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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Substrate Happens

I bet you never thought you'd
be looking at a photo of cow
poop on my blog...
In tracker lingo, it's scat, not poop. In this
case, it's the only trackable substrate I found in Arkansas last week. Apparently the rainy season here in the Seattle area is not the rainy season 3 hours northeast of Little Rock.
My sister promised the opportunity to track armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) while visiting...I was excited because they are unlike any other North American mammal, and are the only living member of their family Cingulata. They are native to Central America, but have moved up through the Southern states. The order Xenarthra also contains anteaters and sloths...none of which I'll get to track in the Pacific Northwest.
This is not the track of an armadillo...I didn't see anything that I could identify as such...the red clay, rocky soil was too dry for me to see anything resembling armadillo tracks. I did find this nice front and back track of another Midwest mammal. Can you guess what it is? I believe a fat groundhog, or woodchuck (Marmota monax),passed through this nice round bit of "substrate" before it was completely dry. The closest thing I'll see here in Washington is a Marmot (yellowbellied or hoary), so it's still a cool track photo to have in my collection.

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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"