Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Animal Tracks

I guess it was about a week ago, the girls missed the bus so I drove them to school. Of course it was that day that Amber and Samantha were still sleeping so I had to wake them up to take the girls to school. Amber ended up falling asleep in the car again, so I thought I would just drive around a little while she slept, and Samantha was either asleep too or was being good (I couldn't see which it was while driving).
This is the view from behind our house where we were walking, you can see all the way across the lake as long as the weather is good and we don't have dirty air. The last week we couldn't see the lake at all because of the air quality.

While I was driving, I saw tons of animal prints in the snow. I thought they were pretty cool and then I thought maybe the girls would like to go for a walk and look at them too. That all seemed to be a good idea, and after all, the girls hardly ever go outside to play when it is so cold like it has been.

The girls got ready, I bundled up Samantha and Amber and put them in the stroller (which by the way, doesn't do so well in snow when there is no tracks, and when there are two 6 yr old girls pulling and dragging on it too) and off we went. We didn't have to walk far, there are several houses just behind ours that is vacant and we already found some bunny tracks. Oh, and before we left, we took our rabbit out and put her in the snow to see what her tracks looked like so we could be sure what we thought were bunny tracks really were rabbit tracks. We then grabbed the cat and threw him in the snow too and made him walk back to the house through the snow. We studied those two prints and we were off to look at more.

We saw tons and tons of rabbit tracks, some places there were so many tracks it was actually a trail and it was hard to see what walked on it. We could identify some scat (or poop) on the trail to help us decide what the animal was.

These were really good rabbit tracks where you could actually see the paw prints, normally they were just dashes in the snow like the ones next to the detailed prints. And then the frequently used rabbit trail.
We took some pictures of some of the prints and then looked on line to see what they might be, and to what I could see and to the best of my on-line search, we found coyote tracks and a few tracks of a bobcat. Kinda of cool. Although Emily is a little concerned about the rabbit in our garage if she will be okay or if an animal will come in there and eat her or not. I reassured her it wasn't really all that likely especially with as many rabbits as there are around.

I am no expert, and I was trying to rule out dog prints, which we saw some of that too, but this one was a little different than the other one, but these are my best GUESSES! I should have brought a ruler to measure them, that would have helped. We also saw one kind of like the right side print, but it didn't have the foot overstepping and it only had 3 toes, I searched for what it could be but didn't find anything. Lindsey suggested a 3 toed sloth.

The event itself went pretty good, except for Lindsey who decided NOT to put on pants and were a skirt out and then also I later discovered she didn't have socks on either, so when she stepped into some deep snow that went over her rubber boots (which I told her before we left to wear her SNOW boots) and got inside them, she shortly later complained about frozen feet. Soon after that Lauren was complaining that she was cold too.

Our adventure came to an abrupt end, although Emily and I weren't quite done yet. I am sure that Samantha was getting pretty cold too, since she was grabbing her blankets and pulling them off too. I figured it was time to go home.


Jamie said...

I love the new picture at the top of the blog. you are a great mom Karla. I love how you threw the animals into the snow to see their pawprints and checked online. THOSE are the kinds of things they'll remember.
This story reminded me of a little kindergartener at work yesterday. I took the class out to recess and she was adorable in a dress, tights and pretty black patent leather shoes. SHe survived recess pretty well and never complained about being cold until we were walking back to class and her shoe got stuck in the snow and there she was crying in the snow with soaking wet tights. I helped her get her shoe back on and carried her inside. I told her she looked just beautiful but she just might want to wait until the snow melted to wear those pretty shoes again.

Judy said...

Hi Karla! Very interesting excursion. :-) I am impressed that you threw your bunny and kittie onto the snow to see what their paw prints looked like. Very good thinking. I'd be a bit nervous about the potential bobcat though (like your daughter) ... how close to the houses did you say those tracks were?! hmmmm.

Cindy said...

Oh karla you are a great mom. You are doing the best you can. Thats all is asked of you really. My kids constantly tell me they hate me and you are a mean mom. and all that. It really starts hurting down deep when some one has always treated me that way before any way. stephanie used to say i hate you when she was your girls ages too. When she was jealous of allthe attention I was giving Jacob when he was born. Justin feels he is not getting the attention he wants all the time still. All through the ages of your girls they will act jeolous of each other and have emotional times.
The cougar tracks are scary to now they are near by homes. Be sure you dont leave your garage door open at dusk or when you are not outside. Ive heard in Nephi therye was a cougar that got into a garage when it was open and it was snooping around. Im doing the best that is expected with a fractured fibula bone. I have a black boot with velcro that keeps my foot stiff from bending. I actually feels secure with it on.