We don't get a lot of snow here in western Oregon, but when we do, it is usually a gift. Today, after a recent snow, John and I spent some time with friends on their property north of town. Much of it was about looking at tracks. Who had passed through in the last two days? Cougar and deer.
Bobcat and cougar, crossing the narrow plank bridge over a creek. Given a choice, cats of all sizes daintily avoid stepping in water, don't they?
More than one cougar had been poking around. One big kitty had 5 toes.
That's right: take care not to step on the ferns.
Cougar hunt deer, and the tracks mingle.
A mouse, wishing to avoid detection, tunnels beneath the snow's surface, then pops up for air.
A mouse above the snow: hopping south on the left, north on the right. See the tail?
A bobcat, leaving a circle of snow all around her furry foot.
When did the bobcat pass through? There are crystals covering her print, telling us that it wasn't this morning.
At last we left the snowy, tangled woods,
stepped over the icy art on the path, and went into the cabin for soup and a warm fire. All of it a winter's gift.