Close encounters of the javelina (and hilarious) kind

At about 4:30pm Saturday, my husband and I decided to go for a bike ride. Nearly halfway through a 12-mile loop we like to do, my back tire went flat. So Dan rode on ahead to get the car while I started walking.

As I reached a busy four-way stop near the east end of Camelback Mountain, I looked across the street and saw two javelinas rooting around in a wash. I was so surprised to see them that I almost forgot I had a camera in my phone. And as I was fumbling around with my phone, I definitely forgot there were cars in the street. Before I knew it, two lanes of traffic had come to a complete dead stop, with puzzled drivers watching the crazy bike lady in the middle of the street trying to get a picture of the javelinas.

A mom in an SUV rolled down her window, looking at me quizzically. “They’re javelinas!” I shouted. “It’s a real treat to see them!” Another cyclist rode past me saying, “What the…?” He pulled a quick U-turn and followed along as I carefully tried to get closer for a photo.

An older woman in the passenger seat of one car rolled down her window and glared at me. “You know they’re mean, don’t you? They’re vicious!” she lectured.

“I know. I’ll be careful,” I said obediently.

Heading for the storm drain.

The two javelinas got tired of all the attention and disappeared into a storm drain. I ran across the street, assuming they would emerge at the other end. But they were too smart for me. Once they were sure I was out of the way, they came out from the end they’d entered, scampered off through a hedge of oleander and were soon out of sight. I couldn’t wait to share the good fortune of my sighting, so I quickly emailed a photo to my sons in Washington, D.C., then posted it on my Facebook page.

My husband’s 71-year-old aunt has more Facebook friends than I do but spends most of her time playing Farmville, from what we can tell. So I guess she should be forgiven for not understanding that the comment she posted under my javelina picture really belonged  in my photo album, where I’ve uploaded some family pictures. Here’s what she wrote:

“Love the picture. Connie sure looks good. Oh when I look at Dan’s eyes they sure look like his Dad, but his face looks like his Aunt Marilyn.”

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