The Snow Doesn’t Keep Secrets

A fresh snowfall uncovers just as much as it obscures.

Each track in the snow is a secret revealed, the proven presence of a creature that would otherwise have slipped away, unseen, unappreciated.


Tiny delicate bird feet on my front step.







Bunny pausing, gentle front feet grazing the surface while back feet sink deeper, sproinging away.


The coyote is still trotting by daily, just on the other side of the fence. But my dog already knew that. You can plainly see where Ollie sits in the snow awaiting his unrequited love (see “On Dogs and Friendship” for the backstory).

Sometimes, unfortunately… the info from the tracks is not entirely welcome. Like the rat tracks leading under the porch. Arrrrrgh!

But now that I am aware of their presence, I can take steps to prevent bigger problems. Among other deterrents, critters like raccoons and rats don’t like it when a radio is left on, at low volume, 24/7.

Don’t ask how I know that. I don’t want to talk about it.

Hopefully that trick will encourage them to make one-way tracks in some other direction.

Tracks in the snow reveal patterns of movement and behavior – preferred routes, speed of travel and so much more.
Chickadees and juncos hop, their prints looking so precise and thoughtful.
Rabbits are either exploring or streaking for cover.


Coyotes affirm their cleverness: their tracks take the most direct, purposeful route.







Exactly opposite to my dog’s tracks, which meander all over the place, and include places where he suddenly slides into a stop and shoves his face deep into snow to root around for no reason except perhaps to get snow up his nose?   A mirror into the state of my distractable dog’s mind!

Got me thinking about patterns in my own movement, and patterns of thought in my own head. Checking in on what words I use frequently. What emotions seem to be cropping up. Where I go physically, and why.

Awareness of the tracks in my head is a good thing, when I take the time to notice it. And then, choosing how to act on it. Leads to better habits, like one less cookie eaten!
Or maybe just cookies enjoyed consciously. 😊

Either way, I’m feeling the urge to shake things up a bit.

I’d rather move through problems coyote-like instead of unconsciously circling around them, perpetuating them.
But I also want to keep making tracks towards the joyful things, like my good ol dog never fails to do.  It’s my job to make sure I make my own tracks too,  not focusing only on following his. Although there may be some overlap!


PS Chewing sticks and sniffing dogs’ rear ends aren’t fun for me. In case you were wondering.