Wednesday night we finally got some fresh snow, and since I was miraculously free yesterday afternoon I took advantage of the chance to tramp around in the quiet woods for a couple hours. (And I do mean quiet. Even birds were few and far between, though I flushed several grouse toward the end of my walk. I could hear every gust of wind approaching from far away as the sighing of the trees got closer and closer.) When the sun started peeking out I tried in vain to capture how beautiful the light illuminating the treetops was.
I was also on the lookout for animal tracks. Most of what I saw were from the ubiquitous red squirrels, but crisscrossing the trails in several places were what looked like small tunnels through the snow, about an inch across.
At one point the tunnel-maker had emerged to hop across the surface, leaving tiny tracks.
My field guide to animal tracks was frustratingly unhelpful, but I would guess these are the work of the tiny shrews I spotted occasionally on the forest floor early in the fall. (If anyone has any different insights, please share in the comments!) I’m hoping that if I get out in the snow regularly this winter I’ll be able to find more interesting prints – bobcats, bears, wolves, who knows!