There’s been a layer of snow on the ground since Thanksgiving, and the weekend’s spritz added a fresh layer of thin ice, finishing off with about a half-inch or less of powdery snow on top this morning that ended before I ventured out around 11:30. I was abruptly stopped at the front door by the tracks of what I thought, at first glance anyway, was a possum-tail trail in the snow. About the same time it occurred to me this couldn’t be a possum-tail trail unless the rest of the possum was flying. There were no footprints.
Instead of footprints, there were little piles of snow on either side of the track – but not uniformly spaced and not everywhere.
The pattern was strange too, having many sharp turns and corners in otherwise straight lines. I can only assume, since I wasn’t born yesterday and know very well that possums can neither fly or levitate, that something else was responsible for the tracks. They did lead to an exposed flat rock, and there, in the snow, were little footprints. But why weren’t there little footprints anywhere else? My guesses are that (1) this is a mouse, mole, or some similar small furry rodent that is tunneling through the snow, and the printless lines are where the snow has caved into the tunnel (2) the footprints are obscured by the tunneling and digging action or (3) the Martians have landed and are a lot smaller than we thought.