Week of February 13, 2022 – February 19, 2022
by Meghan Morral, Environmental Educator
This month, while out with our trail school program, we had the pleasure of finding a multitude of different tracks in the snow. Over the course of the afternoon we found rabbit, squirrel and chipmunk tracks. We stopped to examine fisher tracks and vole tunnels. As we hiked along, we discovered a row of dozens of deer tracks that another educator proclaimed must be a “deer highway!” With every stop, the kids searched for new tracks and bent down to examine each one, deciding who left it. They mimicked the movements the animal must have made and tried to find them by following their prints.
With each turn of the trail, we were eager to discover what we might find. Had a coyote traveled through that night? Had we just missed seeing a deer or a fox? All of this excitement led me to think about the diversity of life that is on the preserve. With almost a childish sense of wonder, I pictured a chipmunk scrounging for bird seed left at the feeders. I envisioned a red fox trotting beside the pond, birds foraging for berries in a bush, and a deer timidly grazing in a field. Winter is often thought of as a quiet season where life seems to slow down. But that’s not how I see it at all. If you look down, you might be surprised at what new discoveries you have been missing.