I went for a run tonight up in Lake County near my freelance job. Started out just after sunset and used the Des Plaines River Trail. It’s an easy, wide, well-groomed, white gravel biking trail that runs 27 miles north all the way to the Wisconsin state line through the Lake County Forest Preserve. I used a one mile section of the trail that mostly stays on the grounds my employer maintains.
There was a light rain tonight and thick, low clouds that drooped over the tree tops and reflected back plenty of the orange phosphorous light that glowed from the well-lit parking lot. A permanent, pre-dawn aura lingered as I ran back and forth a few times along my mile. I had a flashlight, but could see well enough without it.
The animals were out enjoying the rain shower. Huge frogs that played chicken with me or dared to sit perfectly still and pretend that I couldn’t see them. Little bats fluttering about just overhead enjoying mouthfuls of evening insects. A huge, beautiful crane that soared over the path in front of me, which I could only see silhouetted against the copper-reflecting clouds. A skunk that, gratefully, I saw shambling along the side of the road in the half-light before he had time to see me or get annoyed with my presence. The ducks that slept in a group on a pond that rippled near the cut of the trail.
Explosive bursts of light ripped across the sky far away in front of me more than once, and then, a dozen seconds later, a rolling rumble of telltale thunder played out like a lazy timpani solo, much like summer thunder tends to do when the days are still long and the nights are steamy.
The miles pass by slower in the dark, but sometimes they are more pleasant in the night when they linger on that way.