On the Trail of Tracks

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 by Neil Carleton

At this time of the year, the shadows are longer when I’m out in the morning.  The ground is still damp before the sun is high, and it’s a great time to look for signs of neighbourhood wildlife.

Birds make good tracks on a soft substrate, and I noticed that a crow had walked on the sand by the ball field. A curious track curved across the other side of the sand pile.  Perhaps a beetle had headed cross country under cover of darkness well before the sun was up.
The shadows were just right by the bottom of the driveway to figure out who had taken the top off our compost bin last night.  In the soft sediment, by the side of the road, were the telltale tracks of that rascal raccoon. With tracks still on my mind later in the day, it wasn’t hard to notice that a crow had once been curious about the wet cement of the drug store sidewalk.  Frozen in the concrete at my feet, I could see where the bird had walked northward, changed direction, then hopped onto the pavement.We’ve had deer in our yard eating ripe crabapples.

Not long ago a moose had to be rescued in town.  The other year, a bear crossed through town too.  When you’re next out on the trail, keep an eye open for tracks that tell a tale.