Wednesday, October 01, 2008
voting with their feet
I'm not sure why, but I know I was quite pleased to see that enough people and other animals have walked alongside Jacana lake (and seasonal changes have revealed) that a new path has been worn taking quite a different route from the more broad-brush no-nonsense bike/pedestrian path. This allows Millie and Charlie and I to avoid the bike path pretty much altogether (though Millie will often pursue it off her own bat because, I think, she likes the smells and the naughtiness of being a free beast). Since the bike/ped path is at the foot of a fairly steep incline, the worn path which is on more open ground is better for avoidance of oncoming dogs. Apart from anything else our dogs don't need much encouragement to go down into the lake itself and patter around in the mud, so that's a good avoidance strategy, but also since they like doing that anyway, it's the best place to walk with them.
I was put in mind of one of those things I always assumed was apocryphal but never really analysed, the idea that Sydney's main streets were based on goat tracks. Who were these supposed goats, where were they going so regularly and dedicatedly, and why? Incidentally, alongside the lake near the clump of trees I have always assumed marks a space where once stood a hut or home of some sort, I came across a scattered collection of some large mammal's faeces, not instantly recognisable to me (not a horse, not a sheep, not a dog, I dunno).
I suppose the thing I like about the worn path particularly is that it seems like some kind of democratic decision has been made. And also there's probably one of those primal reasonings - 'this is safe, it has been done many times before by your species'. Because there's no particular advantage to walking on this kind of path; the grass is low and doesn't exactly ensnare your feet. But we were all into the worn path.