Because of the snow and cold, I have been off from school this entire week and have taken several walks along the seeded logging road that winds across our 38 acres in Botetourt County, Virginia. Elaine, our daughter Sarah, and grandson Sam have accompanied me on some of these half-hour treks.
But in spirit the American poet Robert Frost has also accompanied me. When walking along the snow covered lane, I think about the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," especially the verse "the woods are lovely dark and deep." Indeed, they are.
Yesterday, Sarah and I strolled the pathway as the sun was beginning to set and the night creatures were preparing to stir. We came across a trio of whitetail deer that were about ready to enter a neighbor's pasture. We saw signs of where a fox had rambled through the woods as well as where songbirds had fed, deer had pawed the ground to reach some vegetation, and much, much more.
The sign left by wildlife is always "writ large" upon the landscape if one knows how and where to look. I enjoy trying to decipher the message that the creatures have left behind.