Monday, February 3, 2014

Winter Tracks

The snow hung around until yesterday.  It was a glorious mid-40s!  I got away with a light jacket.  I felt the warmth of the sun on my face and hands ('cause I didn't have the wear gloves!), and after arguing quite eloquently with the chickens about going out (i.e., I threw them all outside), they strutted around all day.  Even Acid and ElastaGirl joined the old girls.  Alas, Mocha is the bottom of the pecking order, so she stayed inside and enjoyed the lack of harassment.

The snow melted, after almost two weeks of hanging around... I think.  Honestly, we've had so much coming and snowing that I cannot remember what is new and what is old.  It is snowing right now, for what it is worth.  And a huge blizzard is predicted for next weekend.

The Husband and I went out for a walk this last Saturday.  We walked the paths that no human had trod for days.  There was many a surprise in store.  For example...the pond was so iced over, that the deer had been crossing it.  I marveled at the tracks, wondering if we had misidentified them (even though by now we are almost experts at deer tracks around here...but more on that later).

fox? raccoon?  Who can say?

Well, the pond was THIS frozen.  As in a full grown man could have walked onto the ice and would not have fallen through.  Not that anyone in my family would have done such a thing...

We continued on the path through the lower pasture.  We saw these tracks, which may be raccoon but might also be fox.  I thought maybe it might be a small dog, but we were sure it was not the feral cat we see upon occasion.
One way or the other, I snapped it since we had no idea and were too lazy to look it up on our phones at the time. However, I have just looked it up. I found a similar image here.

deer highway

But this was the most amazing sight of the afternoon.  The path before us was heavily trafficked.  It was nothing but deer.  Deer!  Our field must be an interstate highway on the deer maps!  I couldn't believe the sheer volume of hoof prints.  Are they drug mules? (snicker) Or is there a party going on in the fields that I could be bringing wine to?
mouse runs

Now, the cutest sight we saw that afternoon was the little mouse runs under the snow, gradually appearing as the snow has melted.  We followed the runs for quite a way, through the bushes, past the old barn, toward the field, and there it split toward the compost heap and toward the farmhouse... rrr.

The biggest footprint (ha ha) were left by the humans.  Human runs (shoveled paths through what was once about eight inches of snow) show just how they circle their den, strike out for the mailbox and cross through the woods to where they left their car.  Amazingly, the deer and the dog also traversed those runs.

You know, we never did get around to shoveling the patio.  We were too busy dealing with the chickens, building forts, and marveling at the wildlife.  

Next weekend, we will have a blizzard, supposedly.  Two feet of snow.  I cannot wait to see all the new tracks in the snow.  But one of them better be a car returning with a fresh shipment of wine.  'Cause, a glass of wine makes the wildlife that much better.

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