Not having the pleasure of prior acquaintance, I wasn't sure whether their upturned noses were a constitutional characteristic or a register of their displeasure on finding me suddenly in their midst. The work of a moment dispelled my uncertainty. They looked to me, then at the earth, and then took to the trees, unwilling to share ground with the same feet whose tracks leave only ashes in their wake.
Blending with bark, they vanished at once and as one, while I once again stood alone in my greyscaled-whitewashed world, though I knew they could still see me for miles and miles. -Siskiyou National Forest, 07 August 2021