Snowy walk on the wild side

...that would be the east side of Custer Street. There's an undeveloped tract across the street from our condos with no fast food pad site, nail salon, strip mall orthodontist, or car wash. Most of the year it is just grass back to the trees along the creek. Beyond the creek there are homes and apartments, shielded from the traffic noise. Nothing much happens in this tract beyond the occasional mowing, invasions of campaign signs, and temporary corrals of construction equipment. I've spotted coyotes over there two or three times, but in fourteen years I never walked OVER THERE.

Headed out into our slushy, fluffy snow this morning to move all the recycling carts back to the curb after the collection. Walked a loop around the complex a couple times with my hood up. The scrunch of the snow under my shoes was enticing. There were few cars on Custer, so I just walked across the street and into the wild.

With no traffic fifty footsteps brought me into a new awareness of sound. Two cardinals, a bluejay, a crow, and some small twittering birds were unphased by my approach. The cardinals seemed to be singing a psalm to a snowy creation. Children were giggling somewhere across the creek, glad to be out of school. The Plano recycling truck was working its way down an alley. Each dump of a recycling cart made a jingle of glass bottles and aluminum cans. The creek burbled and wet snow plopped off skinny branches. An emergency vehicle siren a mile away added to the music.

Back home and out of my wet shoes, it was good to have silence. Later I listened to the redemptive themes of Janacek's "Jenufa". A crazy squirrel hopped along the top of the fence straddling the 2" snow cap. Wouldn't that feel cold on his tummy and private parts?! The snow cap is carved in regular serrations by his jumps.

This evening the crockpot lid is rattling and letting off steam as the ham bone and split pea soup cooks. Snowfluffs have changed to freezing rain, and more snow plops off trees and roofs. Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock have the cd player. Who has the wild vacant lot?

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder

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