Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Today we planned to go somewhere. We planned to pick one of the forests on the horizon and walk in it. When the time came to decide we ended up going nowhere. We did not stay still, instead we ignored the far off forests and walked the roads around our home instead. We walked by the snowberries and wind stripped hedges. We stopped by the river and burn and stood in silence. We spotted a dipper in the village river, busy finding food and dipping about in the gravel. We discovered a craft fair and bought a candle that smells of the season. On the way home we made mental notes of the holly trees and planned outings with buckets and scissors in the coming weeks. Then the little man began to stir from within his snug little harness. He raised his head from his little bear suit and made noises that we have learned to mean that he will soon be awake and demanding that all must pamper his needs. We were feeling a little hungry ourselves. Some of the forests far off were still undiscovered but our home was now a little bit more familiar and it was the best of winter days.

cat’s pawprint in snow by hedgeman

An early morning walk revealed some obsessive compulsive behaviour in our cats.  The snow tracks of their nocturnal wanderings showed their preference for the straight edges of things and a desire to frequently turn only 90 degrees.  The snow also gave me an opportunity to look for any fox tracks around the chicken coop.  I am glad to say that only the cat tracks were visible as their tracks momentarily used the coop as part of their geometric games.  Although a large bird had pottered and stood momentarily on the top of the coop.  The size of the tracks makes me think it was probably a rook.  Would a sparrow hawk have such big feet?  Would an owl choose such a perch?  Most likely an early morning rook.

Later that morning I stood by the window and sipped Saturday caturday coffee while watching the feathers flutter and fight around the bird feeders.  I was glad to see a new Robin join the ranks as the last one had become cat food.  Then I suddenly saw something that made me gasp.  There in the snow in the yard were the prints of a bird the size of which I had never seen in a garden.  I was perplexed.  What kind of bird could possibly make those prints?  A Raven?  A Heron?  With unhidden enthusiasm I shared the mystery with the lovely Sharon.  Without even giving me a moments thought she reminded me that I had let the chickens out earlier.  She took the wind from my sails and I spoke no more.  Scunderred.