Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


Snow Prints

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