Signs in the Snow

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It is easy to read stories of life and death on this meadow’s snow. Evidence of the rabbit’s death is easy to see—a spot of blood on a patch of trampled snow; coyote tracks leading away into a sparse forest. These things provide proof of a continuing life, of course. The predator eats to live. On the other side of the meadow, where an informal trail leads into a ravine, my snowshoes crush the tracks of a deer. It recently crossed the trail, maybe at the time we found the coyote’s kill site. A slurry of melt water and granular snow expands at the bottom of each track. Now that the hunting season is over, the deer, an adult, may live to breed next fall.

mountain

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