by Amber Boland
I think the world becomes slightly less mysterious when there is snow. Usually I try to start my days early, and if I am lucky to be outside on a field visit right after a snowfall, I rarely feel lonely in the woods. So frequently I come across tracks of the many other creatures which inhabit the forests that are typically elusive and hidden during the warmer months. This always comforts me.
During the summer I may consider for a moment that I am on a wildlife highway by the simple observations I can make. However, in the winter, movements are so clear – unavoidable, that I can easily gauge how frequently an area is used or traveled within with certainty. I often find myself wondering how it is that the predators don’t capture all of the prey that exists in our woods during the winter when they are so easily found. I suppose we can all be thankful that the predators of these northern woods are quite small and fill themselves completely, sometimes for days, on quite little.
Amber is UVLT’s Conservation Mapping and Field Specialist.