Well, the world didn’t end, so we got that going for us, which is nice. In fact, on the official first day of winter, we finally started getting some snow. It rained all day, then switched to the very fine snow that blows around and looks like it’s snowing like crazy. I woke up hoping to go skiing, but there’s still only an inch or so of snow on the ground. I really want to go skiing.
The fine snow somehow makes it through the screens on my porch, coating everything out there. I always try to sweep the porch before walking on it too many times, but Pico doesn’t care if the porch is clean. He loves the snow. When I let him out, he usually stares at the screen door like it’s the biggest barrier he’s ever seen. But when we get snow, he noses open the door and takes off to prance around in the fresh white stuff.
Coming home last night, I drove through the white tunnel that is my road. The balsams and pines that line either side of the road were coated in white, the branches just starting to droop a little bit under the weight of the snow. I didn’t see any tracks across the road or going up the driveway. Maybe it was too windy last night for the animals to be moving around much.
But on my way out this morning, I had a big fat bobcat run across about twenty feet in front of the car. The first time I saw a bobcat was on the way up St. Regis Mountain. When I was in college, I worked for a couple of summers as a Watershed Steward, which included a few days per week hiking to the very top of our little watershed, which was the summit of St. Regis. I started walking up there one morning, my car the only one at the trailhead parking lot.
The first half or so of the trail is rolling, open woods. Just before I started heading up the steeper, rockier part of the trail, I took off my baseball cap to wipe my forehead. When I took off the hat, I caught a glimpse of some movement a few hundred yards ahead of me. I looked more closely and saw the bobcat just staring at me. The cat looked pretty small and leisurely walked off. He was on the rock, so I didn’t see any tracks, but it was nice to see the cat. The Paul Smith’s mascot is the bobcat, and it was nice to see one so close to campus.
The bobcat I saw this morning was at least twice the size of that other one. The short little tail was sticking up as it took three leaps across the road. I stopped to look at the tracks in the snow, and it’s paws were bigger than Pico’s. I could still see him walking off into the woods, over a dead birch tree that was on the ground. He didn’t even look back at me, totally unconcerned that I was only a dozen or so yards away. I hope he stays in this neck of the woods and makes an appearance once in a while. As long as I don’t see those big tracks on the porch, we’ll get along just fine.