Snow Prints

The ground is now covered with a thick blanket of snow. On Monday, almost two feet of snow fell over the course of 24 hours. Before that deep snow, we had a thin glaze of white over the ground. It changes the whole landscape–makes everything look new but also creates mysteries. You can see without a trail camera who has been visiting. I’ve been reading the prints that gather down by the pond. Deer hooves are unmistakable; deer are common guests.

The other day I noticed a unique set of neat paw prints loping carefully through the snow. You could see that the animal was trying to step in its own tracks, which caused me to be perplexed for a few moments before realizing what was happening. A long string of neat oval canine prints, the x in its print very clear, and when they paused once or twice you could see the claws. Definitely canine, and, by the size of them, I guessed coyote. Then, at one point, the prints just stopped. I looked everywhere, but I couldn’t see where the prints started again. It was as if the animal had just disappeared.

I know it didn’t disappear, but I like to think that somehow impossible things are possible. I wake up early, around five a.m., and I like to look out the windows before I turn on any lights. It always looks mysterious at that hour. Recently, I looked out the back kitchen door to see the full moon setting, huge and golden, the wolf moon settling into silver clouds that hovered on the horizon. Usually I can hear a lonesome train’s whistle in the distance, trundling by.

Since I’ve seen those paw prints, I’ve been scanning the woods instead of the sky–I can see pretty far in the winter as we are on a hill, and I can look straight into the woods. The snow makes everything stand out. I can now see the ground clearly, where I couldn’t before. The sky is usually that pre-dawn winter blue, muted and unreal, and I look for a coyote or fox slinking through the white snow. A shadow slipping through the woods disappearing into the mountain. I scan the cold white ground that is lined with trees, hoping to catch a glimpse of something furtive, something secret. But I never do.

Notes:

This is cool: The Mycelium Project. I would like to make and live in a house made out of mushrooms.

The Attention Economy. I feel my attention span has really deteriorated in the past year. I’m trying to work on it.

Saving this for later: Music to Save Earth’s Songs.

  1. Love the picture with the shadows and the snow prints. Winter mornings are so magical and I love your description of the full moon setting. You got a lot of snow!!! (We “only” got 10 inches from that storm. We’re getting a little more today…)

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