Sunday, January 21, 2018

Track Makers

The temperature had climbed above freezing. I pulled on my boots, grabbed my new Christmas winter cap, and put on my winter parka. The snow at Roshara, about three-four inches was puffy and light and relatively easy to walk in without snowshoes. I was headed toward the small field south of my cabin, not looking for much of anything, but just walking and listening, and enjoying the quiet of this beautiful sunny, winter morning.

I shuffled along, walking stick in one hand, watching where I was going because there was no trail to follow, no path. Just a strikingly white expanse of snow. I caught a glimpse of movement, a deer, a big doe, and then another, and another—four of them, bounding a few yards ahead of me, their white tails high and waving. And leaving tracks in the snow.

Animal tracks have always intrigued me, from the time when I was a little kid and hiked with my dad. He knew deer tracks—how a fawn track compared to a sizable buck. He showed me the difference between the tracks made by a running deer to one that was merely walking. Same for rabbits, foxes, and squirrels, the animals that braved winters in Wisconsin.

So on this day I am thinking about tracks, and how tracks are one way of recording history. Tracks are a record of where the creature has been, and what it had been doing. We can learn a lot about a creature by looking at its tracks.

As we go about living our lives, we leave tracks as well, perhaps not as easily seen as the tracks of a deer in snow. But tracks nonetheless—of where we have been, and what we have been doing.

THE OLD TIMER ASKS: Why do so many people try to cover their tracks?


Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. First state-wide airing on all Wisconsin Public TV stations of my hour-long documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.


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