Same Stream, Different Day

Same stream, different day.

photo 1

flowing stream


the way

it goes

in a





I took another walk in the woods this week, on a morning when my thermostat read 3. I wore the wrong coat so I had to curtail my walk. I have a coat reserved for wood splitting and cutting and although it’s very warm, it doesn’t have a hood and I find I need one from time to time on these windy mornings when I’m enjoying the winter in all its brutal glory. I had been wearing it while gathering wood that morning and then forgot to switch before I left. The morning I took the photo on the left of the snowy creek it was especially sunny. So sunny, that when my camera phone stopped working, I thought for a second that the sun’s glare had blocked the images. But it had really stopped working because of the cold. It stopped working a couple of times this summer too, because of the heat. Smart phones.

The timing of the camera not working took me by surprise because I had just taken a photo of the deer tracks that I was crossing along the trail. The deer tracks were plentiful, and so were the coyote and rabbit tracks, but there were no human tracks except for the ones I was making.

photo 2


A moment after I took this photo, a red-tailed hawk screeched just a few feet above and swooped over me. I felt like he was scolding me for taking photos of the tracks. Perhaps the deer that made them did not survive the night; the trail is not far from a major highway. Or perhaps the hawk himself was not of this world and that’s why my camera stopped working when I held it up to take a photo of his magnificent wing span.

This photo was taken at the beginning of my 1.5 mile walk. When I turned around to view the impressions of my boots in the snow, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had created a masterpiece on a blank canvass, or if I had ruined one that was already complete.


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