Phil and I spent yesterday helping build some trails around the Turtle Drams property. I enjoy the hard work, and was especially enjoying using the "pick n' maddox" for chopping out sapling stumps. So great was my enthusiasm that not until later did my back complain of the damage I had done. Oops. Today, I am enjoying much coffee and Aleve by the mugs-full.
I count any time in the woods as bonus-time. Whether I'm coercing the twins to throw rocks in the creek with me, or cutting trails for work-trade, it's all a worthy excuse. I love being in the woods because I love tracking because I love searching out stories, catching glimpses of wild, mysterious lives, and wondering at the unknowns. I find these partial stories in tracks, in a pile of bones or feathers, in a gap in the woods where a tree or large branch has fallen, in a meadow that was once pasture. Natural succession, fields becoming woodlands which are becoming full forest, leave behind tracks of their own. Pioneer species of plants, restoring disturbed soil, tell a tale of healing after damage. Yesterday we found coyote scat with squirrel remains (bones, teeth, ears) in it, with maggots yet feeding off what remained. Here and there, tiny clues that tell great stories of a web of lives entwined and interdependent.