morning shuffle around the house on a day off.
Kitchen. Coffee. Fog of sleep still hovering over emerging thoughts
of what to do with the day. Coffee. Coffee. Stare out kitchen
window into the yard. Coffee.
to the side of the fence, two sets of tracks. We had visitors
is a thrilling time around our house. Things happen. Possibly
things that happen year-round. Maybe things only happening on
a chilly January. Interesting nonetheless.
blanket has appeared on the ground. Not much. Perhaps an inch.
Maybe three. Enough.
to walk out back and see some smaller tracks that show something
was wandering along the side of the new shed. Yes, that side.
The side where the bottom edge is slightly raised off the ground
as a result of leveling out the structure. And enough to see that
while within about three feet of darting underneath, the guest
decided otherwise and left.
to step into the driveway and see a few very small tracks running
along the edge, and yet not under any of the cars.
to see—while inspiring a good laugh—that some potential company
crossed the main road, reached the edge of the drainage ditch
that lines the frontage of our home, and took a wonderful tumble
down the slope to the bottom. (And then scampered off toward a
tree, took a turn, and raced through the yard into the brush out
tracks are all over. Much easier to see in the snow. Much easier
to follow a complete journey.
in the yard. All sorts of stories spread out along the ground
underneath. Stories of feeding on dropped seed. Stories of settling
in after a meal. Stories of some disturbances. (Perhaps fights…
the summer… throughout the year… we’ve seen a little of everything
out in the yard. Turkeys. Skunks. Geese. All out there, before
our eyes. Deer. Rabbits. Chipmunks and squirrels and more. Even
went outside one evening with a flashlight, turned, and caught
a deer about thirty yards away staring at me. Seen enough to provide
some background and context for the tracks around the property
today. It’s an active playground.
moon a short time ago. Snow on the ground. Amazing how the world
can be illuminated. Nature is a marvelous thing. That snow seems
to change the world. Puts things on display in fascinating ways.
we first moved into this house, I had zero clue about snow fences.
I didn’t know what they were. I didn’t know how they worked. I
didn’t know how to pick one out… set one up… even pick a decent
location for placing it. We have one now.
become much more aware of drifting snow thanks to that fencing.
Fascinated by it in some ways over the past three winters. That
shed is doing similar things to me this year, as drifts curl around,
piling high on one side with ground visible on another.
then there are those tracks.
enough to ever believe we have a trail, or frequented passage,
running across our property. No. We’re not that popular. But enough
to say the night isn’t as quiet as you might imagine when pulling
up the covers and settling in for some sleep. There is activity
part of me wants to see some prints near a window. Not in some
dangerous voyeur or strange peeper way. Not human footprints.
But a deer or two… say outside the living room. (“Hey Bob. What
you got there? Cookies? Watching some Big Bang Theory?
Nice.” (I know. And you’re not wrong in thinking that.))
world moves along, even when we pull down the curtains. We close
up shop around the house… lock the doors and close the blinds…
and the yard is still busy. I don’t want to learn that something
has built a den under my shed, but the idea that we’ve got peaceful
surroundings that seem to invite the occasional visit… well… with
a cup of coffee in my hand, and a full day ahead of me, that discovery
feels pretty good.