shoveling some snow recently, I managed to go from one end of
the driveway to the other.
tracks that could involve dogs, cats, coyotes or others.
saw them all in the snow. Some actually in the driveway. Some
off a bit in the yard. In a few places, the deer tracks seemed
to be forming trails of sorts, with a few sets of prints that
I know have been added to over the past couple of days.
really isn’t a pattern here that suggests any of these visitors
have returned every day. Rabbit track appears on Monday. Another
one on Thursday. Nothing since.
deer tracks? On the day after the snow arrived, they made up three
paths across the yard in slightly different directions. Days later,
those same three paths are in place. But the three paths have
a few extra sets of tracks, though the numbers in each seem to
vary. And now a deer seems to have used the main road to get onto
and off of the edge of the driveway. Still, like the rabbit tracks,
the additions didn’t happen in consecutive overnights.
hesitate to call them coyote tracks, hence the mentioning of dogs
as a possibility, but that’s what they look like. And a news report
recently spoke about safety for pets with coyotes roaming not
too far from our house. Talked on the phone with a friend of mine,
and he seemed to think a wolf was possible as well.
animal tracks aren’t the crazier part of the story though, so
let’s shift a bit.
actually started this essay because of tire tracks. Been moving
our cars to shovel here and there, and also for some random errands
that came up. I moved the cars around in the driveway, and also
left twice to get on the main road, turning in different directions
for different errands.
there are my footprints. Fetching the mail. Bringing the trash
out. Shoveling snow.
well… none of my tracks were made on consecutive days. Whether
by foot or by car, they differ slightly in where they are and
the direction they turn. They are created by different purposes.
am not doing this to suggest that a coyote is moving along to
grab its mail. Don’t want to create the impression I believe a
deer or two are crossing my yard to get some take out. And while
I’d love it if a racoon hopped on by to clear some of the snow
from our driveway—I’d even leave a couple of bucks for its troubles
if it did—I’m not expecting one to stop in immediately after the
next storm clears.
yet, the parallels are there. They make tracks across my yard
to get from point a to point b. If some critters are visiting
nearby corn fields for leftovers… if they have set up a place
for bedding down… the realities are, habits are comforting not
just because they’re familiar but also because they usually have
purpose and reason behind them. This is more protected, this has
better access to food, this has… the elements for survival, whether
us or deer or turkeys or whatever, well, they aren’t as different
as we might want to believe.
the end of my driveway are some tracks. Tracks to my mailbox.
Tracks out into the street and down the road toward the grocery
store. Tracks leading off into the woods. We all have different
things to do, and we all leave some marks when we do.