Sometimes it pays to look up.

Now that the snow has mostly disappeared from my little patch of woods – ‘my’ home forest, where I like to ramble in the early mornings when I have the opportunity – it feels like there is less to see. In the the depths of winter I can wade uphill through fluffy drifts of new-fallen snow, or crunch my way through older sun-worn snow, enjoying the fresh air and the opportunity to see (quite literally) the comings and goings of the local wildlife mapped out on the terrain in the form of their footprints through the snow. So today, as I topped the ridge on a warm spring morning, the sky as blue as ever but the leaf-covered ground as bare and brown and boring as it ever can be, I thought to myself that spring is just not nearly as interesting as winter. At least, for an untrained observer like me, not accustomed to ‘reading’ the complex groundscape of leaf and twig, stone and brush. Sure, I’ve noticed the places where the local residents scratch among the leaves in search of last year’s acorns, and I’ve examined piles of scat to discern who may have been through here – or whom they’ve eaten – but it’s much harder to see what’s going on. Then, I looked up.


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