The sky was clear blue and light sparkled off the fresh snow. It was a perfect day for a walk in the woods.
Since my daughter and I were traveling on snowshoes it didn’t matter that the forest service hadn’t yet groomed my favorite trail along the river. In no time at all we were moving along; chatting and enjoying our day of freedom.
Sunshine reflected off the water and we could hear the quiet honking of the big trumpeter swans as they slowly swam along. Then my daughter stopped and pointed with her ski pole.
A coyote was making his way over the snow just ahead of us. I fumbled for my camera and got a couple of pictures before he slipped out of sight.
The swans and a few ducks fed in the mossy shallows. They were used to visitors and mostly ignored us as we flopped by leaving yeti-sized tracks.
We followed the river around a bend and again caught sight of the yellow-eyed coyote.
He’d picked out a sunny spot where he could watch the birds and wish for a poultry dinner. The mild winter hadn’t been good to scavengers. Mr. Coyote had a scruffy, lean and hungry look.
He didn’t bother to get up when he saw us go by fifty or so yards away.
Our return trail went by a frozen lake.
We made our way through the purple shadows of the evergreens, laughing and sharing stories.
All the exercise and fresh air made the burgers …
and basket of fries at Big Judds taste even better. When we got back we found that JD had been enjoying his play date with Grandpa so much he’d hardly even missed his mom.