Friday, December 19, 2008

Wildlife Trails

Today is maybe a continuation from yesterday's post. I wanted to show the abundance of animals that are out here during the winter. All of these little trails in these photos were made by animals. Every one of the tracks are animal tracks.

As I walked through the forest, I saw these side trails with the animal tracks every few minutes. I never really thought about it at the time, but there are more animal trails out there than there are trails made by humans. It's amazing that I stood near so much wildlife, but didn't ever really see anything.

All I could think about while I was out there was the fact that I saw almost no animals at all. I really wanted a good photo of an animal out there in the snow. But it wasn't going to happen then. Even after seeing all of these tracks, I thought that I was alone.

I now realize that you never know what's lurking out there in the woods when you are hiking along the nature trails all alone. Anything could be out there watching and waiting. You could be out there walking along in the quiet peaceful winter air, and then suddenly something comes crashing out of the forest. That would be almost... Scary!

Alright, back to the subject. In this second photo, it looks like there have been crowds passing through the forest here. These are again, all animal tracks. The human trails look every bit as crowded, but I never thought there were so many animals out here.

I always thought that the animals went somewhere else, or just hibernated during the winter. I never thought about them being out here all winter long. I guess it's not really that easy to migrate to a different place. I really never imagined it would be like this.

It's amazing how there can be so many animals out here, but then they can stay so very well hidden. I guess they have to find places to keep warm just like us humans do. Things like these animal tracks bring so many new thoughts and ideas to the surface of my mind. I'm not sure I have the time to describe them all.

This last photo is of the surface of the pond in the back of Woodland Hills Nature Park. It's completely frozen already. If you look closely at the picture, you can see thousands of dark spots. These are also more animal tracks.

I would guess that these tracks belong to either geese or ducks, or maybe even both. As many of you know, I've seen goose tracks on a frozen pond before. Maybe there have been other small animals out there on that ice too. It probably would hold some of the small animals.

I couldn't get very close to these particular tracks, because I wasn't going to walk out onto that ice. While it was frozen enough for what was out there, I'm sure it would not have held me (Help me, I'm drowning!). Falling through the ice is probably not the most fun I would have on an everyday adventure.

Well, it's been fun for me talking about these animal trails, but that's enough for today. Maybe next time I go out, I'll remember to get pictures of where the human and animal trails meet. To me, it's a very interesting subject, that I have yet to fully explore. Until next time, I'm done, for now.

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  1. I absolutely love tracking! I sometimes go into the woods next to where I work and pick up deer tracks for a good 15 minutes or so, just to get my head on right again. Something about being in the woods, knowing something else is there too, that is satisfying and calming to my soul.

  2. We have woods here, but we rarely, if ever, get snow. Tracking is much easier with snow although talented trackers can see stuff a mere mortal like myself can miss

  3. I would love to do that someday. It looks like so much fun - even in that frigid weather. Great photos.

  4. Steve - That is exactly how I feel. Going into the woods is always a refreshing experience.

    Cube - You're absolutely right. I can do it easily in the snow, and a little in the mud. But that's about it.

    Jodapoet - It's pretty easy to get started. Even if you just go investigate what's around a small group of trees, that's the start of it all.

  5. Winter is so cool that way... you can really tell where all those little critters have been. There is a fox that tracks the back of our property. I've never seen it, but I see the tracks every winter and sometimes I can smell it.

  6. Sharkbytes - I saw a fox the same way here once, and everybody keeps telling me it wasn't. I know it wasn't anything else. With all this new snow, I'll be checking tracks where I saw it.

  7. curious to know whether you feel nervous if you see big size of animal trail?

  8. Cindy - There's not really any big predators around here in my immediate area, so I don't have much to get nervous about. Any animal can be dangerous when cornered though, so I'm always cautious. I was warned off by a deer one time. It was protecting the rest of the herd. This happened right behind my house.

  9. I am always told that not to derail from our usual mountain trails.
    We have ours and wild animals or reptiles have their own territories.
    Thus, so far, I have not met any big wild reptiles.
    This is the experience on tropical rain forest.
    Anyhow, it is full of adventure on mountain trekking.
    I admire yours since I do not experience it before.

  10. Rainfield61 - I can understand where leaving the trail would be a problem for you. I live in a colder climate, so I don't have the problem of very many big predators. And my trails are in a very urban area. There are still a few things that I need to watch out for.