Day 82 – 47.8 km (total – 1863.4 km)

If all humankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago.  If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos. - E.O Wilson

Today was another beautiful day with a bright sun and a cool wind.  There is definitely a routine that comes with each day, but because I am running somewhere new every day, there are always new things to look at!  I suppose it’s the advantage to having a running route for 8 months that never repeats itself.

This afternoon I was chugging along when I noticed a dead coyote on the side of the highway.  I have seen several animals in the past couple of months that were victim to the big cars and trucks of the asphalt.  I stopped and had a moment with the animal – thinking about its life and the tragic end to it.  Even as it lay on the side of the road with its eyes removed from crows and holes in its body from other scavengers, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sadness.  Such a beautiful animal that was brought to an abrupt end by my species.  I began running again and within 100 feet, my stride took me over a dead vole that had obviously been clipped by a car and died on the shoulder.  My stride wasn’t broken for even a moment and it took about half an hour before I processed what I had done.

For some reason, we seem to place different value on certain things in nature more than others.  The sight of a bear will always stir us more than a raccoon.  A warbler will always win the eyes of birders over the common robin.  A moose more than a red squirrel.  And the list goes on.  Part of it might come down to how rare species of plants or animals are… but should that be the indicator of how much we value them?  Most of us have traveled in cars on the highway and if you’ve ever had the experience of hitting a deer, you know it’s not a good one.  For most people, it can be quite heart breaking.  But I don’t think many of us blink an eye at the hundreds of insects that end up dead on our windshields or headlights on a warm summer evening.  Maybe that’s just the way it is.  Maybe it’s something that just doesn’t need to be over analyzed.  But as we attempt to find those connections with nature, to experience the wonder of that web of life, is it worth exploring the value that we attach to the thousands of species that, in essence, help our species survive?

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