I liked the story too, I'd like to encourage those list members who want to respond to Ali's story to do it privately in an effort to keep email traffic down, thanks
Etna, New Hampshire
Cape May Raptor Banding Project Inc.
> Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 11:57:31 -0500
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Fwd: bird tracks
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Great story, lovely description-- thank you (made me smile)
> Quoting alison wagner <[log in to unmask]>:
> > G'morning Birders!
> > I love seeing the impressions birds leave in the snow to tell their story,
> > whether it's a junco meandering along the deck looking for random seeds or
> > "angel wings" gently touching the snow surface on take off. One of my
> > favorite track tales I was fortunate to see take form several years ago. A
> > grouse sprang up from its snow cover and left three sets of wing beats,
> > progressively shallower impressions with each stroke. Its bulky body's
> > impressions indicated it took two strokes to get airborne. To lighten the
> > load, it left a few gifts centered in the last track.
> > Yesterday, while sledding and making snow angels with a playful five year
> > old, we discovered another awesome track. It told the story of predator &
> > prey and filled us with wonderful possible scenarios. Situated on the outer
> > edge of a shrub that had only a few inches of clearance above the level of
> > snow, wings fanned out, almost in a complete circle except for a gap at 6
> > and 12 o'clock. The spacing between each bone perfectly spaced, it's
> > simple beauty struck us both. It reminded me of lines on a protractor, or
> > forked impressions meticulously arranged on the edge of a pie crust, or a
> > child's drawing of a sun with rays. The center where the predator's body
> > barely made contact with the snow and the length of the radiating wings
> > immediately brought Shrike strike to mind and 12:00 marked the abrupt end
> > for an innocent foraging critter. We imagined several scenarios before
> > returning to sledding.
> > Within minutes, the prone sledder, careening off course, cruised through
> > the garden, crushing the dried bee balm which released a delicious,
> > lingering scent before over running the bird track. It erased all evidence
> > of a life ended and a captured and consumed meal ...leaving us with just
> > the memory of the discovery and this mystery to share.
> > AliHuntington