Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘foot prints

Measured Gait

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When I was a kid in school, I noticed there were others who walked with their feet angled toes-in or toes out and it led me to think the same thing could happen to me. It didn’t look right to me. I didn’t want to walk like that. As a result, I tried consciously aligning my feet with the seams of the floor tiles as I walked down hallways in hopes the practice would keep my gait from becoming misaligned.

How I place my feet as I walk hasn’t been something I constantly think about, but stepping straight ahead in line with those tiles did become a permanent memory that I’ve returned to thinking about many times over the years.

Fifty-some years and too-many-ankle-sprains-to-count later, I’m beginning to notice my right foot “toes out” a little bit in the prints I leave behind in the snow.

What I found interesting yesterday after I noticed my old footprints on the trail was that when I put conscious effort into paying attention to place my right foot straight, it felt like I was toeing it way too far in.

I’m not talking extremes here. The amount of difference is very small. A fraction of an inch. It’s fascinating to me that such a small percentage of change would feel so much larger than it really is.

This kind of correction reminds me of my never-ending quest to achieve an even pedal stroke on my bicycle. I’m decidedly right-side dominant in my pedaling which contributes to a “wobble” of the bike as I unconsciously push stronger with my right leg.

I dream of expending equal power with the push-pull of each leg, but if I’m not specifically thinking about it or I start to get fatigued, I can sense my effort becomes lopsided.

At least I never have to worry about the position of my feet when I’m clipped into the bike pedals. While I wobble down the road on my bike, my toes on both feet are always pointed straight ahead!

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Written by johnwhays

March 8, 2022 at 7:00 am

Ice Breaking

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful… My first clue was that the door didn’t open when Delilah and I intended to step out yesterday morning and she bonked her nose on the glass. We had been out that door the night before on her final walk before bed and stepped into a windy snowstorm. At that time, I decided we should walk down and check on the horses.

Delilah wasn’t really all in for that because she just wanted to do her business and race back inside. We trudged through the blowing snow to the barn and I made her wait while I attempted to convince the two chestnuts they should come over to the big paddock so I could close some gates and split the herd in two for the night.

That would have given them each a better chance of commanding some space under the overhang, as the alternative allows Mix to pull rank and make the chestnuts stay out in the precipitation.

Well, neither Mia nor Light wanted to come into the big paddock so, after several aborted attempts to coerce them, I spent the next fifteen minutes relocating hay nets to get the bags under the roof. Then I filled them with extra hay to give the horses plenty to eat in case they got cold during the storm. Delilah politely tolerated the long wait.

I wasn’t aware that the overnight precipitation eventually turned to rain which froze into a half-inch glazed crust on top. To push the front storm door open required enough force to shatter that crust covering the snow on the front steps.

The next thing that stood out about the overnight accumulation was the noise it made when walking.

Each step broke the crust and sent fragments sliding across the icy surface around us. Poor Delilah ended up standing in her own pee because it flowed in every direction on top of the glass-like surface beneath her.

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The horses seemed to navigate okay since their weight kept them from sliding on the surface, but they made a clattering racket when they walked around. Delilah occasionally had a paw slide out from under her if she didn’t break through on some steps.

Today we are due to receive 2 to 4 additional inches of snow on top of that crust. I’m not sure we will like the outcome of that scenario, but I’ll hold out hope it ends up not being problematic.

At least I have no pressing need to drive in it!

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Written by johnwhays

December 28, 2021 at 7:00 am

Snowy Footsteps

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Today is the start of winter. It feels closer to the middle of winter. Although, we did just have strangely warm temperatures and a weird December thunderstorm. Still, cold temperatures have become the norm and we have a slim inch of flakes dominating most surfaces.

The labyrinth hasn’t had more than a few stray animal footprints disturbing its blanket of white.

Delilah and I have been methodically distributing our footprints along most of our trails. I have a tendency to neglect seeing the depth of our woods when I am busy plotting my footsteps to widen the traveled snow path. I catch myself staring exclusively at the ground right in front of me.

I rely on Delilah’s nose to alert me that we might have some company nearby. On Sunday afternoon, Delilah was intently focused on something in the interior of our woods. As we approachedĀ  an intersection of trails, I knew she wanted to go left based on the direction her nose had been pointing.

It took me a while, but eventually I decoded the camouflaged young doe’s big eyes and ears, frozen in a stare directly at us from around the large trunk of a tree. The longer I looked back at her, the more I was able to discern the rest of her body visible on the other side of the tree, too.

If Delilah hadn’t signaled someone was there, I would have been oblivious.

I would have noticed deer hoof prints in the area, though.

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Written by johnwhays

December 21, 2021 at 7:00 am

Several Impressions

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A morning walk last Friday with Delilah on a trace coating of overnight snow and Cyndie’s tire tracks provided plenty of enticing opportunities to frame a variety of interesting views. Here are three of my favorite images selected from a much wider range of impressions I collected on that excursion…

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Written by johnwhays

December 3, 2019 at 7:00 am