Today, on a day off in the middle of the week, we had an afternoon of nothing stretched out in front of us. Last night’s house guests were gone. The house wasn’t in any disorder that looked any different from any other day. The fridge had food; the cat had kibble; the TV was full of only football. And it wasn’t raining outside.
So, the Magpie and I went out for a walk in the nearby woods. It might not have been raining, but it was damn foggy and it was a damn cold fog. But out we went. Because we could. And the Magpie was intent on finding wildlife. You know, the kinds of things you just see on every street corner in Canada: reindeer, lions and bears. Easy stuff. Just head out the door and don’t trip over the raging omnivores and carnivores. And, um, raging …ungulates? [Okay, fine. We get bears in some of the local neighbourhoods. But for wild – not tame-ish – reindeer (caribou) you want to head a bit further north. Or at least out of the city. But, lions? Psh. What was she thinking?]
We agreed that, at best, we should hope for a few birds and a squirrel.
What we found were lots of dog walkers in the winter weather. Old leaves, left over berries, lots of moss. It was a quintessential west coast winter tour.
And, in among all that cold quiet – yes, even the dogs and walkers were subdued, or at least intent on getting back home to a fireplace a cup of tea – there was growth. There were holly berries, fungus, moss and a flicker in the slightly longer light of the afternoon. We walked through the mud and last year’s leaves looking for signs of life.
It is the new year, after all.