Snow doesn’t fall very often in East Texas. When I was growing up it only happened a few times. I’ve been in snow many times since I moved from the Pineywoods of my youth and I’ve had it get in my way when cruising timber. Still, I have yet to get over the wonder of frozen water droplets falling from the sky, whether softly or driven fiercely by wind to lay in a fluffy blanket made up of innumerable individually perfect, unique flakes. An additional wonder of this fascinating substance is its ability to reveal wildlife activities that are usually hidden from us. It catalogs the actions of animals and holds them frozen in time for our perusal. It tells us stories.
This is the story of a mouse travelling in tunnels under the snow.
This story in four picture parts is of a grouse hunted and taken down by a bobcat.
This is a story of rabbits. We have around an acre of staghorn sumac. The birds love it and apparently the rabbits do as well. This stockpile of sumac berries was surrounded by a parade of rabbit tracks.
A small deer walked through the young birch, aspen, and maple stand.
A deer stepped into the iced-over vernal ruts for a drink.
These bobcat tracks seemed to circle our house nightly.
This is a story of coyotes running down a trail and over the log across it.
A porcupine travelled some distance from its den to eat our beech trees, leaving trails to each one it visited.
This is the sad story of a grouse that laid down in the snow and never got up again.
Birds have been pecking away at the scraps of meat left on these deer bones.
This crow was pecking at the sugar maple branch, completely unconcerned at the snow falling in drifts all around.
From the highest possible point, the crow surveys the snow blowing and drifting all around.
Even with two inches of snow and counting on the sumac branches, the robins are out.
This tale is a bit more obscure and requires foreknowledge. It is the story of a sled full of firewood being dragged across disappearing snow.
Snow melted here and then froze again. My toddler was nervous about walking on the frozen snow because of its tendency to suddenly give way.
This is the story of a very cold night when bubbles froze into plastic-like spheres.
This is the story of a snow-cat, melting, melting, oh what a world.
Lastly, this specimen was in the middle of its story. One of a toddler bear engaged in its favorite winter activity: eating snow.