m starting to look at garden seeds again!
The featured image is of Cascade Falls in Cascade Park, near where we live. It’s a short but strenuous hike up to this hidden, gorgeous waterfall nearby (in Mission).