1/09/2010

Something's Happening Here

But it just ain't exactly clear...




Perhaps if I'd paid more attention in Brownies or Girl Guides I would know what kind of  animal wiggled his cute little butt across the snow, hip hop drag the tail and into the hole I go style. A mouse? A mole? A mink?
During the winter my commute to work generally takes about 15 minutes down a snowy road, bordered by trees. It is not unusual to see wildlife...deer, fox, bear, porcupine, skunk, raccoon, sable (once), beaver, otter, squirrel, coyote.  It's often a fleeting view of the animal as it races off into the woods, unless, of course, it's a porcupine who really doesn't care if you're heading his way or not,  because he knows you're not going to pick him up and try to cuddle him.
But in the dead of winter, such as the case is now, I see all sorts of evidence of animal life in the snow, and frankly, it's driving me a little nuts...look!



I think this is an owl print. The owl spots its prey, praying in the snow, not to be seen by an owl, and BAM! Owl dives down, wings outspread, grabs the poor little mouse, and flies off with lunch. That's what I think...but I could be completely wrong, because when we were learning this stuff in grade five, I was busy trying to make it look like I had breasts and pulling my sweater tight so Tommy Cavanaugh would notice me. Boy, was I concentrating on the wrong stuff! Now, check out these tracks...


Let me explain- this is an area about the size of a piece of plywood ,
so 4' x 8'. Look  at all the tracks! There's at least three different kind, and I don't have a clue who made what, or what made which, and it bothers me! I should know this stuff for some odd reason. Or I should know a track interpreter who can tell me about this party to which I wasn't invited!

This one is a larger version of the very first photo...bum chuckerucka, bum chuckerucka.. I ask myself, what animal moves like this? Bounce on bum, drag the tail. Again and again and again, creating a giant zipper in the snow. And I don't have a clue! And we're not done here yet!

So beastie # 1 went for a short spin, did a wheelie, came back and sat down. And watched while his buddy came over, said hello, and left the way he'd come. Coyotes? Wolves? Aliens?
Now THIS one I know...

It's a deer track. Definitely! And I know this because I actually saw the young deer that made the track ...as I was pulling over to take his picture, he made tracks and left.
And I THINK that this is a fox...

 It's definitely canine, and it's too small to be a big dog, and I just want it to be a fox. So be it.
I'm really not sure where this need to know comes from, but everytime I see a trail leading off into the bush, I want to stop and follow it.

I wonder where they're going, what they're doing, and what they are exactly. But I can't. I have to keep going, get to work, do stuff, and be human.
 It's my nature.

9 comments:

Murr Brewster said...

Hey! I know that drag-the-tail one! Wallaby! Congratulations!

Plus, Tommy Cavanaugh is totally fat and bald now.

DUTA said...

Interesting pictures! And I like your humor and curiosity.

Stine in Ontario said...

I really like all the tracks you found in the snow. One of my goals is to learn which animal makes what kind of track. So far I recognize rabbits and...er...rabbits. :)

Wolynski said...

Animal, I think, do 3 things - look for a mate, then shelter and then food. Probably most of their life is taken up with looking for food and avoiding predators.

Lovely blog.

robin andrea said...

Ah yes, one of the best parts of a good snowfall, the tracks. It's amazing how full of life and activity the open land around us is, but we only see such signs of it in the snow. Good luck with the IDs.

Kelly said...

hahaha....I love all of your descriptions, and the tracks are fascinating. My favorite is the little mole/mouse hole. So cute....with the tiny tracks.

On your previous post....I had to laugh....My screen showed the beautiful snow photo and that was it. As I scrolled down the shot of Cuba came up and totally surprised me. Ack....now I'm longing for the ocean and the heat!

Neil Tasker said...

Late in getting here..... but so glad I did in the end. Beautiful post..... I had a big stupid grin on my face all the way through it.

Susan said...

Thanks Neil! Nice to see you back.

Ruth said...

We have lost nearly all our snow in this peculiar winter. I do wish we would get some to brighten the dull days. I could do some animal sleuthing in the mud. I did enjoy a visit to the Ottawa valley last February.