Riding to work this morning through a dusting of new powder, I amused myself by identifying the various tracks I noticed on the bike path (especially since my eyes were mostly forced downward—look up too long and I risked getting bopped in the eyeball by an icy snowflake). There were the footprints of an early walker, a road bike, a bird hopping across the path, ooh! a rabbit! There's a dog being walked, and... what on earth?! What is that winding, dragging trail, with two parallel lines of scurrying footprints along its center? A giant caterpillar? Some sort of segmented worm?!
A little ways along, the answer was revealed: a little long-haired shi-tzu dog, with dragging toenails and fur sweeping the ground. Who would have thought. A segmented worm would have been more interesting.
I really wished that I'd had the camera along: I would have photographed the tracks to present any skilled native trackers in the audience a chance to prove their skills. I also would have photographed the spot where I swerved wildly on the snow-covered ice, careening back and forth across the path for a dozen yards before being forced to put my foot down (and it slipped too, of course). I didn't go down, but the tracks were certainly messy. In embarrassment, I wrote "oops" in the snow; oh I hope that someone goes be and sees it before it's covered with snow!
All in all, though, I was amazed by how well I was able to keep the bike under me this morning. If I had tried these conditions a few months ago I would have been completely destroyed. Isn't visible improvement wonderful! I can't wait for spring, when I can try out my awesome new balancing skills on the trails!