I decided to take the long way home, just to get out and about a little. The animals have started moving about more, large herds of deer and flocks of turkeys crossing the fields and feeding even right up near the road. Traveling the back roads took me around an Amishman, long gray beard flowing over his shoulder as he rattled along in a tiny cart pulled by a fractious horse; past snow-draped fields with the remnants of cornstalks showing, half-frozen creeks, gray silos standing guard over red barns and rutted lanes, and critters everywhere. On just that one trip home I saw over 200 deer, 150 turkeys, 6 hawks, and one bald eagle. It was warm enough, at 34 degrees, for a native Michigander to ride around with the window down, and I could smell the wet mud scent under the cold, soft scent of the snow, and hear the truck tires swush on the gravel road. The roads were deserted enough that I could come to a full stop in the middle of the road and stare at the eagle circling overhead.
I was still restless when I got home, so I took the old dawg out for a walk, which is always fun, but never more so when there's snow to play in. The number of tracks we saw were amazing - deer, turkeys, rabbits, coon, somebody's undersnow tunnel, and some I couldn't identify - and it was clear, given the dawg's reaction, that each trail of prints left an equal trail of scent.
So the the sun finally tumbled below the horizon, the temperature dipped, and it was time to go inside and light the fire and relax in my chair. The happy, large, hairy, muddy dawg sprawled on the floor in utter disregard for my carpet. Ah well, a happy pet is worth some carpet cleaning, right?
|Even the bits of snow thrown up by the plow leave delicate little tracks.|