It was frigid!
It was great!
These are two ways to describe the first Wildlife Tour of the winter season that happened this morning at the Pine Creek Rail Trail. Both statements are true. As planned we completed a one-and-a-half mile stretch of the trail on an out-and-back route starting at the northern terminus of the PCRT at Stokesdale.
We heard the story of the role that glaciers played in the current direction of Marsh Creek and Pine Creek. We left tracks in the crunchy snow and noticed the tracks left by our wild neighbors, mouse, deer, fox, and bobcat.
This was a calm before the storm of the holiday season for some of us. This was a step towards enjoying the fullness of the winter season as much as the other three for some as well.
We became acquainted with boxelders, quaking aspens, and black willows.
Our neighbors chickadee, jay, cardinal, white-throated sparrow, and golden-crowned kinglet greeted us along our way.
We took moments to listen to some stories about Francis of Assisi, with whom we are kindred spirits in our love for animals both wild and domestic.
We experienced community with each other and with our wild neighbors in this wild space.
Thank you Amy, Anna, Beth, Cindy, Keith, Kevin, Laura, Les, Marge and Mick for joining me on the trail. This evening I'm thanking God for each of you and for all of our wild neighbors!
To all who are reading this, mark your calendars to finish out the year with the next Winter Wildlife Tour on December 31st- A New Years Eve Saunter, walking with Thoreau. If you can make it I hope to see you there.
Finding God, self, and community in wild spaces. The better we know our wild neighbors the more we'll discover ourselves.
A vision informed by Henry David Thoreau’s interpretation of sauntering, Jesus’ understanding of neighbor, Aldo Leopold’s concept of thinking like a mountain, Rachel Carson’s prophetic voice and John Muir’s way of capturing the beauty and uniqueness of wild neighbors with words.