After our work was done for today we took a little hike celebrating another great day. First we followed snowmobile tracks to minimize breaking through the soft snow. I took some pictures of the sun peaking through some spruce trees above Puntilla Mountain. In the shadow the snow was corny. Animal tracks were visible all over the place. I followed in the foot steps of a caribou that were a few days old. The low sunlight made those tracks stand out beautifully. At one point I thought I saw an otter track. It looked like bicycle track. Just a straight line, barely visible foot prints. I took some pictures, fascinated by the variety of tracks. So much life in those cold hills! I also noticed that my friends had chosen a different path. I was by myself.
After a while I started heading back. This time straight down to the lake. The closer I came to the frozen lake the more alders were hiding underneath the snow. In places I would break in, hip deep. My bunny boots filled with snow, which slowly melted, resulting in cold feet.
Looking for the best way to get out of this mess, I noticed some motion not too far from me. Within a split second I realized what I see: a grown wolf! Yellow with a dull red and gray, a big, bushy tail. No question, bigger than a German shepherd. He or she just trotted through the underbrush, in no hurry, without making a sound, effortless.
How long had this magnificent animal observed me, struggling through the snow? Was it a lone wolf? Don’t they always travel in packs? What if? Did I stand a chance? I just had a camera, not even a pocket knife. Movie clips went through my head. I watched my back.
The silent encounter lasted for a second or two.
I am happy for this brief moment.