Friday, July 14, 2017

the universe has its own plans

a wish list, and the universe

the otters did not show at Trout Lake for us today,

we did see some roe on a log
where they must have consumed a cutthroat trout recently,
we saw some scat, with a decidedly fishy smell,
but the trout were minimal
and the otters did not find us today,
so it must not be a good time to teach their young to fish, 
four years ago we lucked into a female teaching four young,
and her mate resting on a log with her sister,

we had better luck down the valley
and up along the Yellowstone River,
high above it, there where the river has cut through huge volcanic deposits,
of ash, mudflow conglomerates, and basaltic cliffs,

there, high on a slope I would feel precarious, deadly,
we found a female bighorn sheep scampering down a steep slope

to another ewe who sat there resting, in repose,
as if she were queen here,

a third ewe came toward them through the flowered meadow
where they must often feed,
she merrily munched as she moved to the cliff,

I photographed her there
and as she descended to join her sisters,

yesterday I snapped a picture of a mountain goat,
high up the slopes of a distant snow-dabbled mountain,
it just a speck of moving white,

Mountain Goat is at center of picture,
 the white dot to left and below two patches of snow,
one right above the other.

no matter how much we want to see animals,
our wild, large, mammal cousins,
they have their own life,
we can work to learn enough of them
to hope we can increase our chance of encounters,

maybe wolves tomorrow?
we always hope of bear,

for sure we will find ourselves
where mountain valley, and stream are glorious,
where flower and bison are ubiquitous,
where any moment is of wonder,
if can but open ourselves
to the randomness of a gift,
to consider our wish list as suggestions
that the universe doesn’t check before it is.

by Henry H. Walker
July 7, ’17

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