Pine trees and ducks

If you look carefully around, you will find most precious things all along the road. Yesterday evening I went out for a fifteen kilometer run. The path on the Varissuo hill was covered with crusty snow. Although the track is forbidden for runners in winter time, in order to keep the path optimal for skiing, I decided to take my change since the winter has hardly been a real winter this year .

Just after the steepest part of the hill I stopped to walk a little bit – wasn’t the run mend for recovery after the tough training on the indoor track the day before? For a minute I paused and looked around. The pines stood straight along the path and seemed to reach higher than the stars. I admired their verticality and its contrast to the inclination of the ground on which they were standing. I tried to imitate them, stood on one leg and reached with my arms as high as I could. For a few seconds I succeeded, but then my foot started to tremble and I had to come down to the ground with both legs.

Ducks on ice sheets in the Aura river
Ducks on ice sheets in the Aura river

Today morning I did my exercise in the park by the Paavo Nurmi stadion. Although there was a thin fresh layer of snow, the path was in perfect condition. Four times ten minutes at marathon speed. And the squirrels playing in the snow and the blue tits singing. Running is the truest pleasure, I thought. Back home along the river, brown water with sheets of ice drifting on it. Again I paused, this time wondering about the ducks who were standing on the ice rather than swimming on the water. Why, I thought, did they ever choose to be ducks?

Diamond-shaped footprints of a duck.

As I was looking at them, my eyes caught another peculiarity. A beautiful picture was drawn by footprints in the snow at the river shore. They told the story of a duck walking away from the water, changing its mind and turning around. The footprints were shaped like diamonds. But look, a few meters ahead they changed into Algiz-shaped footprints. Could it be that the duck had started to run, and therefore its footprints changed, I thought.

When coming home I took my camera and ran back to the river to catch the story with the lens. Just as I returned to the place, the story revealed itself. A big grey crow was marching around, threatening the ducks by his cold shrieks while leaving behind the footprints I had been wondering about. So the story was not that of a duck who started to run but of a crow and a duck. Much more interesting indeed, leaving me with even more questions as I headed back home again.

Diamond- and algiz-shaped footprints on the shore of the Aura river
Diamond- and algiz-shaped footprints on the shore of the Aura river

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