Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tracks


Hi: 40°F
Low: 26°F
Conditions: increasing clouds; wintery mix by nightfall

Break out the bikinis and mai tais: we're having a heat wave here in Central Maine! It may not seem like much to our Southern friends, but here in New England anything above freezing is awfully exciting for humans and animals alike.

Many of the four-footed creatures in our area use this heat wave as an opportunity to stretch out their legs, move around, and even get a snack or two. Knowing this, Ari and I set out to see who might be on the move. We found plenty of deer, squirrel, and feral cat tracks, which is what we expected. But we also found some impressive surprises, too.


These are moose tracks. You can tell both because of their size and the division between the two branches of their hooves.


Ari took a good long time sniffing these tracks. And you could tell by watching her that she was impressed by whomever left such enormous foot prints. Her ego got the best of her--just for a moment--as she tried them on for size:


But it was pretty obvious to this furry Goldilocks that these tracks were WAY too big.

So we continued on our way, and that's when we found the most exciting thing we've seen in weeks:


Can you tell what these are? They don't have claws, so they aren't canid. And they're bigger than Ari's feet--at least the fronts one are (way bigger, in fact). But for all that size, this animal hasn't broken the surface of our fragile snow (which is more than this human and her 45 lb dog can say).


We'll give you a second or two to guess. After you've settled on yours, scroll down a bit and see if you're right.






Can you guess?







Are you sure?






Did you pick. . .

.

.

.

This guy?




If you said bobcat, you're right! We've had one in our neighborhood for about a year now. We saw him this summer, when he made the mistake of bullying a fox kit (mom and dad were not happy--and it showed). We haven't seen him since, but these telltale tracks are all the evidence we need: Mr-Giant-Where'd-My-Tail-Go seems to be here to stay.

26 comments:

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

I didn't know my furiend PHBbbbbb got to visit Maine!

Woo said woo had snow fur me!

I'll be there IF woo promise I khan play with one of those khool khytties!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra
PeeEssWoo: Maybe I khan visit after I judge BIS at MANGO Minster 2009!

Cyber-sibes said...

That is way cool! Bob sure is a pretty cat. Our biped's nephew is a woodsman way up north in Maine, he tells us some pretty cool stories about the moose, bears, beavers, & other interesting animals he encounters!
Enjoy your heat wave!

Woos & a-roos,
Star & Jack a-roo

The Army of Four said...

OOooh, Ari! I don't think I'd mess with THAT kitty-cat! No ma'am!
Love,
Ammy

with love, Madison said...

If Booker was still with us, he would make chase - coonhounds are bred and trained to hunt anything that will go up a tree and that BOBCAT looks like an awesome project. Madison on the other hand, is napping. Hahahahaha. Man-dad would guess that those tracks belong to Sasquatch. We are sure that's not how you spell it. He BELIEVES, he really believes. Any footprints seem to be evidence in his mind!

Life With Dogs said...

We are experiencing the same heat wave in Vermont. It almost feels tropical.

I have yet to see a Bobcat here, but I'm sure we are surrounded!

Marigold said...

Ah, cats...does this one have an attitude? I don't much like ones this size, especially since they probably have a taste for chevon. Are we still on for the bird count, by the way?

The OP Pack said...

He sure is a pretty creature, but we would like him to stay away from us. Look at your snow, even if it is diminishing, woo have more than we have had all winter piled up together.

Woos, the OP Pack

The Daily Echo said...

You might want to get some tips from Khyra. She's been stalking some pesky squirrels and a kitty or two in her backyard. She's got "here kitty kitty" down to a science!
ECHO

JB's Big World said...

Oh my gosh! You WERE thinking about bobcats too! That is a coincidence. My mom could not zoom in very good on ours, but you get the scary idea from the picture we posted!
--JB

Tracey and Huffle said...

That cat looks a lot bigger than me. And a lot more scary.

HMawson

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Wow he is beautiful. Better stay clear of that kitty..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

diane said...

And what does Miss Ari think of such a big cat?

Lorenza said...

That temp is warm for you??
Hmmmm... I'd be inside under covers!
That is a beautiful cat!
Interesting paw prints!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

chasingsquirrelswithrusty said...

Wow above freezing! It was around 74 here today.

Moose tracks to sniff, that is so totally cool! Mom remembers when the dog she had as a girl barked at a moose from behind her dad.

Were the bobcat tracks scary? Cats are kind of scary anyway, so I guess a bigger one would be a little more scary!

Barklove,
Rusty

Maverick the Pirate said...

Harrrrr Ari
That cat Looks scary Harrr. It looks like it plans more than a typicle house cat Harrr.
Cap'n Maverick the Pirate

Kess And Her Mama said...

What a great find on your walk. Thanks for sharing this with us.

umekotyan said...

Good evening Ari
The footprint of the snow is found, and the friend of nature exists there.
And, it gives it to the heat wave taking care about the dissolution of the snow.
Especially, it is attention of the avalanche in the snow mountain.
The chocolate is defended from Ari on wonderful night of Valentine. :)

from loved ume tyan

YD said...

Very cool!

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

Wow, a bobcat? That cat looks even scarier than Wilbur. Be careful out there.

Kat

Southbay Girl said...

Ari, Mom and I couldn't guess what the track was...but a Bobcat-WOW, you have a bobcat in your neighborhood? Have you seen it? Does it have a smell?? Are they nice??? Are they like my kitties??

Woofs...

Velcro

Mary said...

Oh that Bobcat is so pretty but I would quite like to see a Moose too!

dee & tula said...

It's like National Geographic right in your neighborhood!

what would you rather run into a moose or bobcat? moose or bobcat?? hmmm. ...

luv your blog!
kiss kisses,
tula

Jan's Funny Farm said...

You have such interesting walks. We don't see any prints on the sidewalk. sigh

New Friend said...

Are there lynx in your area? Those big rear pawprints look suspicious. Love your blog, by the way!

Amber and Nala said...

Cool tracks and you are so lucky to have moose in your area! I just LOVE seeing them....they are so incredible! I lived in AK for a summer and would see a Momma with her twins every morning...it was great!

Eve said...

WOW!!