Because several of the back roads that I like to walk are not plowed during the winter, walking them until now has been impossible.
I struck out yesterday on a walk that we affectionately refer to as the loop. It is just under three miles and offers a walker a nice variety of woods, open pasture, and pond life.
The beaver bog just down the road is alive with birdsong, mostly red-winged blackbirds and grackles. If one looks closely enough, juncos and song sparrows can be seen feeding on the branches of low shrubs at the water’s edge, the buds of some starting to swell with life.
While I stood there taking stock of things, four Canada geese flew low over the pond, maneuvered a quick u-turn at the dam end of the bog and, maintaining their perfect military flight formation, headed back over the horizon from whence they came. I suspect they were looking for clear water and, discovering the bog still sealed by a thin glaze of ice, decided to postpone their return home for a few days.
If the weather warms and the ice melts for good, they will return to define their territories, build their nests, hatch their young, thus beginning anew creation’s loveliest miracle.
Unfortunately, there are those among us for whom the environment is but a dumping ground for whatever garbage they see fit to toss from their car windows or pickup truck beds. I guess making a weekly trip to the recycling center requires a bit more energy, and moral backbone, than they can muster. But then again, sloth has never been in short supply. It is bad enough to see our lovely roadsides littered with fast food containers and beer cans. Small potatoes, though, compared to the junk one finds all too easily along steep roadside banks and in creek beds.