Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Close Encounters of the Animal Kind

On this morning’s run, I encountered deer, rabbits, horses, birds, and cows. As I ran by the Sweetbriar barns, of course a bunch of dogs attacked. Most were up to the usual dog-on-runner tricks but one of them was super-aggressive and it went straight at me—and bit me! Fortunately, his teeth happened to land harmlessly on my watch and I was not injured. Here’s the shameful thing: it was a big white...poodle(!). I’m almost too embarrassed to write it.

But the highlight of the morning happened about 2 minutes into my run. As I headed down the mountain on a back road, who should cross my path but a big black bear. YIKES!!! And he was really close—about 40 yards, which a bear can cover quicker than a sprinter. Clearly escape was impossible, so I waved my arms over my head and clapped and yelled real loud. Fortunately, he crossed the road and into the woods in a bear’s ambling way. I guess the wild blueberries were probably more interesting than my tender flesh...

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