These are photos of me, Fenway Bartholomule, standing Somewhere Entirely New.
We have a well described circuit of well-beaten paths, FarmWife and I, and because of various roads and gates and rivers and what have you we are generally limited mostly to those paths and none other. Recently, however, we've discovered NEW TRAILS. Not "new to us" new, but "new new" . . . made, by the hand of man, for the purposes of recreational ambulation. They are here in abundance, right in our own neighborhood. We've found two new loops, each of them well-cleared, fairly lengthy, and scenic beyond our dreams, and we've seen evidence of a third and a fourth that simply require an afternoon's exploring.
We have tried to decide who made these trails. Was it a motor- or bicyclist? Probably not, as there aren't obvious signs of tires having passed this way. An equestrian? To the contrary! The trail bears no hoofprints but my own. What we did see were dog prints . . . big ones. We saw one boot print, but one only. It may have been an anomaly, this human boot print, which means the logical conclusion is that the trails were made by a pack of large and active wolves. Signs of cut foliage lead me to think that they were wolves with opposable thumbs, and hand or power tools, and above-average height.
FarmWife stopped me in mid-panic and reminded me of Occam's Razor . . . when you have a couple of potential explanations for something, the simpler one is probably right. In this case, she argues that we're probably looking at a humanoid trail-clearer with a light step and a doggie companion rather than a pack of saw-wielding bipedal canids.
FarmWife and I are going to try not to break these new trails. We'd like whomever made them to notice our hoofprints with gladness, not despair.
Thank you, anonymous trailmaker. Ears to you!