Concentric ice circles in a forest pond

Concentric ice circles in a forest pond

You know that scrunched-up exhausted shoulder-achy feeling you get when you’ve stared at the computer too long?  Especially when it’s work-related. Let’s say you’re figuring out numbers to put in an Excel spreadsheet and you’ve been staring fixedly at the application for an hour or two or three.  And your eyes suddenly feel blurry and your head aches and you suddenly feel like you can’t spend another minute working…

Everyone knows what to do, right?  GO OUTSIDE!  Don’t listen to your boss (unless, of course, going outside will get you fired.  Then you might want to reconsider.)  Don’t listen to your own Mind complaining “it’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s too windy, it’s too rainy, I don’t want to, there’s nothing to do…”  Don’t listen to weathermen or forecasts, husbands or partners, children or pets.  Just open the door and go outside.

This comes with a set of instructions.  Your instructions are thus:  you must allow your feet to lead you where THEY want to go.  Do not allow the Mind to set the perimeters.  The Mind will say something like “Go to Starbucks” or “Go get a pistachio ice cream cone”.   Ignore.  Instead, follow the feet. 

The feet led me to all sorts of interesting sights today.  (I kind of thought we’d be going across the road, but you never know for sure until you’re there.)  The first thing that took my breath away were the concentric circles in the ice.  How gorgeous.

Perfect circle of green moss barely dusted with snow

Perfect circle of green moss barely dusted with snow

Then followed the above photo of green moss.  I brushed away the excess snow, just lightly.  I swear fairies lingered nearby.  You could hear their wings.  Unless those were chickadees or red poles fluttering nearby.  But everyone knows the fairies use these moss-circles for their own mystical purposes.  I can’t presume what.

Yellowed oak leaves in a cluster

Yellowed oak leaves in a cluster

I swear you can’t walk a half dozen feet without finding something absolutely intriguing.  Of course, anything that’s beneath the melted snow is fascinating. You wonder how it survived the winter.  You wonder what you shall find in six steps. You know you will discover something…because the feet have wisdom that bypasses all our plans and ideas.

Walking north, and then east, and then meandering south (yes, falling in snow-covered frozen mini-ponds, at least three times.  But the water never crested the boot top, so it was OK.)  Suddenly, a six foot circle of matted deer fur appeared.  Hmmm….  I surveyed the area for bones.  For clues.  This looked like too much fur for a deer sleepover.  This looked like…winter-kill.

What, you may ask, is winter-kill?  It’s a sad fact that many of the animals don’t survive the long winters here.  They starve, they are hunted for prey, they die.  When the snow melts, their remains lie on the forest floor.

Deer hind feet

Deer hind feet

The carcass was still quite bloody and raw.  I am sparing you the photo.  (although I know just who among you readers would love to see the entire carcass.)  Other animals will probably nibble the bones for marrow during the next week or so.  Later on in April we might see a curvature of bone, matted hair and a couple hooves.  That’s all.

Would you like a final overview shot, a larger view of the landscape through which the feet hiked?  So you can fathom what the forest looks like this time of year.  Although all the sections of the forest are so different:  every section unique.

The woods

The woods

Well I hope your work-related breaks prove as interesting.  I’m back to crunching numbers now, but they’re almost done for tomorrow’s meeting.  Goodbye!

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