Go instead where there’s no path and leave a trail cam

We’ve always known that the land was not ours. Brief, fascinating encounters with its true proprietors have taught us that. We’ve stood pinned under a porcupine’s tree staring at quivering quills, unwilling to trust our Wikipedia-inspired knowledge of quill-throwing potential.

We’ve been taunted gloriously by corn-veiled coyotes howling at the moon.

We’ve seen snake skin, turtle eggs, deer racks and bear paw prints; giant turkey flocks, elegantly single herons, and twin bald eagles.

Once, during an evening drive from a neighboring cottage to our cabin in the woods, we spotted 26 different deer preparing to bed down in the ditches along the road.

My husband Vince went toe-to-claw with an owl that refused to yield a narrow path.

We’ve seen enough to know…we don’t know anything at all.

And then, Vince and his friend Tom finally mounted a trail cam I bought him for Christmas and we got a good glimpse at what really goes on in the woods. I thought of Emerson’s famous quote, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there’s no path and just leave a trail…cam.”

Let me tell you, path or no path, I’m never jogging alone through those trails again.

A big black bear poked his nose right into the camera lens. A skunk waddled past. Several bucks strolled through and then, a bobcat and her two kittens moseyed into the frame.


All of these animals are far more interesting to us than we are to them, but still…

Andy Warhol once said, ” I think having land and not ruining is the most beautiful art that anyone could ever want to own.”

I seriously hope we’re up to the challenge.

This guy wandered by one night to take a peak at the camera lens. But, he’s not the first bear we’ve seen…
Vince caught this lady crossing the path in front of him earlier this summer….
We expected to see some nice bucks like this one.
Imagine our surprise, though when this lovely lady paid us a call.
And brought along her cute little kittens. It’s a beautiful family scene, but there’s no way I’m going to go jogging through those woods again any time soon. They are carnivores and pretty speedy ones at that.
Just for funsies, this little guy joined in the party.
My view of the Oconto River this weekend, a mellow and thought provoking place to enjoy "In the Shadow of the Bayon," whose river, the Mekong, is a more powerful and violent character.
It’s their land, clearly. But I’m still going to enjoy a nice, civilized visit every now and then.

One thought on “Go instead where there’s no path and leave a trail cam

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.