Thursday, October 27, 2011
Let's Identify Animal Tracks!
A few weeks ago, randomly, I found myself on an adventure down the Saco River. But that's not what I'm here to talk about today so this isn't quite a trip report. No, I'm here to talk animal tracks.
This river turned out to be a fantastic place to see tracks; and if we do this adventure again, I will have to pack along some plaster of Paris (I will worry about the logistics of that later). For now, I did take lots of photographs. Maybe some of you can more accurately guess what animals made these tracks.
Little round perfect prints, each around the size of a silver dollar. They almost look catlike, but this part of the river seemed a bit too remote for that. Then again, I suppose anything is possible with cats.
With the long fingers (most visible in the upper-left) and big feet, these are pretty obviously from a raccoon exploring the shore looking for sweets.
Now these are a mystery. They were roughly the same size as the raccoon prints and all you could see are the palm and imprints of three long claws. I'm going to venture these were left by a porcupine venturing down from the trees to get a drink.
ME: "OMG, dinosaur tracks!"
FRIENDS: "Stop being weird, Trish."
Aside from the obvious human footprint, these were probably left by crows.
As were these unusual "jumping" tracks.
The coolest tracks by far were these, very likely left by a Great Blue Heron. You get a better sense of the scale here:
So traveling along the river was great fun. At least until we saw this:
RANDOM WEIRD PEOPLE: "Oh, sure! The end of the river's right over the dam! You can go right over the waterfalls in your tubes! No problem!"
(Don't worry, none of us went over and we all got home in [mostly] one piece.)
Art of the Day!
In the future, scientists will look at our tracks and wonder, WTF? And to that end, I give you Prehistoric TV Documentary Reconstruction Kitteh fanart!
Festive Thing of the Day!
Happy Halloween, everyone!