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Edge Of Night - Timberwolves By Robert Bateman

By Robert Bateman

The last glow of winter sunlight fades, transforming the lake shore into a ribbon of gold. Silhouetted against the silent snow, a band of hunters emerges. It has been a variable winter. The snow has partially thawed and then frozen again. The light dusting of snow on top has made traveling easier for the wolves. However, the strong crust also makes it easier for the deer. The wolves can hunt better with a crust strong enough to support their ample paws, but too weak to hold the weight of their sharp hooves. During a heavy winter, the deer tend to "yard-up" in a cedar grove with trails for easier access. There is such a yard nearby, but the deer are not there because at the present, they can move around on top of the snow. The wolf pack must get under way if they are to eat tonight. As dusk deepens, they move out of concealment to the lake. The current along the near shore has opened up the water. In it, the last golden glow of the sky is reflected. Perhaps the deer are on the other shore. Perhaps they are not. The life of a wolf is, at best, uncertain. - Robert Bateman

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