It wasn’t a walk actually, it was more like a hikeI’m not sure that my feet were on a level surface for more than 10 feet at a time.
The new snow that had fallen overnight had partly filled each of the deer prints I intended to follow. I descended from the house up to deer Meadow, the ridge just beyond the temporary Stream in the spring. I’m Dead Mans Run.
Anyway I’ve been looking at the habitat around me and trying to discover what it is that the deer want, where they live and why.
So from up at deer Meadow where I had found 10 deer beds yesterday, I wanted to find out where they went.
All of those deer beds were covered by the snow. There were no fresh tracks, or scat.
And so I followed them. Yesterday I had followed some to the top of the hill, the first hill of the way and beyond, the peak. The Matterhorn.
I stopped and sat for a while. On deer meadow noting how dense the trees were!
Anyway, today, I followed these tracks leading away and up a different side of the hill.
Instead of going up into the way and beyond behind the fence, or instead of going around the bowl shaped hillside that surrounds Naderland, instead of going those ways where I’ve been so many times before, this time I followed the Trail to Deer Paradise behind the first Monolith.
So it appeared from where I once had a little studio dream in the woods, behind the turkey should reformed into greenhouse.
I brought a chair over and sat there, realizing why I had chosen that spot. The view was amazing. White snow all through the valley down and up and on the ridge, Backed by a dense Cedar Forest, Which was beyond the ridge, the entire side of which was covered by these trees. Because the ridge was so high, the angle of the hill so steep, the tops of the trees were helping to shade the top of deer Meadow.
It looked amazing from that angle. It just looked like a haven in the distance. So I sat there and watched that part of the habitat for a while, across rope swing hillside, it appeared that the deer trail wound up and around knolls and eventually around the slope.
As I followed the trail, it was quite a hike up the hill. And I realized as I got to the top and sat down in my chair, in a spot where all the deer prints seemed to converge and dead-end, I sat there and looked back. I realized we had just hiked through a Hemlock Trail, Hemlock Hamlet. Hemlock trees. 10 of them! Divided on both sides of the trail which wound around amongst them.
Well, the trail stayed between the two rows of trees. I love looking back in through it and trying to understand the draw of this place. It was the most sheltered of the places to go up the hill side. The rest is sheltered in that it is a tall Maple Forest, but it was not sheltering for the deer. So I follow this path that the deer lead me on.
Turned and headed up across by the monolith. I had to walk across the waterfall Stream up there at the top of the hill. This ice was very sick, it took three steps on the ice to get across. Beneath it, I could hear the water turning and going down the hill. The babbling brook beneath.
I followed the deer tracks up against the side of the monolith. Where some land on top of the monolith, I went along. I followed them into a little cluster of shelter. I followed it back out again and was on the verge of the most beautiful dense paradise for the deer. As I stood looking at it I realized where they live to be. All the trackside converged into a trail that led into the woods. They were different pathways in, but they each got there.
I followed it up into the woods and was just amazed by the stillness of it, the lack of wind and shelter from about above and beside me. As I wandered through the woods, following the path, I felt I knew a bit more about them. I discovered their home.
I follow the tracks for a long time, finding myself on the roadway, perhaps the one that helps them tap the trees back there.
I was always very conscious of the possibility of falling or twisting my knee or foot and being stuck out there there.
So I always made sure, that when I deviated from the main trail, I follow that same deviation back exactly and then took the trail in the original direction. I spent a long long time walking through the woods, 2 hours!
It was an amazing experience. I cross the second stream, and was tempted to follow it down it’s own waterfall to the marsh words. But I had already done that and been down there, what I wanted to do today was follow the deer tracks and find out where they were and where they’ve been and why they didn’t come to the feeders last night or the night before.
At one point I saw a wolf print on top of the deer prints. I didn’t see any vultures or find any carcass, so I presume the deer are safe. I felt very safe in there too.
Because I wasn’t following my normal way, taking the road that led past the 13 monoliths, because I had gone up alongside the first monolith into the den Cedars, it was a different experience. I remember however, once taking a trail through there and coming upon a carcass. When I found some of the TP fabric against a few cedar poles against a branch of a tree, I realized that I must be in closer to that place where I had been months before, alongside of Stream. As I followed the Stream back home, the first dream as the past let around Heather and Jan, I ended up making a loop and meeting my tracks near the monolith. But just before that, I realize that I was up much higher than where I had one searched for the top of the waterfall Stream‘s source.
That was the meadow, I must’ve gotten tired of walking there, been unable to cross the widening Stream, and unable to carry-on around the monoMonolith there at the edge of that wetland. It was not a low land but a meadow up in the hill.
There was a place I name Cedar Trail, it was a very beautiful place. There was a roadway under it. A tractor Road. It’s so nice to discover these places. Are you even discovered a chair beating against a tree. I wondered if someone else was also putting chairs there, but then realized, that it was likely me. Since that’s the sort of thing I do. And having no memory of it iJust normal.s
Eventually, I followed the trail past other monoliths, even passed the Marshwood. I came around and found myself on the far side of the first stream again.