I love the farm newsletters that pepper my inbox. I sign up to get emails from every new vendor I see at the farmers markets, and some of them turn out to be lovely writers.
This morning's weekly post from Grateful Growers Farm in Denver, N.C., included this musing from Natalie Veres:
"Our two inches of snow last night made for a challenging drive home from the kitchen, and delayed our pork delivery for a day, but it's pretty. It also gives us a new form of evidence about who we share our space with....footprints reveal our co-habitors, visitors/intruders, even when we don't see them in the flesh. Sure, we have lots of animals here on purpose: people, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, rabbits. But a veritable menagerie is here too: squirrels, wild rabbits, birds, mice, rats, raccoon, voles, moles, opossum, and even the occasional coyote (although not recently, thank goodness). Today I noticed just how far up toward the barn that one goofy hen likes to roam, because of her footprints. I noticed how inefficient I can be because I walked over the same ground multiple times - my footprints gave me away. I noticed it's time to rebait the rat traps - footprints of said varmints practically announced their presence. Just when I thought I had them beaten. I think there must be a rat bus service that brings them in from all over to repopulate the place. I spend a fair amount of time watching my animals, noticing their habits and favorite places. But today when I got to see their footprints, I got to know them a little bit better. If you could see your footprints every day, what could you learn??"
Indeed. Thanks, Natalie. Keep your eyes on the ground.