Stories in the snow
Footprints don't lie - they tell the story so clearly it's impossible to hide. That's one reason I love running or riding right after (or during!) a snow storm. The hidden life of the forest is suddenly plain to see. Epic battles revealed in the snow. On Saturday, Nick and I rode in Stratton and surrounds, making loops of all the trails. Besides the expected dog and human prints, I could see small cat tracks, rabbit and squirrel prints and deer tracks crisscrossing the trails. It was also clear where people decided they didn't need to stay on the trail - all hikers going bush wacking or in some cases just cutting the switchbacks. (I expect dogs to do that, but humans should be smarter - and have more respect.) The snow also changed the nature of the trails, adding challenge to normally easy singletrack.
Sunday was running - and the dusting of snow allowed the night life of the neighborhood to be seen. Cat prints chasing bird tracks, the distinctive imprints of feathers brushing the snow. There were some stretches of road covered in bird tracks - large birds as well. Then the long hops of the squirrels as they bounded from tree to tree. Almost like rabbit tracks, but without the long rear foot. I didn't realize it was squirrels until I saw one and made the connection. Human prints also covered the roads, usually accompanied by a dog or two. The snow did make it hard to see the occasional ice patches, but I was able to dance around them with ease. Tomorrow will be another story - the roads might be treacherous between melted and refrozen snow and new flacks falling. Welcome to winter!
|Bird tracks and cat tracks in the shadow of the van|