04 March 2010

Nature Detectives

Last Saturday we held a wonderful Track Detective kid's workshop, led by UM grad student Elliott Parsons. We had expected some snow on the ground for the activity, but luckily mud is just as good at showing animal tracks!  First, Elliott talked to the kids about the evidence animals leave behind as clues that they were once in an area.  Then, everyone went outside for a scavenger hunt!  All the kids had a sheet of paper and went on the prowl for their items.  Along the way, Elliott pointed out all sorts of tracks: dog, cat, mice, squirrel, and even fox!  They also saw fox scat and logs that beavers had munched.  In the end, everyone arrived back at the center for some hot cocoa (even though it was 50 degrees out!) and snacks.

Coyote tracks, which we did not see!

All this talk of tracking reminded me of an e-mail I got a few months back from a friend of MNHC named Carolyn.  She sent us some really cool pictures of porcupine tracks in snow from her trip to Colorado: 


Pretty neat, huh?   You can just imagine them meandering along, minding their own business.  A few weeks ago I was giving my dog a quick walk at night off-leash and we saw a porcupine walking right down the street in our neighborhood.  Luckily I saw the little guy before my dog - he would definitely have wanted to go say hi!

If you have interesting pictures of your own adventures, please share them with us!  Provide us with your name (and let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous), pictures and a brief description of the pictures.
Send your submissions to office (@) montananaturalist.com

1 comment:

  1. My daughter loves tracking.
    We attended this event & had a wonderful time.
    We even saw 2 Great Blue Herons flying over head.

    We will actively be spreading the word about The Natural History center on our Missoula website.

    Dianne Keast
    Volunteer Admin. @
    Missoula Area Events