Snowy Tales

TracksSnow Tales

No creature moves around upon the winter landscape without leaving a record of its activity. The perpetual snow cover of winter tells no lies about what has occurred. Places where a lone coyote has searched a brushy creek bottom for prey, are obvious by his zigzagging tracks in the snow. At times we see where those tracks connect to the tracks of a rabbit in a bloody swirl of red snow and scattered leaves.

 

Because of snow, winter carries a brutal honesty upon its whitened back. There are no lies on the winter landscape which is crossed and re-crossed with the activities of creatures large and small. Even crimes are solved by the car tracks and footprints that are left at the scene of a transgression. Tracks will lead us to the areas where the deer are feeding and bedding in the winter. We might see the tracks of a fisherman, left on a lonely frozen lake and determine by the activity around the holes bored into the ice, the extent of his success. No one drives into a deserted farmyard without it being noticed, and no snowmobile veers from the designated trail without alerting all passersby of the deviation from the norm.

 

Of course each new storm erases the whole story and sets the stage for new tales to be written. As winter lengthens we see that in places where numerous tracks were noticed earlier in the winter, now less tracks are evidenced as creatures fall prey to the silent, white killer. The once-numerous tracks of pheasants feeding on harvested corn fields are now scattered and sporadic. As they venture onto the white, snowy fields, they are very noticeable to predators and of course the deepening snows make food and cover less-available to the struggling birds. Most of the creatures out here in flyover country are about ready for the warm anonymity of dark bare earth.

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