by Martha Moya
I’m a walker. I love to walk. I’ve walked over 25 half-marathons. Walking is my pace. And while you runners are out there zipping past me and our City, I wonder if you see what I see.
Did you know that there is a baobob tree in the traffic circle on Hardee in Coral Gables? I wonder how many runners pass this tree and never notice the spectacular blooms on this tree each May. What a really unusual sight.
While passing the Kampong on Main Highway in Coconut Grove, do you notice the kapok tree when in bloom and covered in pink? Or how the seed pods burst open when they fall on the sidewalk and release a white cottony material? It looks as though cotton balls have been spread all over the ground. It’s quite a beautiful sight. The kapok tree – or ceiba as our latin friends call it – is famous for the use of its silky fibers in life jackets on our airplanes back in the early days. It is a very buoyant material.
I can’t write this blog without mentioning the view of the sunrise as you walk past the marina in Coconut Grove or along the tall bridge on the Rickenbacker Causeway. My walk slows and I may even pause to really take in the view every time we train along these courses. It’s another lovely view. The view from the bridge when the moon is full is something else. The reflection on the water is picture perfect and really worth slowing down for.
A final thing to see is really curious. Under the Metrorail track across from Einsteins Bagel on US1 there are some green plants. I think they are arums. They look like lilies without the blooms. In February or March you can see the smaller half inch black nymphs all over the leaves. Each week as we pass these plants, we can see these critters growing and developing. The final insects are called lubbers, which are very large 2 and a half to 3 inch grasshoppers with wings. They are very colorful yellowish green with orange markings and very destructive. By the time they have matured most of the plants have been consumed!
All of this observing doesn’t improve our finish time but it sure as heck keeps us entertained! What odd sights have you seen while training?