There was enough snow and slush overlay this morning to leave wonderful tracks out on the porch. Sometime between last night and this morning there was quite the parade in front of chapel.
I had just been thinking about wild turkeys yesterday; I hadn’t seen any around the house lately, but this morning there they were: turkeyfoot prints assuring me they are not only around but brazen enough to saunter boldy along between the house and chapel.
Human footprints (mostly mine) are obvious, too, and buried in the higher traffic area are prints made by cat and dog paws, several smaller birds, Bill’s boots, probably a duck and maybe even raccoon, possum and deer. (OK, that’s pretty heavy on the “maybe” for those last few, but having seen evidence of all of them in this place before, it’s not entirely impossible.)
Of course we weren’t all in the parade at the same time; my Birkenstock prints on the left were made just seconds before the photo was taken, and I have no idea when the others came through. In this one moment, though, there was clear evidence that the patio continues to be an oft-used animal trail. Cool.
Tracks left in snow and slush are fleeting — just like the footprints most creatures leave on Earth. For awhile it is obvious who was where, and when, and (a good tracker can tell) what each was doing at the time. Eventually, however, the signs fade, as Earth absorbs the gentle impact of all its travelers.
As I looked at the tracks it struck me once again that we humans are leaving a heavier imprint, one with much greater impact on the land.
I wonder how long it will be before those tracks disappear.