There is a small ditch that leads to a drainpipe that runs below the tarmacadam path. I have noticed on rainy days that the grass at the mouth of the pipe – which is probably a foot or 18 inches in diameter – is pressed flat. A footprint or weight on the grass would have left a mark. This area is all combed in one direction, which may have been what caught my eye. The dog often takes a smell at the mouth of the pipe but rarely stays. I had always assumed it was either a passage or a shelter for some creature. The mouth of the pipe is where that weed in the foreground appears.
The snow has given proof to that hypothesis. There was a slight trail that came out of the forest, over the snow and to the mouth of the pipe. It could be a dog, I suppose, but the prints seemed smaller and small dogs would have left some additional marks as they dragged through the snow. I’m wondering whether it was the fox following a trail or some other creature. I am leaning towards fox because most other animals – raccoon, skunk, etc. – would have the same problems as the small dog.