Tracks in the Snow

This week’s blog was written by Melinda J., a Bucktails alumni. Melinda has been interested in nature throughout her life, which is why she attended Wildlife Leadership Academy. She enjoys watching shows, reading books, and learning. Eventually, she would like to find a career in STEM.

This February, we received enough snow to last us a lifetime. While we stayed inside watching flakes fall from the sky and blanket our yard, our backyard friends still braved the outdoors. When I finally emerged from my house into the winter wonderland outside, I loved to look at all the tracks crisscrossing through the snow, which soon connected with my own trail. With these tracks, I could see the journeys of many creatures that happened to make a stop in my yard during their trips across the white wilderness. There’s something very satisfying in seeing perfect little disturbances among a vast land of smooth white.

Deer tracks in my backyard

Unfortunately, I couldn’t see tracks quite that perfect this winter. It seems that the snow did not like being disturbed as most of the tracks I saw had already been covered by the constant snowfall each day. Wet clumps, hail, powder, and wind all distorted the prints, but I could identify most of them as deer tracks by how deep they were and the hoof-like shape of the tracks.

A collection of tracks from the deer who have passed by

After all of the snow had finally finished falling, I went back outside to find an area of my backyard dappled with tracks, like the spots on a fawn. It amazed me to see a visual representation of all the wild travelers that passed by my backyard. Next year, if we get as much snow, I’ll be sure to search and identify some more tracks from my backyard friends. Of course, the easiest tracks to identify will be my own!

The photos used in this blog belong to the author.