Yesterday the weather changed abruptly. A storm of snow, freezing rain and rain (in that order) blew up from the south and after a tumultuous afternoon and night today the temperature is above zero and I think every single animal around here got the same message. "Go for a walk you moron, it won't last". It's like a gift designed to make sure that you keep believing in spring. Today on my hike my hands didn't freeze the second I took my mittens off and I even experienced the briefest moment of temptation where I considered taking off my hat. The snow on the top of the ice out there is melting, which means that if I'm very lucky, tomorrow when it snaps back to freezing again the river will be glassy and smooth, and I may see some iceboats.
I was back to hiking the woods this afternoon, and I think every other animal around here was doing the same thing. Crows heckled me from the trees, I even saw an eagle soaring on the warm windy air. I saw a snowshoe hare (by the way? BIG BUNNY) and came pretty close to a big deer who (although I could not see the parts in question to confirm this) had to have been a buck. He stared me down, turned his whole body to face me and stomped his feet. There are no records of people being killed by deer, so I didn't retreat out of fear, but respect. He's a full time resident. I'm just visiting. Clearly, these are his woods. The delicate hoofprints of the deer are everywhere, sprinkled like confetti,
and there's other stuff too. This track is deer like, but made by something larger and heavier by comparison, and that only leaves moose I think.
These ones, I have no idea about. None. I'm wondering if it's my friend the bobcat? I bet one of you guys knows for sure.
Check this last one out. It looks to me like the strangest track, so I'm wondering if it's a compound track (two body parts? Maybe something sat down?)
I'm hoping it's a compound track, because dudes, a footprint bigger than my hand? That's a track big enough to keep this knitter out of the woods. Tomorrow, knitting.
I promise. I know this week has been a little light on the wool content, but it's hard to type and knit at the same time.