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Monday, January 10, 2011

But is it Sylvia?

fox tracks

On our little walk today, Maggie an I encountered tracks like this wandering all over the back field. Before I even really had time to start thinking about what they might be the definite odor of fox made the walker obvious. Maggie checked out the scent too.
fox tracks

With long wandering strings of regular tracks, it's pretty obvious that a canine made these. The odor is what told me "fox." But just to verify, I looked to see if I could find any sort of a pattern of the foot. The snow is too deep to take a good impression, but you can see that there is definitely a paw-type shape, and not the cloven hoof marks of a deer.
fox tracks

We also found spots of urine- dark yellow-brown spots, not yellow "holes" in the snow like you would expect from a domestic dog (say a wandering neighborhood pet). But the last picture is the most fun.
fox tracks

These depressions are in one section of the fox tracks. Maybe the snow was a little deeper here, the fox was taking leaps and making these "tummy marks" instead of footprints!

But, the question is? Is it Sylvia


rainfield61 said...

You have a good description about the track..

The finding abut the tummy marks is really interesting.

Reanaclaire said...

Too cold for the wolf? Nice pictures here though...

tmarsik said...

Of course, now I have a song in my head (The fox went out on a chilly night, prayed to the moon to give him light, many a mile to go that night before he reached the town-o, town-o, town-o....).


Sharkbytes said...

rainfield- If there were also mouse tracks I would say it was hunting, but I think it was either just jumping for joy or the snow was very deep there.

reanaclaire- we don't have wolves here... have to go farther north. There are some in Michigan, but only in the UP right now

TM- one of my favs! I love to sing that one while hiking. Sing it for the girls.

Ann said...

I don't think I would recognize a fox scent if I smelled one. Like those tummy tracks :)

spinninglovelydays said...

Do foxes smell like dogs? Those tummy marks would have stumped me. I'd like to think he was bounding across the snow in joy, lol.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Foxes they are strange creatures - not like most animals, the dog fox we see regularly is never alarmed by our dogs - they avoid him but love to smell like him. 20 years ago I knew some who had one as a pet.

tmarsik said...

Joan -

I DO sing it for the girls, as one of my favorite folk groups released some albums of "children's songs" and included that one. As for the wolves, I haven't seen any but there's a pack behind my dad's camp and they were bold enough to follow the dog's tracks up to the camp porch. There's also a pack that sometimes hangs out in the creek bed behind my parents' house. Given where they live (Baraga County in the UP), I don't think the cold bothers them, eh?

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- musky and doggy all rolled together. Very wild.

Ivy- I know... I like the pure joy theory too. I've seen them jump like that from a distance. Foxes do seem to have a certain joie de vivre!

Carol- what is a dog fox? Is that just our red fox, Vulpes vulpes- the most common one here? The ones I see in fox hunting pix look like a red fox.

Theresa- The wolf family that Marie and I saw on the NCT was on Baraga Plains. It was SO amazing. Marie saw the male first. I didn't see him, but we both saw the mother and two teenage pups.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Yes Joan it's the red fox we just call the males dog and the females vixens.

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