Saturday, December 13, 2008

Traces

Great Blue Heron flying over Field

The pond and all around it are still on this frosty morning, glazed with the thinnest of crystals. Lace on the deep and dark, cold water.

From the bank, a heron flies off, never trusting of me to approach without its hurried leaving. Its long legs dragging gracelessly behind as it wrestles against gravity--then slowly overcomes it to circle widely out over the field.


The deer have left their footprints along these paths, too, the ground softer now, and badly tunneled by moles.

What little rain we have gained has barely added a drop to the basin, the edge of the water still falling far short of the cut of the land. In several places along the trail, small locusts show the rubbings of antlers.
They stand, barely alive--mangled uprights, the bark now hanging in shreds.

It all seems so empty on this cold, colorless day.

As if those who visit here are all absent, tucked away somewhere in more warmth. Safely nestled in dens and burrows.
Or flown south.
Because all I find are traces.





I found this well-trod trail leading from the barn, under long grasses, to the field.
Whose might it be?

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9 comments:

cestoady said...

Thoughtful photo -essay from nature that reminds us that we too leave traces -- of a different sort -- to remind others that we existed once -- or passed this way.

bobbie said...

The wild creatures are smarter than we. They stay hidden and safe and warm, while we trudge along, bundled in our coats and boots.

Mary said...

Thoughtful post, Nina. We wonder who traveled the path. It's usually a mystery!

Rurality said...

I love that little tunnel entryway! I can imagine a little rabbit scooting through there.

nina said...

It could any of several barn inhabitants: raccoon, oppossum, woodchuck--who knows?
And rabbits and skunks are in the yard, too.
And muskrats!
(maybe I should set up a stake out?)

hitch writer said...

nice photos... just illustrates how diverse this world is... here in indore, india its only dusty with roads being made everywhere ... and so much more serene and empty out there...

Naturegirl said...

Nina your words like poetry drawing me in..wanting more!
The damage from the antlers!! amazes me!

RuthieJ said...

Oh Nina, I think you need a trail camera! Wouldn't it be cool if that was a fox den?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Another mystery to be solved. A funny thing, I found an obvious nest of a big animal in the leaves up by our house. I got to thinking I would sneak out with my camera at night and try for a picture of the big beast that was getting cozy up by our house. I worked around the garden some then looked over to that spot and my dog was lieing in the nest. When I looked at her she got up and rearranged the leaves as if to say this is my bed you are not invited. I cracked up at myself for thinking some wild animal was sleeping there at night. I guess we don't let Luna inside fast enough some nights so she made her a cozy bed outside.