Tracks in the snow: if you enlarge the photo and look closely, you can see 4 sets of these tracks going off into the trees in the distance. The animal was probably moving towards the camera in this photo.
The last time MOH and I were at the lake, the snow was 12 to 18 inches deep, with a heavy corn-snow crust such that we were both able to easily walk on top without breaking through.
While walking around in the backyard, MOH discovered some large, widely spaced animal tracks that had been moderately degraded by snow compaction, melting, and time. The tracks were about 10 to 15 feet apart, and MOH said they were similar to tracks he'd seen in snow on Wheeler Peak. At first we thought the tracks might have been made by a mountain lion (cougar or puma). Mountain lions live around the lake and feed on the local mule deer population, among other things.
An enlargement of the second set of tracks, with winter boot for scale, above. The animal probably moved - bounding or galloping - from right to left.
We followed the tracks farther into the backyard, where they eventually went through and around some small trees and manzanita bushes and then toward what appeared to be a deer bed under an evergreen tree.
Here's another close-up of one set of tracks. I think that the animal was moving from left to right in the picture.
This is what the tracks looked like as they went away from the deer bed, towards the original photos and towards the front yard. Behind the deer bed, in another yard, I saw some human footprints. I'm thinking that a person unwittingly walked close to the hidden deer, causing it to leap and bound out of its bed, and then it continued to bound or gallop into our front yard, making wide-spaced tracks in the snow.