When I was first thinking about what to call this blog, one of my ideas was a line from a Wendell Berry poem – I come into the peace of wild things. That well describes the little adventure I had today.
The Spaniard and I went out for a skate ski on the lake. It was amazing – seemingly endless lake ahead of us, and around us the spectacular scenery – the sky was clear but the land to the north and west was wreathed in shining grey light and fog. Everything else was white, as the early morning fog had left a thick layer of frost on everything. Suddenly, it’s an all white world.
I was slightly hesitant about skiing across the lake, stories of friends falling through ice dancing through my head, but our tracks weren’t the first. Martin was skiing ahead of me, and I occasionally stopped to catch my breath. On one such occasion I noted a dog following our tracks, a short ways back. But as he came closer, I could tell that it wasn’t a dog. First of all its very rare to see a dog running loose in the winter, as it’s too cold for most dogs to be outside. The tough huskies, who can be outdoors all season, are generally tied up all the time. And this guy just moved differently. His legs were so light and free moving, he was almost floating down the lake. Clearly he was used to covering long distances with ease. Turns out it was a coyote. He followed us down the middle of the lake, and then kept going past us when we stopped to watch him. He didn’t seem bothered by us in the least, as he trotted by, sniffing here and there, and stopping at times to admire the view. What a beautiful wild thing he is.
Later on, I took the dog out for a short run on the road at the edge of town. I could see what I thought were two dogs up ahead, one being walked on a leash, the other watching from a distance away. Closer inspection revealed the second one to be a fox – a beautiful burnished bronze colored one, with a black face and legs. Foxes always look so curious, so inquisitive. (Unlike the coyote, who looked more insouciant.) We snuck up close enough to get a photo, but as soon as she spotted the dog she was off. What a beautiful wild thing she is.
Speaking of wild things, someone (an Ice Lake Rebel perhaps?) drove past our house tonight in a car. Imagine driving your car across the lake only 6 days after freeze up. This seems extreme even by houseboater standards. (As he didn’t fall in while driving, it’s clear I don’t need to worry about falling in while skiing on the lake.) But I hope he stays near the houseboats, and leaves the open spaces of the lake for me, and the wild things.