New Discovery on My Walk

Do you see the hole? I didn’t for seven years. I have walked the same route for seven years. This year I noticed it. It is fairly close to where I found the bones. Why did I never see this before? It has obviously been here for years. I just noticed it several months ago.

I had to step off the road to get a closer look. I can tell that its been here for  a long while since the wood is so weathered. Why would there be a hole alongside a road lined with wood? What is its purpose? These questions raced through my mind as  I navigated my way over to investigate.

I thought of Ralph Fletcher. I know you are wondering what does Ralph Fletcher have to do with a hole in the ground that you’ve just discovered? He tells the story (in A Writer’s Notebook) of a ditch that was dug in his backyard by men laying telephone cable. He went out and looked in the next morning to discover that it held several creatures. He set them free before the ditch was filled in. It got him thinking, so he went into the woods near his house and dug his own ditch. The next morning it too, held several small creatures. He relates this to a writer’s notebook. It is the place to catch interesting bits of life.

So as I peer into the depths of this hole, I wonder what has been caught in this place? I fully expect to see eyes staring at me or a writhing body swirling the water. But there is nothing but water. I wonder how deep it is, but I don’t investigate that thought (yet). So now when I walk, I have to detour off the road and check for wildlife. I don’t know what I will do if there is ever anything in there. (Run like the wind?)

Meanwhile, I continue to collect bits of life in my notebook, like this.

27 thoughts on “New Discovery on My Walk

  1. I really hope you get this!! I’m having trouble sending you the stories. Gmail keeps telling me that your email account is rejecting it. Do you have another email I can try? Or email me and give me our address and I can just mail them.

    Stephanie (

  2. I was shocked by how deep the hole looks in the 2nd picture. I would never have guessed based on the first image. I loved your links to writer’s notebooks, as well as the sense of wonder expressed.

  3. That hole was so patient, watching you go by for seven years. I wonder what stories the hole would tell? Funny, this hole has me thinking about how many things I must wander past without noticing…hmmmm?? How powerful a hole can be, who knew?

  4. Judy C. says:

    Enjoyed going on your walk with you, but I don’t think I’d be too quick to check out what’s in the hole. There are strange critters in our neck of the woods! I like how you related the hole to your writer’s notebook. I sometimes feel that mine in a very deep hole.

  5. jee young says:

    Ooh what a great connection you made to Ralph Fletcher’s book! I totally remember that part of his book where he observe the whole in the ground. That’s great that you are collecting such observations in your writer’s notebook!

  6. Seney says:

    Oh what a wonderful bit of life. I use What a Writer Needs (Fletcher 1993) in my college class. I used it when I taught sixth graders and then when asked to teach a college course for teachers (emphasis on writing) AND I could pick any book I wanted…I picked Fletcher’s book. Please keep taking detours.

  7. How observant you are while out on your walks. It has made me think I need to take closer notice when walking as well. Love your wondering about the hole.

  8. OK–I laughed at the end. I would also check it each day, but heaven knows if there was really something in there I’d probably scream and run.

    Happy to read about your walks again. Happy Tuesday!

  9. Wow – love the observation and the post. So glad you included the pictures. I am so curious now and will be thinking about what is inside of there for days to come. I couldn’t help but wonder, why do you think you noticed the hole now, after 7 years? Was it because you are paying more attention? Was there a shift in the grass that left it more exposed? What is in there? I need to know!

  10. From a craft standpoint, I love the way you peppered questions throughout. It works very well. I love this kind of collection in writer’s notebooks. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. You have us all wondering now. I like the connection to your writers notebook. Amazing what we can build stories from. I will be looking forward to read about what other things you find on your walks for your notebook and your slices.

  12. Michelle @litlearningzone says:

    Interesting find . . . I wonder what it was for?? I love how you connected back to Fletcher’s book and relating the hole to a writer’s notebook. Smart thinker you are! Good luck figuring this one out . . . maybe bring your hubby along to check it out. 🙂

  13. I love how you tied Ralph Fletcher’s book to your discovery. When he writes about writing small — discovering a tidbit you hadn’t noticed before — he shows the reader how many details lie there. Just like you did when you slowed down and took a closer look at a hole! What a good habit for a writer.


    p.s. I have to send you Lily’s latest story (I know I already owe you one, though). She used an ellipsis in a school story — and used it correctly!!!!!!! Then she told me today that “reading is boring”! I almost died! But then she said she only meant reading on my phone was boring (but I’m not so sure). How can she think reading is boring if she writes so fluently?

  14. Curious to see what you find in the hole the next time you are out. I love to read the stories from your walks. I feel like I sharing in on the adventure of your walks.

  15. I had the privilege of eating breakfast with Ralph Fletcher at Walloon Retreat in Lake Geneva a few years back. Everyone at our table was so excited and I had never heard of him…I have made up for that by featuring Twilight Comes Twice and Hello, Harvest Moon as beautiful mentor texts. So glad you are thinking of him too!

  16. I love that you just discovered it, even though you are obviously very observant on your walks! What an intriguing surprise! I’m with Linda — maybe it’s left over from a farm a long time ago? That would be cool to think about: who lived there? What was their life like?

  17. You caught me from that first line and the photo to showcase your words! Looks like you have something wonderful to write about, no?
    And to pull in Ralph Fletcher and his Writer’s Notebook- wonderful dessert! I know that book well…
    I’m going out for my walk right now…

  18. grade4wizard says:

    Even if you don’t go back to that hole, your imagination could run wild with what is hidden or who lives there. The hole reminded me of the moles you wrote about at the beginning of March. How are things going, or should I not mention this topic?

  19. Lynn says:

    Oooh you are a brave soul! I’m not so sure I would be so quick to stare into that hole….and if I did and saw something yikes!!! Running is an understatement!

  20. Tam says:

    I’m with Linda–glad to hear you’re back on your walks. I have no idea what it could be, but you have my attention–mystery and intrigue! Don’t get too close though. I’m sure something is using it for a home or entertainment. Oh, those bits of life!

  21. I love seeing you back on your walks, Elsie, and what a curious find. I wonder what it could have been for? Could it be a very old holder for something from old farming days? Like one of those grinder things where horses moved around a big pole that turned something (imagine an umbrella). Intriguing, & I love the Fletcher story-if I’ve read it, I don’t remember it. Thanks!

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