Late yesterday afternoon I hiked with the dogs along the pipeline. It was warmer than the weekend, but still pretty cool for mid-October. The late afternoon sun felt good on my back as we headed east. When I go to the top of the farthest hill, a spot where there's a pale orange, sandy stretch of path, I noticed what I think are tracks of a Red Fox. They were so - so- (bear with me here) so cute! and so clear in the damp sand, the shadows sharp due to the low sun. As I admired the fox tracks I noticed that a Wild Turkey had also walked through the sand. There was a soft track near the fox tracks, and more, clearer tracks nearby. I drew one of the clear ones that even showed the rough bottom texture of the turkey's foot.
Deer tracks are everywhere along the pipeline, even on the woodland paths around our house. It's interesting to note the size of the tracks and to picture the animal standing next to you. Some deer tracks are splayed wide and show, as well, the dewclaws - these are made by running and leaping deer. The print near where I was sitting had just small dots to indicate where the dewclaws would have been, and are pretty far back, so I'd say this is a deer's back foot print. The smaller and sharper print is from a small, young deer.
I finally got up and started studying the prints and counting toes, and soon realized that some of the small prints were not fox (four toes) but something else (five toes). I drew them and came home to look in my Animal Tracks book to id them. I'm not positive, but I think the five-toed animal could be a skunk.
The other obvious track in that spot was a REALLY BIG one, quite clear and deep in the wet sand! Oh... yeah. I happened to have some good track-makers with me on this journey. I think the big track belongs to Radu. Daisy's prints weren't represented in this particular spot.