Sunday, February 20, 2011

Even crap has beauty sometimes

 The most mundane things can turn out to make an interesting picture.  We have had some serious winds this winter, and the other day I noticed that a big branch on one of our old apple trees had cracked and fallen.  When I went to investigate, I discovered that rabbits had stripped the bark from all the twigs that were low enough on the ground for them to reach.

I snapped these two pictures to show my wife Caryl, who has serious arthritis and walks with a cane, so she doesn't get out much in winter when the snow is deep and the ice is slick.  I often bring her nature pix so she can see what is happening out there in our woods.   I wasn't particularly expecting anything artistic when I took these shot of bunny poop, I just wanted to record the spoor -- but the light was just right to create a rather interesting -- if campy! -- effect.


You can see how the rabbits stripped the bark off -- not only on this fallen tree, but in a lot of other places, too.  I've also noticed quite a lot of bunny poop in the compost pile, where I dump the cleanings from the chicken coop.  The bunnies are apparently picking through the old hay and straw.  It's been a hard winter for them and other animals, with the snow so deep that food is hard to find.  Rats and mice also visit the compost pile -- you can see the little trails of footprints where they come out of their tunnels under the snow.  And sometimes you see also the prints of feather tips, where an owl swooped down to grab its dinner.  I often hear an owl hooting around here, although I've never actually see it.

In nature, you find these signs of animal activity more often than the animals themselves.  Oh sure, those TV nature shows have lots of fast action, but in the real world, you wait a long time to see a few moments of thrill.  (And those cameramen sit for a lot of uncomfortable hours to get that footage, too.)  On a day-to-day basis, you learn to look for little clues that tell you animals are around.  And these clues are often quite ephemeral.  The sun soon wipes out tracks in the snow, or they get covered up with new snow.  Another storm is coming in today, and these bunny signs will soon be buried.   So you have to pay constant attention if you want to know what the wildlife is doing out there.

And I think this how it is with "finding God," too.  Hollywood has taught us to expect dramatic special effects, but the Red Sea doesn't split every day, and you rarely see such a big miracle in real life.  However, if you pay close attention, there are always little signs around that God is there.  Sometimes, you can even find God in the crap of life -- maybe even more so than when things are going well.  But you have to learn how to look with kavannah -- focused attention. 


mixednut555 said...

Wonderful pictures and a great post, thank you!

Rooster613 said...

Glad you enjoyed it, mixednut. It's hard ti find nature things to photograph in mid-winter here, but these pix were rather fun. I love the contrast of sparkly snow with bunny poop LOL!

dogbaker said...

what a wonderful way to share with your wife and thank you for sharing with us rooster
315carolg aka Karol giljam gerling

Rooster613 said...

I really enjoy sharing nature with her, Karol -- although she did think this was an odd thing to blog about LOL! This has been an especially hard winter in terms of ice and snow -- and we are getting MORE snow as I write this. But zat least the drought is over and i'll be able to make maple syrup this sprin g (I haven't for 2 years because it was so dry, I did not want to stress my trees.)