April 1, 2008


Winter here will still last another few weeks. Just about everyone is tired of it and when we finally do get that first really warm spring day everyone’s persona will perk up noticeably. In the meantime we will just have to make the best of things. It snowed a little bit overnight which gives us an opportunity to discover many of nature’s little dramas being played out right in our own backyard. We can do this by observing and interpreting the fresh tracks left behind in the snow by our animal friends.

Looking out my kitchen window this morning I can see that a small tragedy has occurred in the backyard. If I were to try and describe the tracks to you it might sound something like this:

pitter … patter … pitter … patter … pitter … patter … pitter … patter … KERFUFFUL!@#$% ... pitter … patter … pitter … patter … pitter …

It’s pretty clear that the neighbourhood cat was strolling through the yard when it discovered a mole or shrew underneath the snow. A brief scuffle ensued whereupon the feisty feline had breakfast and then went upon its way. Fresh snow affords us the best time to study the various animal tracks and learn how to read the signs.

In today’s photograph some small animal, perhaps a fox, made its way all along the edge of the stream. Nothing distracted it and nothing disturbed its gait as it went about its business. I wonder where it was going and what it did when it got there. You will be amazed at the nature stories you can discover with a little bit of observation on your part.

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