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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back in the Woods--At Last! Part I

Up the hill we follow the tracks
What with one thing and another (David's cold, my sprained ankle, my cold) it’s been weeks since I’ve been up the hill. Finally came a sunny day when I felt well enough to tackle it. Sarah has been ready all along--no need to ask her twice!

Another pair of strollers had been on the slope before Sarah and I arrived on Monday afternoon. Those are the tracks we saw on our way up the hill.

So who else has been in the woods lately? I’m not confident enough to claim to identify in a public forum the tracks I saw, even the easy ones, but here is a sampling from one exciting expedition, and let me say that the traffic patterns in the snow were incredible—armies of mice, volumes of voles, squadrons of squirrels, rabbits and birds everywhere, and maybe? Maybe? Maybe a bobcat, and maybe a woodchuck? What do you think?

Can you say "foot drag"?

Hopping, hopping, hopping

This busy intersection blew me away!

These, I thought, were the dearest tracks....
End of Part I. I'm stopping here because I seem to have reached my photo limit for one post, due to not having resized as I usually do....


Dawn said...

Did you figure out who they all belong to? This is fun!

P. J. Grath said...

My identifications are all provisional and tentative at this stage of my learning curve, Dawn. Did you look at Part II? I would be totally lost without my books, but even they are no substitute for hours in the woods. Went to a different woods yesterday and saw some of the same familiar tracks in another setting. That's what I need to see--different habitats, ground conditions, seasons, etc. I'll be pursuing this as long as I can get out in the woods.

BB-Idaho said...

Look like racoon and rabbit. The
foot-dragger has me baffled...wait, did you mention a sprained ankle?

P. J. Grath said...

In deep snow, bobcat tracks will show foot drag. Look at the next post for more of the foot-dragger's prints, its trail, and stride length. What do you think?

BB-Idaho said...

Could be a bobcat. I checked
'google images' for bobcat snowprints and found dozens of
examples. They are a bit on the secretive side; only saw one once during a Wisconsin summer and a few years back was startled by a
big lynx walking across the road
in Oregon's Blue Mts. BTW, did
you know that the Michigan DNR has a site for reporting tracks, sightings etc ?

P. J. Grath said...

We do have bobcats in our neighborhood, though I've never seen one. Saw a lynx once in the U.P. Some people swear they've sighted cougar here. I don't expect lynx, wouldn't mind seeing bobcat, but cougar is one big cat I don't want to get near.

Thanks for the DNR link, BB.

Tonight I'm going to leave an orange section out between the two barns. A hungry little fox might like a bite of fresh fruit, don't you think?