Thursday, May 1, 2008

Red Fox Tracks at Belvedere

There is something wonderful about the red clay behind the homesites. It is like a slate that is constantly refreshed, and on it is drawn the record of the wildlife that lives near us. There are always deer tracks, but it is exciting to find nice fox tracks. Here is a photo showing the distinctive chevron the heel pad of the foot makes, one of the things that can help identify it as a fox track and not just some small dog. The fox is moving right to left, although the toes are not as clear as the heel.

Here's a visual aid to see what I am talking about when I mean toe pads and "chevron":

Here is another close up of a track going the same direction. The clay here is a bit harder and only the toe pads and the chevron show up clearly. The claws are not showing in these pictures, although they are commonly visible; that is a good way to be sure that these delicate tracks were not made by a fox and not a member of the cat family.

Clicking on most of the images will bring up a larger version in a new window or tab. That may make it easier to see the things I am talking about.

Our son has done a Science Fair project on tracks; he made plaster casts of deer, raccoon and fox prints. We're thrilled he enjoys this also.

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