Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tracking.

Yesterday was very temperate for January.  After morning chores and going after small bales of hay, I thought I'd take a hike.

I just took a small backpack, some water, and the varmint rifle.
I was going to look for coyote sign and see what the other animals have been up to in the woods.

No DSL camera, no dogs, just me and my little point and shoot.

I went up the dead end road.
I stopped to look at some tracks.



I want to believe that these are dog tracks although there has been two sightings of a wolf.  Our neighbors have some dogs that run loose and I am assuming that these tracks belong to one of them.

My first goal was to check out The Hole.  When I was out with Dixie a few days ago we had come past what we all fondly call PeeWee's Hole.  It is the entrance to a cave ...and when PeeWee and his brother were young they had a ladder to get down into it.  The brothers are gone now and the hole more of a memory than anything else.


When I went past The Hole last time with Dixie, she was so curious that I was afraid she'd go down the hole. 
Knowing that her main goal in life is hunting, I got hold of her and dragged her off.  
I wasn't about to have her go down there.  
Two years ago another one of our hounds went down after varmints and hubby had to climb down and get the dog.


Here is a view of The Hole from yesterday.  A lot of snow has melted and I was able to get close enough to check it out.

Clearly it is being used as a den.  
But I couldn't tell if it was coyote or raccoon.  
So I followed the melted down dirty trail into the woods.



Clearly, it was a raccoon den.  

And the raccoon had been active withing the past 24 hours.  The other trail led into the picked corn field, the trail through the woods led directly down the steep hillside towards the creek.

I walked on.
I decided to go to one of the more remote locations on PeeWee's. I call it the East Ravine.  It is located on the far eastern portion of the property and is not very easy to get to.
It is a what we call a dry run.  Flood water and snow melt pound down these ravines and flow into the creek in the valley.
This one is unique because the sun rarely touches it.  
In November my son and his wife had visited and we hiked through this ravine.  We found a small spring.

Here is a shot of my son's dog, Teslin, near the small spring in the 'East Ravine'.  This was in early November.

Here is what it looked like yesterday.


I was quite surprised.  The spring must put out a bit more water than I thought.  We've had quite a few thaws and freezes which probably explains the build up of the ice flow.

However I don't recall this ever being like this in any past years.


The waters seem to be frozen in motion.  I could hear some water trickling under the ice and the top of the ice was wet also.
Of course the temperatures were above freezing.

The color variations in the ice were also interesting. 

There was a blue tint to it in places and others had a reddish tint to it.

I took some shots then went down to the Big Spring and walked in the valley and up the creek to get home.

I really want to get back to the East Ravine today while the temperatures are still nice and the ice is still thick.

PeeWee's Ice Cave will have to wait until Tuesday.


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