Monday, November 03, 2008

Track of the Week 7

Central Washington, a week ago.

1. What species are here?

There are coyote tracks going through from bottom to top (as well as some older ones going the other way).

The trail going across horizontally is a snake. The divots are the most obvious parts, but if you look there is also sand smoothed out between the divots. I'm not really sure how to describe the trail, but I'm not aware of anything else that leaves a trail quite like this, so if you see something similar, there's a good chance it was left by a snake.

And of course there is the tire track on the left side.

2. What order did they come through?
The snake came through after the coyote and tire. It's a little difficult to see, but the snake trail comes out of the tire divot and although the coyote tracks are all visible, one of them has been partially smoothed over by the snake.

I don't know whether the tire or the coyote came first.

3. What directions are they going?
(The picture was taken at 9am if you want to give the compass directions.)

At 9am the sun should be shining more or less from the southeast. From the shadows it appears that the sun was shining from the right of the picture.

That would mean the coyote is travelling NE. The snake is a little more difficult for me, but I believe it is travelling SE. This is based on how the trail comes out of the tire track and I think it makes sense that the divots would be made in the direction of travel like that.

Previous Next


forest wisdom said...

These posts of "Track of the week" are very intriguing, and I am learning from them. Thank you. I wish that I had greater knowledge and proficiency in tracking such that I could do better at identification. But that will be coming; I'm going to be working on it. :)

Great blog; I just recently found you and have been enjoying your postings.

Peace to you

Jonathan said...

Thanks, I'm glad you've been enjoying them.

Feel free to make speculations and ask questions even if you don't feel very confident in it yet.

Jonathan said...

Anybody have any thoughts/guesses they'd like to share?

DeAnna said...

I'm having a hard time figuring out what things are animal tracks and what things are wind tracks, and what is just me imagining there's something there.

There are the tire tracks on the far left. Then there's a canine (fox?) going bottom to top (or is it top to bottom?). I don't know what the odd crescent shapes are that go horizontally across the picture. Is it a funny walking gate of a human in boots? Is it a tortoise? A snake? A porcupine? And then it looks like there's a much older canine track, same as the newer one, parallel to the newer one.

The order goes tire, snortupine, fox.

That's all I see.

Kitty said...

I'm fairly convinced that the track running across the photo is a snake. I'm a little less sure if the divits crossing the snake track are from the snake or something else. I think that Sidewinders leave depressions in the sand as they move themselves forward? One of the canid tracks seems like it was over ridden by the snake, so I'm going for canid first, the snake second. I was about to say that the last would be the bike tire, but then I noticed the odd divit track in the tire track.