While the last few days have been spent doing many of the same tasks: setting and checking traps, deer scat counts, and working on the research station, today I took my first walk to look for field signs. My partner Jenny and I walked through the area on assigned trails, and recorded any indications of small mammal life.
As amateur researchers we found this task particularly difficult. Walking around looking for the signs of these animals is kind of like trying to find a penny in an overflowing dumpster. However, we did find several things: deer tracks in the mud, marks on tress from deer trying to shed the velvet off of their antlers, porcupine damage on trees, a chipmunk den, a squirrel on a log, etc. The foliage on the forest floor made it difficult to look for scat, and our worries about being on the right path distracted us from focusing as well as we could have.
Today's question: Why do deer try to shed the velvet from their antlers?
Challenge option: Go outside with a notepad and a pen, pick an area that you will work through, and write down any signs of animals life that you can find; then post what you found.
- Mr. Greenslate