Monday, April 12, 2010
Looking for Field Signs
Here's a picture from where we took a walk this afternoon. The woods are right along the rocky coast, and dotted with small lakes and ponds that can also have salt water in them from the ocean. This is a red squirrel who was eating from a pine cone. They like to find one spot where they always eat. Like squirrels, chipmunks will also eat the seeds from pine cones, but sit in different places to eat. Chipmunks are more likely to leave a pile in a more exposed place like this rock which was near our path. Can you guess which animal left behind these prints in the mud? It has five toes. Look below for a further clue. The same animal that left those prints left this piece of scat as well. In it you can see grasses and seeds but also sand. Can you think of why this mammal would have eaten sand? Well, it didn't eat the sand on purpose, but was eating something else that ate sand! Something tasty in the ground...hmmm. Tell me your ideas and I'll reveal what it is on tomorrow's post! More field signs! What happened to this tree? Can you see the teeth marks on the trunk of this tree? Who would eat bark? Look for more clues below. What a find! This animal's scat looks like a "string of pearls" and is kind of yellow in color. It's a porcupine! They sleep in trees during the day and come out at night but can cause a lot of damage to trees since eating the bark can kill the tree. Unfortunately, some people consider them pests for this reason. They rely on their quills to scare predators away and don't try to run away from threats, even people. He was very cute!