With feet not inches of snow on the ground and more snow coming, you may be wondering what to do when you are all snowed in. Try throwing open the front door and embracing Mother Nature's gift! Strap on your boots or a pair of snow shoes and set out on a hunt for animal tracks.
If you have children, this is a wonderful opportunity to create a mystery as you try to figure out where an animal was going and what they were doing. By looking carefully at animal tracks you can learn more about their comings and goings. No children in tow? Animal tracking is just as fun for adults and can be very addicting!
First, you will need a helpful resource to get you started. Check out the Outdoor Action Guide to Animal Tracking
. A pocket guide to animal tracks is a must. There are simple guides
and more sophisticated guides
After your tracking adventure is finished, there are many books written about animal tracks that are perfect for reading to kids. Some of my favorite books for children are:
- Big Tracks, Little Tracks, Selsam, Millicent
- Tracks in the Wild, Bowen Betsy
- Whose Tracks are These?, Nail, Jim
- Wild Tracks!, Arnosky, Jim
- In the Snow: Who's been here?, George, Lindsay Barret
- Tracks, Scats and Signs, Dendy, Leslie
If you are in search of an adult read:
- Scats and Tracks of North America: A Field Guide to the Signs of Nearly 150 Wildlife Species (Scats and Tracks Series), Halfpenny, James
- Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks: Third Edition, Olau, Murie J.
- Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign, Rezendes, Paul
Your local Audubon chapter should offer tracking classes and is a great resource to learn more about this fun activity. And, tracking does not need to end when winter is over. A fun project is to make an animal track box
in your own back yard.
Don't forget that there are plenty of activities
that include the familiar sledding, ice skating, and skiing so go on outside and embrace!!