Following animal tracks through the former grape trellis & into the woods, I pass between wire & shadows. The crusted snow tugs at my feet, as if to fix me in place like so many others.
I watch the way things surface & think of a snow-shark rearing a hammer head, or some other cryptozoological prodigy. It’s the shadows more than the sun that pull me uphill. The bright, still morning seems just right for a sighting.
Then on an unused game trail, I almost trip over a loop of new wire staked between two bushes. I freeze & stare.
This must be what the game laws call a cable restraint, as if it were simply a fancy kind of leash for recalcitrant canids. No wonder the songdogs here so rarely advertise their presence!
I reach down & pull it out by the roots, then spot the fresh bootprints on the other side. They are enormous.
I will track this creature to its den.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).