Wednesday, December 21, 2011

EARLY RISERS


This time of year it’s not difficult to get up before the sun.   
There was a fresh layer of snow when I went out for a walk 
so I took my camera to see who would be up ahead of me leaving tracks.

These might be dog tracks, but dogs are usually accompanied by people.  
The footprints didn’t follow the path but went in and out of grasses and bushes 
near the golf course where I’d seen a coyote earlier in the year.

The tracks disappeared into the trees by the river which was black and full of floating ice.

A runner had been down the river road ahead of me.  
It was probably our neighbor.  I see him occasionally coming home as I am going out.

Only the call of magpies and chickadees broke the early morning quiet.

Smaller doggish tracks were left in and around grasses not far from where
 I’d seen a mother fox guarding her den in the rocks last spring.

Whatever was making these tracks was probably just ahead of me and left in a hurry.

Even before I could see the small cat-like tracks, 
each back paw falling precisely into the print of the front paw, I could smell a skunk.  
Fortunately the stinker stayed out of sight.

Then I could hear what sounded like cars with loose fan belts 
as the air whistled through the wings of a flock of ducks overhead.

I’m not sure, but with their white chests they looked to me like buffleheads. 
My bird book says, “usually in small flocks on lakes or shallow bays in winter.”

As I was walking by the pond.  The Canada geese were startled by my approach 
and also took to the air.

These tracks were easy to identify.

The owner was just a few feet away…

…and on his way to join his friends for breakfast.

It was no longer dark as I made my way back to the house.  
I’m SO glad after today the length of the days will again gradually begin to grow longer.

8 comments:

Buttons said...

Oh I am so jealous I live in Canada and it is pouring rain. I like snow you have our geese maybe you can send some of your snow. Beautiful pics. Merry Christmas Leenie. I wish I had been on that walk with you. B

Leenie said...

Buttons: Me too!

TexWisGirl said...

neat walk about! :)

Tom G. said...

Lovely photos. Morning snow makes such a peaceful, powder blue world.

When the kids were little I used to take them out into the yard after a snowfall to look for 'Elf Prints' in the snow. Maybe it was an elf that was just ahead of you on the trail, keeping track of naughty & nice children.

Jill said...

Are you sure those weren't Minnie and Micky's tracks followed along by Snoopy? They look so coy there posing with Santa, but who knows what they get up to?

Terry and Linda said...

I love your tracks! I try to see who is walking on the fields when I go out also. Great post! And like you I'm glad the days are growing longer. Although, for two more months, at least, they will grow ever so much colder!

Merry Christmas from Colorado to Idaho!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Pearl said...

How lovely.

No tracks here, my friend. Minneapolis is cold and BROWN, with a light dusting due Christmas Eve...

Pearl

Sarah said...

I enjoyed the virtual snowy walk. I don't think I recognise any animal tracks-maybe cats. I saw a flock of geese fly over yesterday-most impressive though little distracting from driving!