Sunday, March 2, 2014
Winter's Harsh Grip
Winter continues to hold us somewhat captive. The good news for us is that the current storm will pass well South of here. Usually I am able to work outside at this time of year. Now deep snow makes it impossible to bring the necessary tools to the job site. Desperate for some time in the fresh air, I tried a walk. A thin crust tops the snow but it will support me only now and then. Most steps end in a jarring sink into the crystalline snow. Both knees and hips do not favor this mode of travel. Still, I am determined to have a walk about.
Leaving the house, I headed uphill in plain sight. Twice before I reached the crest, I had to stop and rest. Standing there bent over for longer than a moment, I looked like I might be in trouble. Becky was watching. She expected me to turn and return to the house. Unsteady steps took me closer to the ridge but then I had to stop again. When I finally disappeared from view, Becky set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes. If there was no return by then, she was going to come looking for me. Time passed and I did not return. Since my destination was the mail box she started walking in that direction down our clear driveway. Imagine my surprise when I saw her at the top of the lane. Her stance clearly indicated that I was in trouble and she was smart enough to have a walking stick with her.
The fallen deer is between our perimeter road and the county road. Two mobile homes occupy land near the county road. Their residents heard nothing during the night when the coyotes took the deer. Needless to say, I was shocked to find the kill that close to people. Usually these grizzly scenes are located nearer the distant edges of our land. We have not seen recent signs that the coyotes were nearby and we have not heard them. Our present crusted snow supports the coyotes as they move effortlessly across its surface. The pointed feet of a deer now penetrate the snow with every step. This difference made it an easy kill for the coyotes. And still I continue to take solitary walks armed only with my confident smile, a determined attitude and the camera.