Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tracking

Lately, my favourite winter pastime has been tracking animal tracks. I could go for hours, following trails and looking for signs of wildlife. This past week has been bitter cold and a challenge for me to get outside. Since I am now six months pregnant, all my good warm winter gear no longer fits me and I have been feeling a little trapped inside. Plus it is too cold to take Kesten out for long. This afternoon I could handle it no longer and with my husband home to watch Kesten, I headed out for a trek through the forest with my snowshoes to look for animal tracks.
 I was really bundled up! A toque, a scarf under my cowl, 3 shirts, a sweater, and my dad's old Cowichan sweater, leggings, yoga pants, rain pants, 1 pair of -40c socks, 2 pairs of mittens, and my winter boots with snowshoes strapped on. It was -20c and I didn't even feel the cold! haha
 Someone suggested to me that I should be able to find lots of lynx tracks where I go tracking, and sure enough, just 5 minutes up the trail, I spotted some lynx tracks. Lynx feed almost exclusively on snowshoe hare and since this is a bumper year for the snowshoe hare, the lynx are also abundant. The lynx tracks seemed to be following snowshoe hare tracks. I wonder if the lynx got its meal?
 In the little valley I wandered down there were 3 old cars that had been pushed down the hill.
 I followed some snowshoe hare highways for awhile, noting places where they had been feeding (and pooping!). I've been dying to spot one. They like to sleep during the day, under trees and logs and such. Hares like to stay above ground. Although they 'sleep' during the day, they are always partially alert, listening for predators. If one happens to wander too close, they either stay really still, hoping their camouflage is good enough, or take off running. So I've been hoping that I would stumble across a sleeping hare for awhile and today I finally did! Although I wasn't aware of it until it was already running away from me. I didn't even have time to get out the camera! But at last I finally saw one. With the hundreds and hundreds of tracks all around, I sort of expected to see more by now, but I guess I am just too loud and clumsy moving through the snow.
 On my way back home, I was treated to a lovely blue sky and a view of the moon. Only a few more days left of this extreme cold and then it is supposed to warm up significantly by Thursday. Poor Kesten has been so eager to go outside to play. Just a few more days left...

2 comments:

  1. Your snowshoe trek sounds lovely! I love your wooly gear- especially the cowichan! I don't think our rabbit would last a second in the wild- as I type she is splayed half on her back mouth half open- snoring- ears are twitching though....haha

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha, your bunny sounds so awesome.

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