Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Coyote Storytelling Event

I've been invited to lead a storytelling evening:

The Coyote Brush Highway
South Skyline Association General Meeting 
Friday, January 27, 2012, 7:00 pm
Saratoga Summit Fire Station

"Mountain resident and biologist, Cindy Roessler, will tell a story and share photos about her recent encounters with a family of coyotes on the Dipper Ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Coyote (aka the Trickster, the Western Songdog and many other names) inspires stories of wonder, frustration and imagination.  Bring your coyote stories and let's share an evening of real tails and tall tales."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Newt Tracks

Tracks at edge of Newt Pond, San Mateo Co, California, 12/29/2011
Total width 3.8 cm, width of central drag mark 3 mm
footprints 1 cm wide x 1.5 cm long
Probably a track of the coast range newt
This is the track of a tail-dragging animal leaving the Newt Pond. Snakes don't make footprints, our local lizards usually don't enter water, and anyway, it's too cold this time of year for reptiles. Since I know that coast range newts breed at this pond every winter, this is probably a newt track, but why was it leaving its breeding pond in December?

When it comes to interpreting animal sign, observe the where, when and size of the marks, and look around for other clues. By absorbing the nature of the site in addition to observing the actual marks, you can make a good guess at the behavior of the animal.