[A] track is a temporary thing. Unless the mud goes suddenly hard and turns gradually to stone, tracks do not last. They fade, and as they dry, the wind sweeps them relentlessly level to ease its way across the ground. Tracks exist at the interface where the sky drags along the surface of the earth. They exist for a relatively brief time in a narrow level near the surface of the ground where the wind and weather move across, changing the temperature and building information into the track. Nature conspires to steal even the traces of passage. Most tracks made in the world go under unseen. I try to follow every one I can.
- The Tracker: The true story of Tom Brown, Jr., as told to William Jon Watkins.
The more we learned to let our attention wander and come to rest on the thing at hand just often enough to catch the disturbances, the better we became as trackers and as observers of the woods.
Out through the front of the tent he watched the glow of the fire when the night wind blew on it. It was a quiet night. The swamp was perfectly quiet. Nick stretched under the blanket comfortably. A mosquito hummed close to his ear. Nick sat up and lit a match. The mosquito was on the canvas, over his head. Nick moved the match quickly up to it. The mosquito made a satisfactory hiss in the flame. The match went out. Nick lay down again under the blankets. He turned on his side and shut his eyes. He was sleepy. He felt sleep coming. He curled up under the blanket and went to sleep.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Nick Adams Stories