Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20: On the Trail

Part of my day was spent tromping around various forested properties in Stockton Springs, Searsport, and Hope. At one stop, we hiked on an old logging road that now made a perfect trail through patches of dense deciduous forest mixed with stands of white pine that lent their strong fragrance to the crisp morning air. As we carefully stepped over a clump of blackberry bushes that were lying in disarray across the trail, my boss noted that a bear had probably made that mess while going after the berries. Further down the trail, I came across some scat filled with berry seeds that we agreed was that of either a bear or a large, berry-eating coyote. These were real woods. On the return walk, while paying attention to my footing, it seemed like every few yards a woolly bear caterpillar was curled up among the leaf litter. That time of year.

The clear blue sky, a few patches of early red maple leaves, and, once, a bald eagle soaring overhead made for some distraction from what was on the trail. But I was struck by how much could be seen by paying attention to what was right underfoot.

Already, red leaves
falling, animals thinking
of hibernation.

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