A walk in new snow in the country is like reading a newspaper. The tracks of every creature that has been out that day tell where they went and what they were doing.
Bird tracks are thick around plants that still have seeds. Rabbits have dashed at high speed across the open ground and congregated under the cedars. A mouse track ends abruptly where an owl wing has brushed the snow. Deer have been criss-crossing the icy beaver pond. A fox track runs for a couple of miles along the conveniently plowed edge of the road with brief detours into the brush when a car has passed.
Coyotes, leaving alarmingly large paw prints, have been scouting along the back lane, stopping the sniff where the deer have passed. And, once again, they have vainly tried digging their way into the solidly frozen beaver lodge while the beaver inside just laugh.
Through it all are my own lumbering tracks, the human neither quiet, swift or agile. But going home with all the news.