Stopping by

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
~Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

When I went to bed last night, the longest, “darkest evening of the year”, there were a few flurries. When I woke up, for the first time this winter, the ground was white. But funny thing, we don’t “stop by” woods any more, we have to make a special trip, usually for reason of exercise and certainly without the pony.

Here is the timeline of the above photos. I start at the secret hole in the fence, which is no longer concealed now that the leaves are off the trees, and climb up the hill to the railroad right of way. I find people tracks, dog tracks, some rabbit tracks filled with snow, probably from last night, and some old tracks I can’t identify for certain, probably deer.  And railroad tracks.

Then I head to the state park where I hope to find a Charlie Brown type Christmas tree. (Not really, it’s an excuse to exercise.) First to the trash area where they throw the old tires and tree branches.  Something moves behind the hill, behind the tires. I advance, camera in hand.  It’s big, really big. Deer?  But no, it’s doglike, bigger than a fox.  Grey.  A shepherd?   Oh dear lord could it be a wolf? I advance to the small hill and it bounds away.  I photograph the footprints.

Back on the road, it’s officially sunset and the park is officially closed, but the snow is bright and I continue to take pictures.  A bicycle passes me on the road.  Finally I decide to leave the park, but the gate is locked.  No problem, there’s a secret entrance for everything.  I find the bicycle has been there ahead of me.

I just remembered, the name of the lake is…Wolf Lake.  Oh, yes, that was a wolf I saw.

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