Sunday, March 15, 2009
Banishing Cabin Fever
There's nothing that drives away cabin fever like getting out into the woods on a sunny day with a bunch of people on snowshoes and tracking animals. On Saturday I did just that and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The trip was led by Brian Williams of the Montana Natural History Center and Adam Lieberg of Northwest Connections
I was surprised at how well we did, considering we hadn't had any fresh snow in a week. We found the tracks of snowshoe hare, red-backed vole, red/pine squirrel, weasel, coyote, bobcat, moose and wolf, along with assorted domestic doggy tracks as well.
Snowshoe hare tracks. You can always tell the rodent tracks because the larger back feet tracks are parallel.
The prize of the day - wolf tracks! A pair of wolves traveling along a ridge. Maybe they were enjoying the view up there. We certainly did.
Helpful Ungulate Poop key:
M&M size = Deer
Peanut M&M size = Elk
Whopper size = Moose
Blurry picture of a mountain chickadee. We also spotted a chestnut-backed chickadee and pine grosbeak and heard red-breasted nuthatch and ravens.
Our intrepid tracker Adam, measuring some canine tracks.
A Gray Jay determining if we have any food or not. We were deemed not worthy.