February 2, 2011

Animal Tracks in Snow

First there were the blue heron tracks:


And then others, unidentified, that I have only captured in my mind. What is that, I asked myself. Who is that? When he came by here, what did he find?


When I think about it, of course, the blue heron tracks were not the first. I started noticing these markings when I was a little girl. On deep winter dawns, I'd wake, peek out my window, and see yard, trees, and street completely covered with a pristine blanket of the night's smooth snow--smooth, that is, except for the twice-ovaled trail of some long-gone rabbit who'd hopped from bush to tree trunk to hedge. Human footprints I never liked on those mornings; I wanted the world to stay as quiet and undisturbed as a snow globe. But a rabbit's footprints seemed to me a perfect pairing to that soft, white world. Every time I named her something new--Powderpuff, Dustbunny, Mrs. Lightfoot--already finding characters in a landscape I wasn't old enough to know I loved.


You love the natural world, too?
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2 comments:

  1. "Human footprints I never liked on those mornings; I wanted the world to stay as quiet and undisturbed as a snow globe. But a rabbit's footprints seemed to me a perfect pairing to that soft, white world." This is the exact way I feel when I travel alone through the winter woods (even though I leave a trail of human prints behind me.

    Also your rabbit names all inspire the writing of a childrens story. You might want to try that sometime.

    I really am getting to appreciate how much you can say in just a few words. Wow! It's pretty darned amazing!

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  2. Isn't it funny that when we're young (and maybe even when we're not), we have these moments that seem so singular, so personal, that we can't imagine anyone else experiencing them in the same way? I love learning that you feel similarly about freshly-snowed winter mornings; I bet there are actually quite a few people out there who do. Perhaps it's our collected thought that keeps things pristine--at least for a while. :)

    And yes--a children's book. There are so many stories inside of me, Bill. My guess is that one of them will come to form beside some water-color images. Here's to hoping!

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