I LOVE snow! It means the secrets of the woods can be revealed in the tracks left behind. Revealed, while clearing a trail fresh bobcat tracks, while hiking with a friend moose tracks crisscross our path. A nibble here, a rub there. All signs of the hidden world around us.
The day was relatively warm, the snow only a few inches deep and soft, perfect. There were two areas I wanted to check out. The first, where we had seen the bobcat tracks. Tracking bobcat is the best as they are so varied in their activities. Ruby is my tracking companion as she stays close and doesn’t obliterate too many trails. We tucked in to the first location. Planning on hiking in a ways, I was elated as the first set of tracks crossed the trail from the swampy side to the mountain laurel side.
Those who have been on the trail with me know that except for their brief bloom…. I hate Mountain Laurel. Tracking Bobcat solidifies that feeling. They love dragging me through it as I follow them. Sometimes I feel them watching, me tripping and snagging, and them, laughing at me.
The bobcat isn’t a large animal, and it’s adorable face eerily reminds me of the cat who runs my life.
Their tracks are easy to identify. As they are rounded, sometimes in deep snow they have a “halo” about their tracks. More pronounced in its family member the Lynx.
So intrepidly, marching through the deep snow with my constant companion, we soldiered on into the Laurel. We tracked over logs, saw some tree scratches and ended up at a lovely little pond where our friend took a drink and the Laurel was old and craggy. After his drink, he headed back into the Laurel and since Ruby had already headed for the trail in disgust, not finding navigating through the thick branches and deep snow to her liking. I thanked the cat for leading me to this beautiful spot and moved on.
But…we were not done. When we entered the wood, I noticed the bobcat had come from the swamp to the left. We headed up the other trail to see if we could see where the trail originated. An obliging cat. There were the tracks heading into the swamp. As we had an appointment for moose tracking, our spying was short, but oh so rewarding. There was a group of tracks to our right. Hmmm, what caused all that activity? To my surprise, we found what seemed to be the remains of a deer. Unfortunately buried under a great deal of snow so all we could loosen with my pole was a bunch of hair. Hopefully when some of the snow clears, there will be more of the story revealed.
I hope to find out “the rest of the story”. I was looking forward to tracking all the moose I had seen in the last couple of years, so time to head to our next destination.
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