Cold ramble

I was hearing the call of the wild on Saturday. My wife was under the weather, and I didn’t feel like driving too far, so went to Glenmore Reservoir for a walk. It was firmly in the minus 20s but with not much wind, and the Sun was shining which was a change after a grey month. I went down on the edge of the reservoir and saw nobody else the whole time, which is a good goal for this sort of day in a City of 1.3 million. I started following coyote tracks. The coyote seemed to like to work its way along the ice. It’s a pretty smooth way to move and probably there are a bunch of little mice dens in the bush near the edge of the water where they can sneak down for a drink. Plus the coyote is out of sight of the road up top and most of the people on the path.

Coyote sniffs something of interest and runs a little buttonhook pattern.

A coyote ran across the tracks of another coyote. Gave it some thought, and then headed for better hunting grounds.

There is a beaverlodge in the distance on the left. I love the wave pattern in dry, drifted snow, not unlike sand in a desert. The snow drifted in deep on the river ice and was a slog to walk through. It would have been a perfect spot for some snowshoes.

There were no fresh tracks around the beaverlodge, but this hole had been kept open, and the beaver had tossed chunks of ice out of the way. I think beavers do walk around outside in the winter and likely swim some under the ice. This was towards the end of a a long stretch of below -20 C, approximately two weeks , with one day’s respite where it got to -7 C , so I think that it makes sense for a beaver to stay denned up and not do a whole lot outside. (FYI the charitable high on this ramble was -17 C, sunny with light wind). Animals are pretty smart like that.

I was drawn to this odd shape of frosty, crystalline snow protruding from a twiggy hummock

When I turned around to look down it I could see that it was a hole that had been kept open. Possibly a vent for a muskrat house, or an entrance that they hadn’t used in the cold, again there were no recent tracks. I could smell the warm, awake, smell of the lake and found it refreshing, like a short trip to spring in the middle of winter.

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