Jun 14, 2011

Animal track detective

Low water is a great time to study animal tracks.

Here's a gator:

An otter.

And me.

All photos from Turner River

I sunk in a little deeper than I thought.

The egret was obviously lighter.


Ciss B said...

The egret is definitely lighter!

Brad said...

As an assistant scoutmaster, I applaud your identification skills. However, you have to admit that mud made it pretty easy. Great pictures.

Dr. Tom said...


I especially like the gator track because of the perspective and obvious destination. and Your footprints are nice because of the scale of what is probably a great egret.

i don't know if you have been following the brou-ha-ha about West palm Beach running out of water. Our CEO John Marshall is writing a letter to the Palm Beach Post pointing out that officials miss the boat by blaming the drought only on weather anomalies, like the Bermuda high, and weather cycles, like El Nino - La Nina. He will argue that draining of Everglades floodplains and oterh wetlands decrease evapo-transpiration which in turn lessens rainfall in the hydrological cycle. I would add that there are shorter term cures than wetlands restoration that include water conservation, xeriscaping, use of IQ water. and dim[ing much less water to tide. Your counterpart at ENP. Kevin Kotun, showed us a pie diagram of freshwater use in south Florida that showed that greater than 85% of use is dumping water to tide!

Take care, Dr. Tom

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Ciss - I also saw what looked like raccoon prints mixed in with the otters.

Brad - These were "gimmies." The tracks you didn't see were all the mosquitoes swarming around my face. Next time I'll bring better netting and stronger repellent.

Dr. Tom - Excellent points. The wet season's trash (i.e., extra water flushed to tide) is dry season's gold. We need to do better.

Eli Lilly said...


I was at the Turner River canoe launch three weeks ago and could not believe the number of mosquitoes, considering the lack of rain.


Robert V. Sobczak said...

Yes, they were quite thick. It's the last place to go dry and the first to get wet, thus those shallow pools which the bugs love.