As Maggie and I took our walks today we found lots of evidence of a critter that hasn't been walking around during most of the winter. It's pretty hard to see any definition of the paw shape, or pad marks, or claws, in the soft snow. Learning tracks is quite a project, because any animal has several gaits, and conditions can make things look very different, too.
About all I can really say is that it is walking in an alternating pattern, and it's doing it really consistently. This animal never changed its gait as it wandered all over. It had no concerns about being out in the open. I think the choices are a skunk or a raccoon. Based on the length of the strides, I'm guessing a raccoon
It certainly felt like taking a considerable stroll. It wandered kitty-corner across about 50 acres of land. I have to confess that I'm not very certain of this ID, but it looks a lot like the raccoon one in my winter tracking book, so I'm guessing Procyon lotor, the ordinary raccoon.
|See New Tracks, New Tracks! for clear raccoon tracks in light snow
See Our Common Mustelid for clear skunk tracks in light snow