Friday, March 6, 2009

Every Poop Tells a Story

More Doodle Diary

Panel #3 goes back to Family Day weekend. In Ontario, we get a statutory holiday in February, just when we need good friends and good cheer the most. Our Family Day's are most often spent visiting with my very good friends Gus & Rike (hey, they put up with us for 3 days straight & still invite us back (maybe it's the lasagna)). They live on the South Magnetawan River, about an hour north of Parry Sound. Their home is a series of small cabins on a cottage lot, one of which is an unheated gazebo and another which is the gravity operated washroom facilities (think about it, you'll get it). There is no road access to their property, and they have no indoor (or outdoor) plumbing and have learned to thrive on very little in the way of material goods and gain much philosophy and knowledge. Rike's woodcraft, gleaned from books and honed by experience, never ceases to astound me, although I've become so accustomed to it that when, while walking across a frozen swamp, I had no hesitation in calling her over to inspect a clump of poop I spotted. While I could only definitely ascertain that it was not dog poop, I was fairly certain in advance that she would have far more intelligible things to say about my find.
She, for her part, obligingly backtracked over to my new found pile. Sure enough, as I'd already guessed, with sufficient knowledge, every poop does tell a story. This poop was dry and blond (that much I could observe) but she declared it to be grouse (that's a small common woodland game-bird). But the monologue went on. The two streaks of black ice that I thought were mere coincidence, indicated to her the point at which the grouse had landed and burrowed down under the snow (dark pencilled area-upper left corner, the doodle is a birds-eye view), it then travelled beneath the snow for about a 2' before settling in, where it rested for quite awhile, possibly all night (lower right vaguely poop shaped scribble). Later, possibly morning, it backtracked beneath the snow (right hand dark blob that goes parallel to the left hand dark blob, both of these represent smoothed patches of ice) and made a quick exit as it emerged from the snow and flew off. The skinnier right hand track indicates a speedier departure from the more leisurely entry. This, Rike notes, is common grouse behaviour.
Whew. Now that's whole lot of story from one small pile of poo. Since at the time, later regretted, I didn't consider poo sufficiently photogenic, here's a link full of really nice photo's of the same thing, some of them quite eye-pleasing too.
Wildwood Track - Ruffed Grouse


The Empty Envelope said...

LOL!!!!! The site was really cool, I loved the photo of the tracks and the wing prints in the snow. I also did not realize you were in Canada! I am very drawn to many Canadian things. I hope to go someday.

kaslkaos said...

Yes, those wingprints looked otherworldly. I was major impressed by the site, but also greatly relieved that I'd remembered all the details correctly.
I've been thinking of putting a Canada flag logo on my blog, now you make me think I should. Hope you get here someday. We can all go to the zoo (I think I have 3 hypothetical zoo dates lined up now if I include you).


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