Signatures

Snow is a bit like a mime: it has a lot to say, but speaks no words. Instead it is signed by creatures in passing, and the watcher guesses at their onward travels.

Fox tracks 27 Feb 2018

This is a fox, of course; their tracks are not hard to find in the North Downs in any season. Something about this scene intrigued me – a journey from barbed wire into the sunlight – but for the fox, it is simply another small moment on a winter’s day.

In close up, a fox’s tracks resemble those of a dog, but there are subtle differences. A fox’s inner toes are set well ahead of the rest of the foot, leaving a long, narrow track. Most dog prints are rounded. My video describing the differences in detail is here.

Fox track perfect 3 Mar 2018

Sometimes the story is more complex. This fox may have strayed too close to thorns – notice the drop of blood in the top right? Only a little, and the tracks lead away. Crossing them are the five-toed prints of a badger. Foxes and badgers rarely show overt violence to each other, although there is no question that the badger is always in charge.

Badger, fox, blood

And this is a roe deer, with a bird in attendance. Probably a magpie or crow.

Deer and bird 3 Mar 2018

Rabbits keep close to cover.

Rabbit tracks2 3 Mar 2018

And the sun keeps close to the seasons.

Snowy lane 27 Feb 2018

The mime has left us.Ā We are close to spring equinox now and snow has been replaced by flowers.

4 thoughts on “Signatures

  1. Adele, nice post! I always enjoyed looking at the tracks in the snow, growing up in Manitoba! There seemed to be lots of animals around. Most we only saw their tracks and knew they were there somewhere!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is amazing how skilfully wildlife can hide, even in the open prairie landscape. It’s also interesting how many tracks a single wolf can leave on its travels! But I guess if they move 20 miles or so a night, that is a lot of footprints.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tracks šŸ™‚ Always interesting to see them. It is even more interesting when you wake up in the morning, go for a walk on the nearby beach (Vancouver Island) and find a biggest track of the biggest wolf in the area (my interpretation, doesn’t have to be true) in sand, coming and going back to salal bush. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s