A favorite winter activity of mine is observing animal tracks in the snow. When I wander about after a snowstorm I usually have my camera available to capture whatever creature has left evidence of its presence.
Finding deer tracks is not unusual in my Connecticut landscape. Deer tracks are so common … like these captured during previous winters … that I rarely photograph them any more unless the shot is particularly interesting.
Here’s a simple set of deer tracks, and a view of a deer freeway, both within a stone’s throw of my gardens and home.
It’s also not unusual to see tracks left by smaller animals such as chipmunks, squirrels, opossum, raccoon, mice, and the occasional fox. Last week, after finishing my shoveling chores, I spotted the tracks of what I suspect to be a mouse. Normally, I would not photograph simple mouse tracks but these were different. They showed where the mouse traveled atop the snow, then dug under the snow and continued its journey until it headed downward to the soil level. The red arrow shows where the mouse tunneled into the snow.
While the book does not give information pertaining to animal tracks in snow, it does provide drawings and particulars of the tracks … and scat, which is another good way to determine which animal has visited your yard … of 70 different creatures.
The pages describing the white-footed mouse show a gait pattern similar to the tracks I found. The tail tracks make me pretty sure it was a mouse, rather than a chipmunk or vole, that tunneled below the snow. According the the book’s illustrations the tails of chipmunks and voles don’t leave tracks.
The book is a good resource for staying abreast of the creatures that share your landscape.