Saturday, January 24, 2009

Walking in a winter wander-land...

In our cove at Killian Knob, we walk, and we point to tracks. There, tire tracks where a tourist started up and then had to turn around...the tracks abruptly stop and I can imagine the terror of the tourist as they contemplate what to do, then deciding to just give up and turn around, park down and walk up; slip-slidy steps. Or, the sliding SUV tracks for the tourist who decides to try to make it up the steep part of the road-oops-tracks in the ditch.

There is the bunny tracks, then the tracks that follow it.

There is blood on the snow, just a little.

The bear tracks that morning.

We see a pair of feline tracks and those tracks go up almost every driveway in the cove--GMR calls it our "Security Cat" of the cove. We laugh.

Deer leave delicate musings.

A soft white feather is frozen; it looks like a strange snowflake, it's feather tips pointing to a blazing blue sky full of crystals.

Our tracks - big ones, smaller ones, doggie ones.

Fat lazy Labrador paw and snout tracks here, there, here there, here there, here there.

Some of the tracks disappear over the edge and towards the creek where the water is cold and icy. Some disappear and maybe forever.

We pause at human prints. Who? Who is walking in our cove? Go Home, we sometimes say, even though we know we shouldn't. If the tourist is loud and leaves lights blaring, we glare at their footprints. If the tourist is respectful of our mountain quiet and dark, we fondly say, "Oh, look, they took a walk." Sometimes there is a commotion in the snow - dogs or children or adults playing, rough-housing, having the time of their lives --maybe up from Florida - waking astounded by snow snow snow!

Sometimes, the tracks are unknown - we peer at them closely...what is that? That's feline, but large, or, that's canine and large and hungry and hunting.

Once, half a rabbit - luckily the upper half. We hurried on, sure we'd interrupted something's meal. We imagined eyes watching, waiting for us to move on...hurry...hurry.

A leaf frozen in a cup with a tiny frozen lake inside for tiny unseen skaters to fly upon.

One perfect snowflake with all its points showing upon Fat Lazy Labrador Jake's black coat.

A headless snowman the tourists' kids fashioned and then abandoned for Florida's sand sculptures.

A shiver of pleasure - the cold is not so bad. the cold clears the head. the cold is a part of the mountain winter. the cold brings snow and fireplace fires and hot chocolate and mittens on grown women and scarfs flying behind as multi-colored flags and furry boots and breath that can be seen and it is good.

Icicles pearl on branch.

Ice sculpture at the drainage pipe -making the ugly breathtaking.

Our tracks lead home to the little log house. We were THERE they say...and there! Our tracks announce our walk. Our tracks fall away and then lead back.

one tiny set of tracks hurries to safety.

Security Cat knows all.
(PS - one set of tracks I forgot - and until I was vacuuming and saw the little lost forgotten tuft of fur; well, she reminded me - my old girl's ghost tracks. How she loved her mountain walks...)


Angie Ledbetter said...

Brrrrrrrr! Hope you are all keeping warm! (Does Jake hate the cold as much as baby Bandit?)

Jessica said...

You're such a good writer! :-) Very nice post.

Small Footprints said...

As usual ... you paint such a vivid picture with your words. I could feel the brisk air ... see the tracks ... feel it!

Thank you for sharing your winter walk with us!

Small Footprints

Walker said...

The only tracks i like to see are the ones from the plough.
I have walked the woods around here after a snowfall and its a comfort to know there is something else alive out there and with luck those tracks don;t belong to a hungry bear.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi y'all! happy saturday Angie, SF, Jessica, and Walker!...*smiling* ...

And Jake HATES the cold, Ang!

(thank you jessica and SF- it only sounds good because of the beauty here - I could just write: Mountain and that would be the most beautiful thing - because that image of the mountain would be in your head! I can't go wrong! *laugh*)

Anonymous said...

Great visuals Kat. I have never spent a winter in the snow. It probably makes it hard to go to work everyday cause you might miss something.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi Oren! So glad to see you here *smiling*

Debbie said...

It is beautiful. "Mountain" would not be beautiful:)
I love the crisp snow and seeing all the little signs of life that have been through.

Kathryn Magendie said...

*smiling* - it's really a wonderful place to be. serene.