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.
Mice and voles seem to be very active this winter and I see their little highways and meanderings everywhere.
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.
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!
These tracks in the photos below are of unknown species. Maybe martin, lynx and squirrel, not necessarily in that order – you decide.
And of course, the critter that has caused me the most angst this winter, especially when it’s dark out, Mr or Ms Moose.
And finally, leaf tracks.