What Created these Beautiful Tracks in the Snow, PART 1
On a winter walkabout on a frozen pond close to Diamond Lake just east of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario there is always some form of art work to see, with Mother Nature being the artist. Walking on snowshoes on the freshly fallen snow on a bitterly cold day with his two faithful labradoodles, this hiker encounters a rare glimpse of snowy art work. The intricate pattern left on the snowy surface was intriguing. What was to be determined was just what paint brush made this pretty painting. Upon discovery, the first order of business was to control the two pups that had much energy and were full of mischief in order to capture a short video of the wing imprints left in the snow. Having somewhat controlled the pups direction of travel it was now time to analyze the scene in order to determine how it had been created. The birds that were most likely to be at this location were ravens, crows, eagles, owls and possibly wild turkeys. Due to the size of the apparent wing span and the depth of the imprints the initial thought was that it must have been created by a heavier bird of prey. By pure coincidence the landing zone was situated directly in front of a trail camera that was affixed to the base of a nearby tree. It was at this location to hopefully capture the movement of wolves, coyotes, fox and possibly deer in moving from a packed down snowshoe trail to the ice surface at the start of this pond. As many bald eagles had been seen in this area, that was the bet, although the track pattern at the end of the landing zone did not look quite right ? The next part of the challenge to determine the origin of the pattern was whether or not the trail camera was working at the point that the bird landed. With the bitter cold that had been prevalent in the area for the past week there was much speculation as to whether the batteries were working. At this point there was only one thing to do and that was to switch out the SD cards in the camera and continue on with the winter wonderland walkabout until the return to home and computer when the mystery could be solved.