Despite this books small size it is full of great information.Published by Canadian publisher Lone Pine who are known for their accessible field guides. Writer and artist Ian Sheldon has done a number of books for Lone Pine.
If you are looking for an in-depth behavioural guide to a number of animals then this is not the book for you.
Where it does excel is when trying to identify tracks while walking through the woods. It’s small size is perfect for your pocket and the handy ruler on the back cover makes it extremely useful.
I keep this book in my coat pocket along with my blackberry so I can identify and record the tracks that I see. It gives me enough information to reference in the field. I can then bring that information home to find out more about the animals tracks I have just seen. And I don’t have to carry a heavy tome of a book to do it.
Buy it NOW!
Intro to Tracking
We have recently begun a lofty idea of starting an informal school at our little farm. We have begun doing this because we have found it difficult to travel far from home for extended periods of time due to all our animals. BUT…we really wanted to take these workshops and support our friends that offered them. Tim and I brainstormed and came up with having our friends teach the workshops here.
So over the next few months we have arranged for many of our friends and colleagues to come and teach us, and you, what they know. We have been lucky enough to meet incredibly knowledgeable people that are also great teachers. They are always eager to pass on what they know.
Some of the amazing workshops that our friends are teaching include: Herbal First Aid, Back to School Holistic Nutrition, and Wild Edibles. We thought this would also be a great opportunity to pass on some of what we have learned over the past few years too. Tim and I will also be teaching some of the workshops her which will include: Permaculture Basics, Felting, Backyard Chickens, and Composting.
The first workshop we have happening is a great way to enjoy the snow. Alexis Burnett of Earth Tracks Wilderness School will be coming to shoe us how to track some of the local animals. Not only is it about identifying the animals that made them, but finding the other clues the animals have left in the area. It really is like trying to “read nature’s book”. Alexis brings along great stories, experience, and enthusiasm to his workshops. I have attended a couple and always leave wanting to take another one right away.
If you KNOW anyone (maybe you) that may be interested in giving a workshop please let us know. We always like to search out new things to keep life interesting.
Fox tracks perhaps.
Winter seems to be incredibly dividing. Some people hate it, others love it. Personally I have been on both sides of the fence on this one. When I was little I hated winter. I didn’t ski, snowboard (it wasn’t invented then) snowshoe, or much else. I like to hibernate, or come as close to it as possible, and wait for spring. I was like this until we moved into this house and got a dog.
The first winter here Beauty needed at least two hours of walking per day. this generally meant I also got two 2 hour walks a day as well. I can’t say I was thrilled at first, but over that first winter I learned to really love it. What I realized quickly that it enabled me to see what Beauty smells the rest of the year.
If you look closely while out going for a walk you can “read” the outside world. Footprints in the snow let you see the critters that were there before you and discover their stories.
- where they went
- where they came from
- how fast they were going
- if they were alone or with others
- did they eat something
- what they ate
Eastern Cottontail tracks maybe, but they are long and the toes are large. Looks like, but doubtfully a Jack Rabbit.
the information can be quite extensive if you know how to read it. In many ways it is like learning a different language. What I love about winter is I can now find these things out. Beauty can smell this all year, but the snow is the medium I need to help me.
I am still learning the art and science. Luckily anything involving animals has been a main focus all of my life so I love to learn it. It really is the kind of thing that you have to actually do, reading isn’t quite the same. Recently I went on a tracking workshop at RARE in Cambridge with Alexis Burnett. Alexis runs Earth Tracks, a wilderness school based in Grey County. He has been doing this type of work for many years and is very good at it. He has tracked many animals including cougars and bears in BC.