cold mice and snow

Our recent snowfall even had the mice stuck at home.

On the morning of 21 January 2016 I found the fourth dead mouse in nine days. That was the same morning that the big snow started, and I didn't catch the fifth mouse until nine days later - once most of the snow had melted away from the house's foundation.

Today I caught mouse #8. This one, unlike the previous seven, was a deer mouse.

When I first started trapping the mice, I just tossed them onto the bank that descends behind my house. The first two were OK, they weren't more than a foot or so beyond the lawn, but the third mouse made it look like a mouse pile. I didn't like that, so I took my walking stick and tried to flip them further down the bank.

They didn't get very far, landing in a small pile of branches I had trimmed from a nearby tree last fall. At first that bothered me, but quickly I recovered and decided that a "sky burial" was appropriate. Since then I've tossed them all on that brush pile.

Our big snow stayed on the ground for a long time. First of all, there was 13" to melt away; second, it was only about 5℉ when the snow fell, and the insulating properties of fluffy snow kept the snowpack cold; and third, we don't get a full day of sun here. Mountains to the east and west, don'tcha know.

What finally did in the snow was a little over 3" of rain that melted away the final 4" of soft, icy snow that remained.

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