Saturday, February 28, 2009

16th January 2009

Arriving at the trail-head, I decide to strap on my snowshoes to make the trip easier and faster. It's so cold that my boots squeak under my footsteps. I rush out to the trap site not just due to the cold but because I have another obligation to get to as soon as possible. On Friday nights we host a wildlife film festival at the TREC theatre, and I'm already late. The sunset is beautiful and crisp; bright colors wash the sky.
My chin burns with the cold wind's bite. I'm kicking snow up onto my back and up my legs from running with snowshoes on. I realize that my pants are becoming wet with the snow building up on the back of my legs. My hamstrings are so cold I barely notice. 
There are small flocks of sparrows attempting to forage in the deep snow. Grass stems bow over with the weight making the prized seed-head more accessible to the small birds. They seem to not mind my approach until the last possible moment, and then burst into flight. They don't go far. It's too cold even for them to use excessive energy. Warmth is more important.
I climb the dune and peer over to where we have set four traps. The now must be buried in six inches of snow. So much effort for very little chance of trapping; but we still have to try. They are empty again.

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