A Story in the Snow

One morning last fall, we had a squad of raccoons wander across our yard, past the house, and over the back fence. The kits were big enough that I couldn’t tell them apart from the mom, as they clambered around the trees, before disappearing down the hill.

They’ve moved on, though, and only Mom Raccoon is around now.

early morning sunshine in the snow

How do I know? Well, I found Mom Raccoon's tracks recently, when we had a bit of unexpected snow.

raccoon footprints in the snow

I could see her tracks from our living room window, actually—a neat little line across the back yard.

When we went outside later in the morning we hunted around and found the rest of her trail.

more raccoon footprints in the snow

Apparently, Mom Raccoon came around one neighbor’s house, crossed our driveway and wandered up into the other neighbor’s yard. Then, she circled back down to our driveway. A line of trees on one side had blocked most of the snow, and she seemed to like that!

When she reached our fence, she tiptoed along our railroad-tie retaining wall, ducked under the fence, and wandered across the backyard to the same exact section of fence she’d climbed over with her babies last summer, that time we were watching them.

picture of a snowy fence

We didn't see her do any of that! We just read the story in the snow long after she was gone. I’m sure she’s around a lot more often than we realize.

We just can’t tell—unless it snows.

What kinds of stories have you found in the snow?