Analyze the Traffic

Eggs In PouchI went to a seminar on website marketing. “Analyze the traffic,” the man instructed, so as to count the number of visitors to our new site, and so on. The information was all new to me.

Yesterday, I hiked back to the sugarwoods. The season is over, and now it’s time for pulling spouts. We have several sections of woods and it’s a good hike up over the hill above the farm. Through the pasture and over an old stone wall, then worming my way under a three strand barbed wire fence, I lay still, analyzing the traffic. A different traveler had gone before, leaving stiff, white hair on a barb. Skunk? No sight of him.

I smiled, remembering one day awhile back, when I was hiking through the snow, checking the lines for vacuum leaks. I came to some black, oily-looking hair on the snow, and excitedly picked it up and put it in my pocket to take home. I have never seen a bear in our woods, and I looked around, a little apprehensively. My eyes fell on the main line, and I laughed out loud as I recognized my black “hair” as a little piece of the rope used to tighten the lines as they run into the main line.

In my travels through the woods, I came to two “porcupine trees”, where a big, old hollow tree is home to this critter, evidenced by a very large pile of scat at the foot of the tree. I scanned the branches above, but no sign of Prickly Porky. We are not fond of these pesky creatures, as they are known to chew the sap lines.

I found a few small, tan eggs on the ground, amidst the ferns. Too large for a songbird, too small for a turkey. Partridge? Each was broken open. I carefully put them in one pocket of my leather apron, took them home, and looked at them with the grandchildren as I read Mrs. Mallard’s Ducklings.

“Analyzing the traffic” is sheer pleasure, in my neck of the woods.

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