Thursday, March 4, 2010


One of the delights of being surrounded by white stuff has been observing the criss-crossing patterns of prints made by animal and human movement. I was on a hill near home this afternoon which was scrambling with mountain hares in their white coats. They were locked, as they should be now that it's March, in nose-to-nose combat, leaping and circling. I was mesmerised by the lines left by their journeys; ill-defined holes in deep snow, or fine, clawed paw-prints in the harder stuff. But always that characteristic cadence.

It brought to mind some lines I love from a Thomas Hardy poem:

'Yes, I companion him to places

Only dreamers know,

Where the shy hares print long paces,

Where the night rooks go'

(The Haunter)

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