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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Domestic Dog Tracking Project

Today I'm going to McCormick Park to start my Tracking Intensive project. If you hear news reports of a crazy woman accosting dog walkers in Duvall, it will probably be me.

I've been busy creating a plan, a worksheet, and a letter explaining who I am and why I want to take photos of dogs and measure their tracks. Today, I'll find out if it works.

My goal is to record measurements on 100 dogs before the project is due in May. If I could do it without taking any measurements at all, I would. But, as my friend Jonathan pointed out, it would be impossible to re-create the project later, so I may as well take all the measurements anyone will ever want to know.

Jim Halfpenny has set the standard for tracking dogs, and so I'm going to be taking 15 measurements on each set of tracks...times 3, and then getting an average value for each of the 15 measurements. And I'll be using the metric system instead of the more comfortable inches...

That's assuming I can actually talk people into going to the sandy beach area along the river. I'm not sure I'd have fallen for the "school project" story when I was walking my dog. It should be interesting to see what happens.

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My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"