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. . .
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.