Saturday 8 February 2014. Making and Reading Tracks

This morning at 6:45 it was 10 degrees F and cloudy. Another thin layer of new snow covered the streets and the piles (seven more inches, I believe, since last week) of older recent and much older snow.

Had not repaired Blue’s problem (the gears spin instead of making the wheel turn). And actually, today wanted to be at and see Meadowbrook Park more than necessarily biking there. So kind of cheated this morning by loading Rhododendron in the car and driving to Meadowbrook. Heard that the paved path was plowed so it couldn’t be too hard of a ride. And there would be no cars to worry about.

Felt closed in and a little sad to pass the familiar sights from the car. Was not about to stop the car for photos. But did notice that a few tenacious old (what could be under their skin?) apples still clung to “my” apple tree.

Today got an angle of the “wonky Christmas tree” that made me think of going into Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (revolved half-moon pose).

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Liked the snow on the exposed tree roots hanging over and log across icy McCullough Creek. Davis Creek was not flowing visibly, though it may have been moving under the ice and snow.

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Felt a little less connected to the landscape for getting there by car, and maybe that I could just have walked, but soon was in the groove. There actually was a coating of packed snow and ice in places under the dusting of new snow, so felt like I was getting snow-riding experience.

It was interesting that even with all the snow that had fallen, the prairie was not very white; the darker vertical elements (grass and forb remains) were evident.
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Wondered whether there might be deer about, and just then my eye was caught off to the right by what looked like several white dish towels being thrown in the air at different times: the “flag” tails of aptly-named white-tailed deer. No photos, alas.

A little farther down the path got a shot of a group of tree trunks by Davis Creek that suggested to me the word “enclave.”
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Near the Marker statue, on the path, was a record of the movements of chicken-like (presumably pheasant) feet in the new snow.

20140208-083935.jpg Could not tell quite what had happened, but the prints did suggest some sudden activity, two birds interacting? Was reminded a little of diagrams of football plays.

Farther along were plenty of deer prints but didn’t photo them: they didn’t call up any particular mystery.

What did call up mystery were the dog-like tracks with no human tracks near them. There were at least two animals; got a shot of their paths criss-crossing.

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Were they coyotes, which are well-known to be at Meadowbrook? Maybe they were just a couple of neighborhood dogs out for a stroll. Actually had no confidence in my ability to tell whether the tracks were made by coyotes or dogs, even though I watched two dogs make tracks that I examined afterward.

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Was starting, off and on, to get cold feet and hands and was glad of not having to bike home in the cold, I’m a little embarrassed to say. Thought it funny how I’ve been able to layer and be comfortable walking or shoveling, even in the sub-zero temps we’ve been having, but biking and taking pictures just leaves me cold, so to speak, ha, ha, only literally, of course!

Even with the cold could not (or would not–what is the difference?) resist a wide shot of old prairie clover.

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Also caught some lovely dark, danglingBaptisia pods.

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Was so pleased to be out on the winter prairie, the words: “Happy, happy, happy!” flashed across my mind.

Not tired yet of the snow!

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