A Story in the Snow

One morning last fall, we had a squad of raccoons wander across our yard, past the house, and over the back fence. The kits were big enough that I couldn’t tell them apart from the mom, as they clambered around the trees, before disappearing down the hill. They’ve moved on now, though, and only Mom Raccoon is around now.

How do I know? Well, I found Mom Raccoon's tracks recently, when we had a bit of unexpected snow.

I could see her tracks from our living room window, actually—a neat little line across the back yard.

When we went outside later in the morning we hunted around and found the rest of her trail.

Apparently, Mom Raccoon came around one neighbor’s house, across our driveway and up into the other neighbor’s yard. Then, back down to our driveway, following it down a line of trees that had blocked most of the snow. Tiptoe along our railroad-tie retaining wall, duck under the fence, and wander across the backyard to the same section of fence she’d climbed over the summer, when we were watching before.

I’m sure she’s around a lot. We just can’t tell—unless it snows.