Coyote about face

A blizzard Friday night created a perfect canvas for animal tracks. But for two nights and days, only the birds and I left any marks in the snow. Then this morning I saw tracks. They ran from the fence about 20 feet into the meadow and stopped.

Trekking out to get a better look was hard. The snow came up to my knees. Near the fence, where a row of trees had blocked some of the snow accumulation, the tracks showed distinct toenails, pads and a stride of about a foot. In the deeper snow further from the fence, was a tail imprint. Coyote, I surmise.

Why did the tracks stop a few feet from the fence? On closer look, I see they double back. The coyote had the same problem I had with the deep snow only its legs were half as long. Remembering Winslow Homer’s fox, the coyote must have decided to avoid the deep snow.

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