Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Lake Wicwas!  It certainly has looked like Christmas Town around the lakes this week.
It's a white Christmas at Lake Wicwas

That's a picture from the Hamlin Conservation Area taken on the Blue trail around the beaver ponds three days before Christmas.  It was still snowing lightly, so there were no animal tracks to be seen but it was a beautiful, peaceful time to be out.
The Blue Trail provides good skiing right after a fresh snow

On a later trip along Lake Wicwas I did see tracks, and saw that with the ice growing thicker, the fox have started taking shortcuts across the lake to get from one hunting ground to another.
Fox tracks stretching across the lake

With only a little snow on the lake it must make for fast and efficient travel.  They were rather busy, hunting around the shore, the islands, even the beaver lodges, in search of food.

Fox tracks run over a beaver lodge in a marsh beside Sheep Island
I say "they" because there were two of them.  It often looks like one set of tracks, but one fox will follow exactly in its mate's tracks for long distances.  Since fox "double register" it means there are four footsteps in each print.

Here's one of their favorite entrees, fattening up on Linda's bird feeders.

Of course, the fox have to compete with the fishers, coyotes, hawks, owls, bobcats, and a host other predators that feed on the squirrels.  Nice to know Linda is doing her part to support the entire food chain so everyone will have a nice Christmas feast.

Up on higher ground away from the lake I found a spot where a fox had made a bed in a bright sunny spot, curling up in the snow for winter's nap.
A fox bed in the snow

We had a just a touch of rain on Christmas eve, but with the current weather pattern I'm optimistic more of the fluffy stuff will soon fall.  If you are visiting the lake over the holidays I hope you can get out to enjoy the beauty of the season.  And remember, with the winter solstice behind us, the sun is rising higher in the sky - the days are already getting longer!

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