Sunday, February 28, 2010

Minimal

We're on the cusp of March; today's the final afternoon of February, it's "spring" break at Northern Michigan University, and it's been snowing for the past few days. I decided to check up on the January Does yesterday, and made the mistake of trudging through the bog without wearing my snowshoes. At times, in places where the snow had piled in deep drifts, I'd sink in past my knees. It made me wonder how the deer deal with such things; do they know where the snowdrifts are, and learn to avoid them? Coyotes take advantage of deer stuck in deep snow, and deer, with their small, pointy feet, can't exactly float atop the snow like the naturally-snowshoed lynx.

Anyway, First January Deer was almost completely buried, once more. Only a handful of her ribs protruded from the freshly-fallen snow:


The skeleton looked ever-smaller. This time, no crow and coyote tracks were to be seen. Perhaps the scavengers have salvaged as much as they can from the bones.

It snowed more overnight; will the skeleton of First January Deer be completely buried? I look forward to rediscovering her in the spring, after the snow has started to melt. Unfortunately, here in Marquette, spring won't happen for another few months. The big thaw, I've found, seems to occur in mid- to late-April, but it has snowed as late as May.

The snow is still falling today, and as it falls, my goal of finding more deceased animals to photograph over spring break is erased. People have suggested searching the sides of the highway, but the snowplows obliterate everything on the shoulder of the road. I will continue to search, though, in hopes of discovering more useless creatures.

In other news, 360 Main Street is featuring a short photo essay by me, accompanied by a handful of my photos! Check it out here.

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