Christmas and tracks and more weather

This isn’t the first year we’ve not had a white Christmas.  But usually it’s because we had a thaw a few days before, not because it hasn’t snowed at all.

This year it was mud and more mud and green grass.  Seriously green grass.  Which is a little disconcerting to look at when it’s Christmas and you’re headed to dinner with the family.  Christmas Eve it hit 68 degrees out.

Over all though it was a good Christmas.  Dinner was great.  And not even ruined by the fact that my (Husband’s) niece is 12 going on 17 and managed to push her dad into an epic argument in the middle of it all.  Knowing the two of them I doubt it was the first time its happened, and it sure won’t be the last.

Before we headed to my Inlaw’s for dinner we took the time to do a proper round of the property lines.  We’ve been lazy about it recently.  In the process discovered some interesting wildlife tracks.

(Ok, this first one was actually taken a few days earlier and I forgot to post) This must have been a BIG White-tail checking out the fruit trees.  Rumor has it that a big 16 pointer has been seen in the area (always in non-hunt-able areas), makes me wonder if this is him:

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If you look close there’s a (comparatively) tiny print in the top left corner.

Then right along the back line I found these:

Racoon:

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Coyote:

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But then I also found these, and I’m a bit baffled:

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Not significantly bigger than the coyote tracks, but wider, the pad marks are wider and slightly differently shaped, and there’s no claw marks.  In mud that soft there ought to be claw marks if it was a canine, even if they were well worn claws.  The NY DEC insists that we don’t have big cat here, but I’m almost wondering if thats what these are from.  I moved our one surviving trail camera from the trail by the stream to a spot where it can watch this trail.  Hopefully my scent all over as I muddled over the tracks won’t scare off the wildlife……

Speaking of the weather, it looks like mother nature is going to try for a winter after all:

weather

Tuesday morning’s work commute ought to be “interesting”……

13 Comments

  1. Comment by bluesun:

    Meanwhile, it’s the whitest Christmas on record, here in the high desert of western Colorado.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      I keep seeing that. Its insane…..

      We did get a good inch of snow last night. Its now “icing” with a sleet/ice ball mess falling from the sky, and later today its going to switch to rain…..

  2. Comment by Wendy:

    I have 5 trail cameras out, central/eastern NY, have never caught a mountain lion. Not even sure there are any. Have caught bobcats, fishers, coyotes, foxes, neighbors dogs, feral cats, raccoons, rodentia of numerous sorts, a neighbor…hmmm. Sure would be something to get a bear or mountain lion. I hope you do!

    • Comment by Ruth:

      I’m not sure the tracks are big enough for a Mountain Lion, but Bobcat might be possible. The DEC insists we don’t have them here, we’ll see. I didn’t think to take a tape measure out with me, and now the tracks are buried under an inch of snow. Otherwise your list matches mine, except for the neighbor, don’t think I’ve ever caught a neighbor on camera!

      What do you have for cameras? We need to buy a couple more…..

      • Comment by Wendy:

        The neighbor is actually the adult son of a neighbor, who is somewhat challenged, caught him staring right up into the camera. Startled me badly! LOL!

        I have a Bushnell, not impressed. A new Browning, again, not that impressed. And three Moultries,of the three I like the m880. They now have a m990i I tried, it leaked and went right back to Amazon. I think I will be trying that one again. I miss my old Wildview cameras, but they were not IR and took a pocketful of expensive C-cell rechargeable batteries that needed quite regular refreshing. But great nighttime pictures. I guess for the one hundred dollar or so price range these are all okay cameras. There is a blogger, romp-roll-rockies.blogspot.com/, who has many trail cameras out, check out some of her pictures of bears, bobcats, mountain lions, elk, moose, oh my! Her cameras are undoubtedly very expensive, and so her pictures are magnificent!

        • Comment by Ruth:

          This is a Moultrie, and I like it alot, but its been giving us some issues recently….

          • Comment by Wendy:

            I wonder if you called the company, if they have some kind of support, maybe the camera just needs a reset? I have not had any problems with mine. I did have problems with the Wildview and they helped me when I called them…years ago. Or, maybe it’s time for a newer model!

          • Comment by Ruth:

            They kinda do, its out of warranty, but they’d give us a discount on a new camera if they decide its not fixable. On the other hand I kinda want to run it till it drops and pick up a couple new…..

  3. Comment by Ruth:

    I have to add, that the more I look at track identification guides the more convinced I am that these are feline tracks. I wish I’d grabbed the tape measure so that I could be sure of the size!

    • Comment by Wendy:

      Can you park a camera there? Although, when I have caught a bobcat in a particular spot, it is always a one time thing. I did recently get a bobcat where there are pretty regular rabbits, it was a burst of three pictures of the bobcat pouncing out of the picture, probably onto a bunny, but, alas, placement is everything…:(

  4. Comment by bogie:

    Nice assortment of tracks.

    We got about 4″ of snow on Tuesday, followed by a nice sleet/freezing rain storm. So now there is snow below a hard shell that for the most part holds my weigh. The ground is still soft and muddy since we had gotten a lot of rain several days previously.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      Thats about what happened here, a bit less snow, and then it got warm and rainy enough to melt that ice crust, so most of it is since gone. Though we keep getting lake effect flurries, so the ground is still pretty white. And now, tonight and tomorrow night the lows are predicted to be single digits, so I guess the ground is going to freeze after all….