Friday, March 26, 2010
Milwaukee City Charter Ordinance - Chapter 63-1. Definitions. In this chapter: 1. AT LARGE means an animal is off the premises of its owner and on any park or parkway without the permission of the department or the director. Any animal shall not be deemed to be at large if any one of the following conditions occurs: a. It is attached to a leash not more than 6 feet in length which is of sufficient strength to restrain the animal and the leash is held by a person competent to govern the animal and prevent it from annoying or worrying persons in the park or parkway. Oh well...such was my first 1/2 hour back on my local birding trail. I can hardly wait for the brush to fill out so I can't see them coming even FARTHER away from me.
Friday, March 5, 2010
If we take time to notice the signs, the story becomes clear...
The first tracks I encountered were coyote...lots of coyote. In and out of the scrub, back and forth in a serpentine manner; these skulking creatures wound their way in search of preferred scent. Smaller prey had made zig-zag patterns which the coyote seemed to zero in on...probably rabbits by the look of them. The coyote seemed to have covered quite a bit of territory, for the tracks were numerous and the meanderings ceaseless. Whether or not the rabbit ever became a meal was not in evidence, but its attempts at evasion were obvious. I marveled at the tenacity which the coyote tracks displayed in their relentless, nosey pursuit.
Next to pique my interest were the Whitetail prints. Plentiful and much different than the coyote; these animals walked gracefully amongst the trees and bushes. Droppings and deer "beds" could be seen and in one extremely curious spot, it appeared that something caused one animal to leap an incredible distance. (see image) It covered over 15 feet from jump-off point to landing! I was impressed.
It seemed that even the tiniest of woodsy creatures came out to forage after the heavy snowfall. Small clumps of thistle and other grass plants which still poked through the cover, provided an oasis dinner table for these mini-mammals of the forest. Their wandering and winding tracks twisted back and forth in search of sustinance.
The shadows grew longer as I continued to examine the secret stories told by the remnants of these unique footprints. I wondered as I walked back to the WPT, whether the "tracks" we humans leave (as we move about our days), appear anywhere near as deliberate as these in the snow of Havenwoods, and would anyone even care to notice?
Here is a nice desktop image in high resolution if you'd like...
Thanks for reading and have a great day of discovery!!