In the second half of October winter has shown its snowy face more clearly. Life in the forest gets quieter for a few days. No-one wants to leave traces of themselves voluntarily in these new conditions. Snow fell on unfrozen ground and it will not stay. Boars, moles and badgers are still searching for earthworms under the grass sward; and as lawn destroyers the first-mentioned have come in conflict with people.
It is worthwhile to go into hibernation when the fat layer is thick, and finding more food takes a lot of trouble – this seems to be the opinion of badgers. Easiest to get hold of on the prewinter dinner table are earthworms near the surface and insect larvae; voles and moles are also hunted.
In the beaver burrows, or setts, the winter nests are ready, fur coats have grown thicker for the winter, and the weight is up to a third higher than in spring, thanks to the fat layer. Until a permanent snow cover arrives they still go out for food, only the territory gets smaller; at thaw tracks can be seen in the forest.
These setts are large systems with long passages, several entrances, nest chambers and – please note – toilets. Several generations may live in such setts and they can be „hundreds of years“ old.