Items filtered by date: February 2019
Tuesday, 19 February 2019 16:11

Tracks in the snow

     A recent Forest Kindergarten morning occurred after a light, overnight snow.  The children decided to hike to the cave--a plan they had deferred previously on a particularly icy morning.  As we entered the Glen, we could immediately see that we were not the first creatures to use the trail that morning.  Several sets of tracks ran ahead of us on the trail.  Additionally, a number of distinct tracks crossed the trail at various points. 

     The children recognized the cloven deer tracks right away.  The deer tracks generally crossed the trail, as the deer headed more directly down toward the creek. A raccoon also crossed the trail appearing to head toward the creek.

     Two different sized, yet similar tracks, ran along the trail in the same direction we were traveling.  "Dog tracks!" the children declared.  Sure enough the tracks with their rounded pads and claw marks did appear to belong to members of the dog family.  However, there were no human tracks on the trail save our own.  Perhaps they were lost dogs someone ventured.  Someone else guessed that one was a wolf.  The tracks did not appear to be animals traveling together, as the large ones veered off the trail and went their own way, while the smaller ones followed the trail for a considerable distance.  Finally, someone decided the smaller set could be fox tracks.  I confirmed that fox had been seen in this area, which is why we sometimes refer to the bog, as Fox's Swamp.  The children had to consult our field guide to find out that the largest wild dog family member in our area is a coyote, which perhaps had made the set of larger tracks.

     The smallest set of tracks, squirrel-like in appearance, ran on the trail for the longest, decidedly not squirrel-like in behavior.  The children consulted our field guide once again and made many guesses--skunk, weasel, badger, bear--but the imprints weren't clear enough for us to make a definitive determination.  We are hoping for another snowy Forest Kindergarten, though, when perhaps we can identify the mystery tracks.   

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