Kim McDougall

Appreciating the Cold

I’m acquiring a new appreciation for snow, which is a good thing since we’ll be stuck with the white stuff for a while. Despite the cold (-18℃ or about 0 ℉), I have forced myself to walk every day. I come back pink-cheeked and energized. One great thing about snow is how it reveals the lives of forest animals we never see. There are deer tracks criss-crossing our field. In several spots, I see them stop at the fence as if contemplating the jump, then the tracks turn around and head back into the field. There are two gates in the fence where they can pass through, but they seem to forget where those are. 

The snow also reveals tracks through the woods—routes that I wouldn’t see otherwise. And neat little trails like this one below that make me wonder what kind of tiny animal recently scurried by. 

And then there are the real finds like these deer bunks in the video below. I’ve spotted several of these now, often in the same area. You can clearly see the indentations where three deer rested. There are an abundance of clear hoof prints nearby and some scat. It’s a little deer house!

So now when I walk, I’m aware that there must be critters all around, though I rarely see any. They hear me coming a mile away, of course. I’m not exactly stealthy. But I like knowing they’re nearby, watching the clumsy human pass through their living room.

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