Sunday, June 12, 2005

A tale of two animals

I went for a spin on my bike today and ended up in a place called Port Stanley, a beach resort along Lake Erie's shores about 50 km from my house. Never mind the air was so hot, humid, and thick with visible smog that I had trouble breathing almost from the moment I first cleared the city limits. It was still good to be outside.

On the way down, a Very Large Dog - let's repeat these words, as this canine was massive - came running across the ditch and chased us down the road. Thankfully, motorists nearby - the road was a 2-lane regional highway with an 80 km/h speed limit - saw what was happening and stopped their vehicles to watch the frightened cyclists . Yes, it was a stupid dog, but an even dumber owner. The dog could have just as easily been mowed down by an 18-wheeler. I was tempted to find the owner and yell, but you never know what people will do when you decide to altert them to the error of their ways. So we - we were a group of three riders - let it go.

On the way home, we stopped by a horse pasture for a water break. Surprisingly, its two residents trotted over to us to say hello. The friendlier one of the two sniffed my bike, then nuzzled my arm and generally endeared himself to me forever. We obviously didn't speak each other's language, yet somehow I figured I was connecting with this amazingly majestic creature. A lovely moment at a time when I otherwise felt like melting.

Your turn: If you're enduring the heat, how are you coping? Does all-enveloping smog scare you as much as it scares me?

11 comments:

Ms Mac said...

Yes, smog does scare me but I've never really had much dealings with it, thankfully.

I have the same trouble with Swiss dogs but they're tiny and when they ruin infront of me when I'm on the bike I think they'll get stuck in the spokes!

Christine said...

When we lived in Seattle and Denver, smog was a part of our lives. I remember seeing that brown cloud hovering low over the city. It is disturbing, isn't it!

Here in Wyoming, it isn't a problem. (One of the many reasons we love it here!)

Terry said...

I moved to BC! I've been breathing easier ever since Carmi. It was well worth it (after a decade in the big smoke it was time).

Mark A. Rayner said...

Yes, I'm not a fan of poor air quality. However, now that I know you went for a long bike ride and lived to tell of it, I'm going for my jog tonight! (I've missed not running the past three days.)

Stationery Queen said...

50 km? I can't go around the block without stopping for a rest! You're putting me to shame!

How am I coping? By counting down to my beach vacation in 13 days.... 12 days, 9 hours and....

thequeen said...

Smog is nasty stuff! Horses on the other hand are wonderful creatures, they are very social animals and love to make new friends!

Heather said...

I stay inside or in the pool! It is VERY hot in West Texas!

janie q said...

we have a/c so we hide indoors. my three kids and i all have asmtha, so this is a terrible time of the year. it was so humid earlier, not sure if it was haze or smog, but almost impossible to breathe outside, that's for sure.

L said...

I am sweating buckets in the heat down here.... ugh.

and the heat wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the humidity :(

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Heat: nope, we are having a miserable cold summer so far here in central England, I was thinking about putting the heating back on last night. Smog: very scary, particularly as I'm asthmatic; first in my family, developed while living in London (UK). Much better since I moved out. For that and many other reasons, I never want to live in a city again.

mike said...

Carmi, coming back from the north shores of Newfoundland last week to this was certainly scary and disappointing. When you can taste the air, that's not a good thing. I went on several bike rides too in the time before the heat broke on wednesday night. And now 17C is just fine by me!