TRACKING FOR LAZY PEOPLE
On our long beach walk today, found two sets of deer prints wandering in the sand. Followed them to a broken bank, which is where I wanted to go anyway as the easiest way to get to the marsh and walk over to see how deep the ford in the river is. Or what looked like a ford, opposite what might be the very rotten remains of the old wooden bridge.
After discovering the ford was quite deep, and that a young Douglas Fir was using one of the old bridge posts as a nurse log, I continued along the river shore, and noticed the deer prints continuing ahead of me. Reaching the end of the mini-peninsula in the river, I started back up what I thought would be the easiest way -- and looked into the face of the deer. Who seemed to say, "So, now what?"
After saying "Hi there!" I turned around and headed back through the underbrush and trees, picking the easiest trail. Or as easy as it gets, ducking through Devil's club and brambles. Upon reaching the other side of the peninsula, I spotted what looked like an easy break in the brambles that would allow me to scramble back down the cliff. There I found another broken bank -- and at the bottom, imprinted in the mud of the lagoon shore, more deer prints.
Evidently people and deer all go along the lines of least resistance.
A Cooper's hawk leapt into the air ahead of me, with what looked like a rat in its claws. We'd seen a stripped crow's wing on the beach earlier this week. More bloody bones on the sand told us the hawk had been eating well.