The gray skies hang heavy, but I find that if I get outside, my desire to crawl in a hole and not come out until spring lifts a bit.
Mac and MerryBelle seemed eager to head to the back woods this morning, so off we went - the first time in a couple of days. I have an adjusted work schedule today, so the morning was mine to enjoy with the pups.
Turkeys, deer, coyotes, and raccoons had taken their morning stroll before our arrival - their tracks fresh and abundant - , and the corgis took off after a rabbit that bolted from the fence line. As always, MerryBelle found frozen scat to savor as Mac goofballed along the way in search of the perfect stick to bring me.
I remembered to take some dried lavender flowers to scatter where the big buck we lost before Christmas exhaled for the final time. Strange. I felt as if he were there still, and the dogs came to stop at the exact point where he lay to take flight.
We meandered on, and suddenly, the woods crackled with the sound of a large animal on the run. As I turned to look that way, I saw the stag's heir - the younger buck (possibly an offspring of the large stag) who now lays claim to the farm.
He's not new to me; I've seen him before. (I know most all the animals who hang out here.) I do believe, however, it's more than coincidence that he let me get a good glimpse of his majestic, masculine self today.
I welcome him and will try to keep him safe, as I did his predecessor.