Monday, January 26, 2009

So if we're ever out for a walk

...and you say, whoa, what a nasty pile of crap, don't be surprised if I, upon gleefully squealing WEASEL!, reach in my pocket, pull out a penny and set it beside your discovery. Don't be surprised if I then whip out this book


flip it open and exclaim, no, it's not fisher
then, in an echoing bellow, YES

WOLVERINE!!!

In the introduction to Mammal Tracks & Sign, Mark Elbroch talks about cultural tracking and, in a later chapter, he discusses visual thinking. Today, as I read this, I couldn't help but think about this poetry-related post and its link to a greater spectrum.

17 comments:

tracy said...

And I jus thought you were calling me names! I'm so relieved!

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! Honestly, no one understands us nature poets. Oops, I mean nature writers... :)

John W. MacDonald said...

I am still looking for a good scat-for-beginners book.

;-)

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! You mean a Canadian version of Who Pooped in the Park? :)

John W. MacDonald said...

yes. but this title sounds more closer to the mark:

http://www.amazon.ca/What-Shat-That-Matt-Pagett/dp/1580088856/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233022955&sr=1-3

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! Brilliant!

Ariel Gordon said...

I come to this blog for elevated discussion (and the occasional spate of name calling), and all I get today is poop talk!

Brenda Schmidt said...

Well if you don't like it then scat! :)

Brenda Schmidt said...

Do you have this book, A? If not, I think you'd love it. Perfect guide for the A forest not to mention your upcoming adventures.

Ariel Gordon said...

Um, I'm pretty sure animals move...

(Foolishness aside, it does look good. I'll see if McNally's has it the next time I'm in...)

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! Bad.

You'll love it. It's the best of our track and sign guides. I don't know if it's a sign of things to come, but this is one of the books that I'm spending time with now that my big year, as H calls it, has begun. The interpretation of track patterns - the possible interpretations - requires flexible thinking, as Elbroch points out. It requires imagination. There's plenty in the introductory chapters that speaks so well to the writing process. At least the process I'm currently engaged in.

danicouture said...

I don't have that book yet! But I do have some great tree, flower, and bird guides. A lot of good they do me: there's a single tree in front of my apartment building. It's a maple. A maple full of black squirrels. Oh, Toronto the beautiful. ;)

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! I've only been to Toronto twice. On the first visit, while we were sitting in a nice little green space behind the conservatory before the Griffin shortlist readings, the garbage can began to rattle. Then this enormous squirrel hauled itself out. I was shocked at its size. Clearly it had been eating too many Timbits. Anyway, I just checked and that squirrel's tracks are in the book. Its scat is there, too. Though I imagine all you'd have to do is stand beneath the maple and look up. According to the book, their pellets "seem to be dropped at random." :)

danicouture said...

Update! In Toronto's defence, I saw an animal yesterday that *wasn't* a squirrel. I was on the Queen streetcar, looking out the window, and watched a red-tailed hawk swoop down and scoop what I can only assume was a mouse.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Nice! Well, not for the mouse...

SMSteele said...

hi B, I'm at the Leightons right now and an elk parks herself under the pines outside my window... she stares at me kindly... a friend wrote me and told me that the elk teaches stamina, the ability to pace oneself for one's set task... sounds good to me... she leaves a little bowl in the snow from her body heat

Brenda Schmidt said...

She leaves a little bowl...that's so lovely! The elk teaches stamina - thank you for passing that along. I think I needed to hear that. I hope your work is going well there.