Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Tracks and Trails
Last week, tracking was pretty good. The show was deep enough for good tracks, not so deep or powdery that the animals kicked snow in their wake and covered their feet features. But I really didn't think today would be that great. See, yesterday, it snowed... which we needed... the snow from the week before was fast a-meltin'... but then the snow turned to rain. It rained most of the afternoon and evening. This meant that the snow was all covered in an ice crust. It also meant that the weather was, not to put too fine a point on it, crappy. I figured, if I was an animal, I would hope I had enough in my cache that I could curl up on my warm den/bed/nest or whatever and not come out. Or, to be more accurate, I am an animal and if I had enough cash I would have stayed in my warm home and waited until it was nicer. Perhaps late March.
Turns out, I was wrong. Either no one had enough put away, or wet cold isn't a deterrent for the rest of them... we say coyote, rabbit, vole, and skunk tracks without leaving the school grounds. Also some tracks that I wasn't too sure of because they had filled in with ice but actually did NOT look like any of the above in terms of stride. And not just one of each, there were places where it looked like there was a canine convention out there. (No human tracks around. Well, previously. Now there are 22 sets if human tracks.) Birds are out, too, but they don't sink into the snow even if they land upon it right now. I guess it was a pretty good day once I got over myself and got out there... There's a lesson in that, somewhere...