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Great story, lovely description-- thank you (made me smile)
    L.

    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