Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi

Snow Prints

20 Comments

As most of you may know by now (or now know), I live in northern Canada.  An obvious consequence of this is prolonged cold winters.  

I’ve discovered that to survive the longest, coldest and darkest season, I need to get outside regardless of how cold and/or how dark it is, take Vitamin D, and put maple syrup on everything I eat (I’m serious about this one).  It also helps that I have a very fit, active dog that must run.    

While I’ve been out and about, especially now that we have much more daylight, I’m noticing how much is actually going on around me.  When I speak of going on, I mean what other critters are also out and about.  You see, they leave their tracks in the snow so I know they’ve been there without actually seeing them.  I think I prefer just seeing the tracks versus seeing the associated critter.  Recall my post about my fear of running into my buddy the moose.  

So I am now going to share with y’all a bunch of snapshots of what I have been seeing outside over the last few weeks. 

raven wing print

Looks like a pterodactyl, but it’s actually a raven wing print

Mice and voles seem to be very active this winter and I see their little highways and meanderings everywhere.

mouse or vole tracks

These tracks disappeared down a little hole by the branch sticking out of the snow

mouse snow tracks

My trail packed the snow so this little critter had to create an “overpass” to get to the other side

mouse tracks

More little critter tracks

mouse tracks

This one is a little blurry, but this little guy was out dancing I think

This one is kind of sad and/or gross, but I found a dead version of what was leaving lots of tracks – meadow vole and a fat one at that – cause of death, unknown.  Kobi found it on the way back and brought it home, she likes to play with dead mice, doesn’t eat them, just plays with them.

dead meadow vole

Vole in the middle of trail, not sure why he/she died there

Grouse, affectionately referred to as “chickens”, make the coolest tracks and have the biggest “poops” considering their size.  These are Kobi’s favorite bird to chase (next to ravens) as they hang around in family groups so there is usually more than one and they aren’t great flyers (they typically walk around more than fly).  I’ve been chased by a mommy chicken a few summers ago BK (before Kobi).   It was scary and funny to be running from a bird the size of a small chicken.  Imagine a wild brown bird hissing and charging you with its wings folded back.  See, that’s pretty scary!

Grouse tracks in the snow

Grouse tracks going all over

Grouse poop

Grouse poop. Their poop piles are huge!

These tracks in the photos below are of unknown species.  Maybe martin, lynx and squirrel, not necessarily in that order – you decide.

animal tracks

This was much bigger than a mouse, but smaller than a dog

animal prints in the snow

Looks like some rabbit (left) and maybe lynx or something else?

dog smelling tracks

Kobi smelling more “mystery” tracks

And of course, the critter that has caused me the most angst this winter, especially when it’s dark out, Mr or Ms Moose.

moose bed

Kobi investigating a moose bedding site. Likely the same moose that was freaking me out on my night walks over a month ago

moose poop

Moose poops, Kobi’s favorite frozen snack, yes, that’s gross I know, but she loves them

And finally, leaf tracks.

leaf print in the snow

Even leaves leave tracks

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Author: Angie

I live in northern British Columbia, Canada. I found my dog Kobi in 2011 when she was only 5 weeks old and we've been having running adventures ever since.

20 thoughts on “Snow Prints

  1. Wow, lots of very interesting snow pictures!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I never see moose. Every time I go somewhere that’s known for having moose hanging around, they immediately disappear before I show up.

    • That’s so funny, but so true. When people visit us they never believe I see bears and moose all the time as they do disappear as soon as someone wanting to see them shows up.

  3. This is so beautiful Angie! Yet another reason to fall in love with running in the winter. Last September, I was dreading it and clinging on to the last few days of something resembling a late summer. However, I’ve found that there are so many wonderful things about running in winter, and you have just shared another one! (Which is not to say that I’m not desperately waiting for spring and summer: bring it on!).

    • Winter is a beautiful season, just a bit too long. I want summer, but I’m dreading spring as it is just so muddy. I’ll have to find a way to embrace the mud.

  4. Interesting pics! I love grouse tracks too!

  5. Aw, I feel like I could do this exact post only exchanging the moose for a herd of elk. I have learned way more about identifying scat and tracks than I ever though because of taking Sam out. I am jealous of the raven print though, we rarely see bird prints.

    • Elk are cool and travel in big “packs”. We have elk here too, but I haven’t run into them this year (yet). It is so neat to learn what the different tracks and scat are. I don’t see a lot of bird prints either and this raven one was so neat. I did see an owl wing print a few years back, that was pretty cool.

  6. Those are some great tracks! I used to do tracking at an outdoor centre (in Ontario) and loved coming across tracks we didn’t know! Haven’t had such luck in NS 🙂
    My oldest daughter loves making tracks with her boots and “bear” snowshoes.

    • Tracks are fun to try to figure out. Unless I figure out it is a large predator, then I don’t really want to come across it – LOL. I love those bear snowshoes, they have sasquatch ones too don’t they?

  7. Wow, that’s crazy. I saw a dead squirrel on my run the other day. It was just laying there on the sidewalk, curled up against a wall. It’s eyes were closed and so it looked like it was sleeping. So that wasn’t too gross..the roadkill skunk on the other hand…blegh!

    • Poor squirrel. Roadkill skunk would be nasty. I recall the smell of roadkill skunk on long family trips to the prairies. That is one bad smell. We don’t have skunks up here, phew.

  8. Now I know why the grouse is famous!

  9. So cool!! Thanks for sharing those!! I used to love living in the mountains and checking out all the critter prints 🙂

  10. Your pics are fantastic – now I feel bad for complaining about the cold weather here all the time!

    • Thanks! Never feel bad for complaining about cold weather. It’s all relative. And I think pretty much everyone in North America has been having a horrible winter if not at least weirder than normal weather.

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