|photo source: http://www.thesweetersideofmommyhood.com|
Lately we have been finding animal tracks in the snow near our house. Sometimes, you can find deer wandering the street in the middle of the night but our newest find is the rabbit tracks in our back yard. This gave me an idea for a hike – searching for evidence of wildlife. This was a fun activity and can be done in both summer and winter; however, it is easier to do in winter.
Personally, I’m not a winter camper. I leave sleeping outside in tents and lean-to’s in -20C to Hubby, R and the other Scouts. R and I went on a winter hike near our house the other day. We simply looked for various tracks and tried to identify them. We saw tracks for deer, dog/coyote, and various birds. This provided us with a lot of conversation on the kinds of animals who live near us and the importance of respecting their habitat. When R asked me some questions I couldn't answer, we browsed our encyclopedias (I know, who uses these anymore) and took a look on the internet.
Browsing the internet, I found so many more activities for this both in the search engine and in Pinterest. We did not pursue any further activities but it would make for a great Scout meeting or home school lesson. You could measure the tracks themselves and the gait of the animal to determine the size of the animal. You could also look for other signs like flattened spaces where the animal may have stopped for a rest. There’s always poop explorations to see what kind of animal it was and whether the animal is a carnivore or herbivore by what was in the scat. Also you could look at ways of recognizing habitats. I listed a couple of the sites I went to at the bottom of this page, take a look to customize your hike.
P.S. Leave a comment to let me know how it went for you. What did you find? How did you customize your hike? What did you like most? What would you change for next time?