they dematerialize

I’m reading the wonderful new issue of Manoa, Cascadia: The Life and Breath of the World. So much to admire — Tom Jay’s “The Salmon of the Heart”, John Schreiber’s “Walking Ts’yl-os, Mt. Tatlow”, Eden Robinson’s “The Sasquatch at Home”, and Gary Snyder’s “Reinhabitation”. And I had to smile as I read Barry Lopez’s story, “In the Great Bend of the Souris River” for this small perfect phrase in the first paragraph: “…an image of coyotes evaporating in a draw.” Yes, yes, that’s exactly what they do.  (I’ve always called it “dematerializing”.) So often you come upon one in the wild and one moment you see it, the next it’s gone. Disappeared, into thin air, right before your eyes. An enviable ability. Not long ago, I saw one cross the trail in front of me and then it wasn’t there. It hadn’t raced away but simply dematerialized. Or evaporated. This is the young one who visited several mornings in a row a few summers ago, walking casually past us where we drank coffee on our deck, and pausing to eat salal berries before vanishing — it had learned the trick!

morning visitor

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