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Dawn treaders?

Some passages are made in the wee hours; others are revealed in waxing sun and rising breeze. Here a family of raccoons went out a-foraging after dark from their brushpile den,

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while smaller mammals (including meadow vole, lower right) left lighter tracks before daybreak. Then the pattern was made noisier as warmed lumps of snow fell from the tree above.

Here, a vole nest is revealed when snow concealing its access maze sublimes in extremely cold but sunny weather:

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Graupel above freezing records a fair impression of an evening departure; a prominence decorated from the west with later-deposited rime ice is illuminated at sunrise:

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Following similar weather, but in early spring rather than midwinter, this line of exclamation points appeared:

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Though the squirrel offered no testimony, the scribe was eventually revealed as a curved twig rolled along the impressionable surface by high winds.

A coyote seeking breakfast (but not, apparently, fish) left tracks in powdery snow that melted smooth by sunset:

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And trails can render in the negative. Here a light fall of new snow over hard ice was selectively packed by another (or the same) canid; channeled winds then stripped the un-packed surrounding areas:

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And a similar result may obtain when humans skate the gelid pond:

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