Fisher Tracks in Snow

to find them is to find
the missing link between us,

the overlap of species wordless but for signs.

the overlap of species
wordless but for signs.

my grey hair thins-- time has combed away the reeds.

my grey hair thins– time
has combed away the reeds.

i walk the wooded hills wide awake, the 5-toed hunter dusky-furred, with bushy tail.

i walk the wooded hills
wide awake, the 5-toed hunter
dusky-furred, with bushy tail.

i've no damned talent for swatting porcupines, or chasing red squirrels through the deep ravines.

i’ve no damned talent for swatting
porcupines, or chasing red squirrels
through the deep ravines.

so who is seeking whom along the frozen creek? who dreams inside the hollow sycamore?

so who is seeking whom
along the frozen creek? who dreams
inside the hollow sycamore?

i look for your wild place on this shrinking earth, for the poet whitman's "better, fresher, busier sphere."

i look for your wild place
on this shrinking earth,
for the poet whitman’s
“better, fresher, busier sphere.”

among the winds and singing waters-- fisher tracks 2 inches long, 5 toes on a foot, still missing.

among the winds and singing waters–
fisher tracks 2 inches long,
5 toes on a foot,
still missing.

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About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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15 Responses to Fisher Tracks in Snow

  1. Walt, I’ve been reading your posts for some time now, since our mutual acquaintance, Jim McClellan passed your site on to me. Very intriguing and thought provoking, thank you! Here’s a link to my fisher cat tale from a couple of years back if you’re interested:
    https://subtropicaladventures.shutterfly.com/149

  2. Kent, Great to hear from you. I’ll have to thank Jim for the opportunity. Thanks for reading and for offering the kind words. I look forward to reading your fisher tale in the next few minutes, and hope to hear from you again.

  3. Jay says:

    I grew up watching Wild America with Marty Stouffer, and I’ll never forget the memorable series “Fishers in the Family” where he raises a pair of orphaned fishers in his house. They were quite a handful to have running loose in a house, but truly amazing animals. Eventually Marty returned them to the wild… and eventually they kill a porcupine on their own… a proud moment for their foster parent.

  4. Thank you, Jay. I never saw the TV series, but that raising sounds familiar. A great experience, for sure. And to see the young one tackle a porky must have been amazing, and gratifying.

  5. Junior says:

    It’s been a while since you made a photo-poem. These are very nice, but let’s hope the theme of your next one is a thaw.

  6. Thanks Junior. I was thinking the same– we need a thaw for theme!

  7. Alan says:

    Well done Walt.
    They introduced the Fisher several years ago in CT, I’m told they’re doing well. I would like to see one.

  8. It’s good to live where the wild fisher thrives. I’m waiting for my first close-up view. Thanks Alan, and I hope you get a view of the animal. Who knows, maybe when you’re fishing.

  9. Bob Stanton says:

    I’ve seen exactly one fisher in my life, but I’m comforted by the fact that they are thriving. The predators seem to be doing OK despite the long winter, judging by the number of fox, bobcat, and coyote tracks I’ve spotted on my excursions.

  10. Bob, The same with me, one distant sighting, on alert for more. Judging by all the tracks we’re seeing, the higher-ups on the food chain may be doing better than the old-timers, like myself, who are getting worn down by the relentless cold. Still, a fisher town is a good place to be.

  11. You can imagine how ecstatic I am to have come across a Walt photo poem. Wonderful. Thank you. I needed that. Good luck on a close sighting. Maybe you’ll be as lucky as you were with those brown trout.

  12. I’m a lucky son-of-a-bitch to have a real poet in the readership here. Thanks as always, David, I appreciate your words.

  13. marymaryone says:

    Thank you for your poetry and pictures. I always enjoy them.

  14. Glad that you enjoy them, Mary, and thanks much for commenting.

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