Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Animal Tracking: Wet Snow Tracks & Scat (and a fun walk too)

It is not often I can walk in the woods this winter, the weather has been the harshest cold & snow I have ever seen in Western North Carolina, since I moved here 9 years ago. The trails on the mountain behind the house where I live don't get any sun during the cold season and are therefore freezing and the snow barley melts... i guess it's north facing? Big Sandy Mush (the area I am in) has virtually turned into Big Snowy Mush. Yesterday was remotely 'warm' in comparison and I could not resist the urge to get out of the house and move my limbs... being inside all winter is driving me bonkers! Bort, my most best nature friend came along too...
At the top of the apple orchard there was a super highway of melting deer tracks, some fresh some old and frozen. Further up the trail was what we thought is a raccoon (pictured below), there were quite a few of these going off to trees and then ending at the bottom of a tree trunk.
On the trail of the raccoon tracks were these GIANT canine tracks, which we assumed is a dog because if a coyote got that big that would be terrifying!
Then there was a bit of this scat (poop) in the snow... raccoon poop maybe?
Due to all the storms alot of trees fell down blocking the trail, and had to be climbed over. Most the trees that fell were locust, which makes really good firewood but makes me wonder if a disease killed a bunch of them too. Living here in Big Sandy Mush with Bort has helped me learn way more about identifying different types of trees (and animal tracks), I will miss this when I move.
Treasures....At the peak of the trail, the view of the half melted snow across the valley and the solid snow topping the balds was freakin' awesome! The white snow, silhouetting the wet trees makes a dramatic, ominous scene.
Once we got to the top the wet snow was melting through our shoes, and making cold squishy wet feet. So basically I hauled ass back down the mountain to soak my feet in a pot of hot water & epsom salt. So nice. :)
XoXo

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the beautiful treasures!

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Anon -
ya welcome.
I always want to make little nature art projects out of the treasures.