Here are more pictures from Ludington State Park on Saturday. Now the snow is too deep to take nice track patterns. So, Ellen was headed right to left, but who, of you readers, is still here from all the tracking lessons of the past winters? What critter left that other little track?
It's a dear little squirrel, headed from the bottom to the top of the picture. They "hop," not like a rabbit, but in the sense that they move both front feet and then both back feet. The back feet land in front of the front feet, leaving a track like this.
Here's a busy scene! At the bottom is a squirrel. Which direction was he going? In the middle is one hoof print of a small deer, headed to the right.
And, at the top, a rabbit track. The rabbit also hops, and the large "bars" are made by the back feet, while the smaller ones are the front feet. But, again, each "set" has the back feet in front of the front feet. So the rabbit was traveling right to left.
You've seen these before here, too. Remember what it is? It's a porcupine tree. All of that reddish-brown stuff at the base is poop. The porky likes a hollow tree with a nice open center for "plumbing."
Finally, here is the mystery for this trip. I can't show you the context of this picture, but it was going up a rather steep hill. That will change the stride pattern, so all I have to go on is the tracks themselves. I think it's a skunk. I can tell you a lot of things it's not, including the porcupine.
Well, now I have another whole winter ahead to learn more about animal tracks!
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