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Blizzard 2016 – Shrews, moles, minks, chipmunks, squirrels, feral cats, beaver, muskrats, coyote, fox, and all the birds – where do they go in a storm?

image2I was out and about this morning, still seeing and hearing signs of life, but wondering where all our feathery and furry friends will be spending the next few days. Some may have flown away, but most stay close by. As the snow piles up, many of them may be confined to their burrows but others will be making intricate pathways beneath the snow. Pathways that we might never see. I bet the weather below the snow will be milder that the windy conditions we will be experiencing. Here is a photo of tracks that I followed for hundreds of feet along the banks of Lake Elkhorn and which then took a ninety degree turn and shot out straight across the lake.

image4In addition to all the bird and mammal tracks I saw along the paths and on the snow covered, frozen lake, I saw this interesting trail capturing the movement of what I think was probably a duck from what is left of the open water onto the ice and then back again. Must have preferred the open water to the frozen water. Probably a mallard, since I don’t see any hooded merganzers, ringnecks, or redheads hanging around. I am also wondering how long it will be before the aeraters and their open waters get covered up. (more…)