Monday, January 28, 2013

The Footprints We Leave

The Footprints We Leave

It snowed a little over the weekend. Not a lot, just a couple of inches, but enough for anyone walking by to leave footprints. Our patio had a host of prints, evidence of the wildlife that frequents our backyard. I was able to identify rabbit prints, gray squirrel prints, a bunch of junco tracks and assorted other bird prints. Chipmunks are holed up for the cold winter months, which is why I didn’t see any of those. They hibernate inside their burrows but will awaken periodically to munch on stored nuts and seeds. I don’t think I saw any skunk tracks (at least I hope not) though I know there are several in the neighborhood. I read that they go into a semi-sleepy state (called torpor) during the winter months so they probably aren’t dashing around in the snow.

Some of the houses around here are in or near wooded properties where deer tend to hang out; no deer have come into my territory though I do see them at the edges of fields as I drive around. I have also seen a red fox dashing across a local busy road. I am sure they are making their own tracks somewhere other than around my house.
It is hard to look at the tracks and ignore their imprint. It is a reminder that we share this earth with many others and we all leave our impressions, whether in the snow for all to see or in the energy for all to feel. Our actions and speech, the way we interrelate with those around us whether human or otherwise, all has an impact. Which brings to mind the questions of what symbolic footprint we want to display and whether we can change our impression as our understanding of our interconnectedness on Earth grows. I believe we can. I believe we are getting to the point where we need to - for the earth and the natural world, for ourselves, and for future generations.

Have fun with the kids the next time it snows. See what tracks you can identify:


  1. Ferida,

    Nicely put. I love the snow with all the animal tracks too. The snow gives everything a dusting of hope.


  2. I, too, love to see those tiny footprints in the snow before we mess them up by adding our own. But, Feri, you have added a whole other dimension to think about as we view the proof of the early morning menaderings of our fellow anilmals.

    1. So much to think about, isn't there, Claire, especially now? I think this is the most interactive time ever.