Last weekend at Moraine State Park I was pleased by the tracks in the snow. My favorites were made by a red fox who walked at least a mile on the North Shore bike trail. For the most part he just put one foot front of the other, literally placing each back foot in the print of his front foot like a cat. On and on he walked until…
Something caught his eye and he broke into a gallop. He rushed at a pine tree with squirrel tracks at its base but his prey must have escaped. No blood, no struggle in the snow, and the fox resumed his walk with only one backward glance as if nothing had happened.
Behind him came a coyote who walked only a short section of the bike trail, then veered off to a thicket for some serious hunting. His prints showed him sniffing in all the corners, then digging near a culvert. Something edible must have been hiding there. I saw rabbit and vole tracks but were they what he was after? I don’t know.
Birds make tracks, too. Shown above are the tracks of a wild turkey walking alone in the snow. It would have been fun to find out where he went and if any other turkeys joined him.
So despite the cold I’m not tired of the snow (yet). I’m out looking for tracks!
(photo by Tim Engleman of Saxonburg, PA via Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see the original.)