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Tracking. How to read something left behind. A meditation approach.

Updated on January 29, 2013

This is 5 day old, Scat. More than likely left by a fox. Berries are a scavengers fall back.

We know this animal was not eating flesh, rains washed away other matter, and this animal could not digest the berries.
We know this animal was not eating flesh, rains washed away other matter, and this animal could not digest the berries. | Source

Stop think, listen, smell and look.

Let us begin this way. Read each one of these and visualize the animal. I hope I use familiar examples. They are found in many urban trail places and in parks and on the edge of cities. So you could find their tracks or even see them with little effort.

This exercise puts your mind somewhat right for tracking.

Bunny Rabbit

Jack Rabbit

Skunk

Domestic dog

Domestic/feral cat

Fox

Coyote

Possum

Bobcat

Big fat man

Petite young woman

Horse

Pony

Now pick out a few that you know live around you. Slow down and do it again.

If this photo overwhelms you just breathe in and out and think

Just from experience , that is a firestone on a f-150 half ton yesterday. That is a two hundred lbs+ man today. that is a domestic dog print, and the bike tire belongs to a Giant bike with cheap tires and a person of about 165 riding it.
Just from experience , that is a firestone on a f-150 half ton yesterday. That is a two hundred lbs+ man today. that is a domestic dog print, and the bike tire belongs to a Giant bike with cheap tires and a person of about 165 riding it. | Source

This part is just plain fun

First practice – get ready this is exciting. Get out a pair of your best walking shoes/boots. Get out you favorite socks. Now go get the vacuum, vacuum your most plush carpet or rug and you worst.

Walk barefoot across the areas. Put socks on and walk across the area. Put your boots on and do the same. Now examine. Can you tell which direction you were walking? Can you tell which print went down first? On the worse carpet it may be good to take a light and shine it from off to the side.

I would suggest playing with this a bit. Pick up 30 lbs and do it again, note differences. Now intentionally walk with your toe down first, and then with your heel down first. Run at it and stop on it. Go ahead and crawl on it to notice the imprints. And last have someone else you cannot see do the walking and then come out and check out your new skill.

Can you imagine tracking a Hawk? How about a deer on huge rock field?

Go some place. Clear your head. Look straight down in front of you and begin to walk. Stop and look behind you. You know you just walked there, now find the signs. You know your size and weight and how fast you were going. Try to find evidence to support that knowledge. Try to track back a ways reliving how you walked, find evidence of every step. See how darn smart you are.

Can you see the pony in your head? How about the horse?

I hope these pictures give you something to look for in your neck of the woods. They are just kind of fun and I bet you now realize, it is very helpful to have several tracks to read from as one print may be an anomaly.

Pay special attention to the pony print. I could not find enough to convince me, and that is what convinced me. Always grasshopper,” be as aware of what is not as you are of what is.”

Now back to the visualization. Keep at that process. Do some research, get a really good picture of the animal. (do not worry in another hub I will explain about the vegetation and how to read that.) I hope these photos help you visualize remnants of what was.

A print made in mud, after drying will often not be an indentation but a rise like a cast.

Absent nails/claws indicate not a dog but a cat who has retractable claws. But hard to tell with only one print.
Absent nails/claws indicate not a dog but a cat who has retractable claws. But hard to tell with only one print. | Source

Notice here what looks like imprints on the sides, you would be wrong.

What looks like indentations on the side is really a muddy shoe. When the shoe goes down in wet clay like soil it gathers more clay so the marks on the side were made while the ground was wet but not covered in water.
What looks like indentations on the side is really a muddy shoe. When the shoe goes down in wet clay like soil it gathers more clay so the marks on the side were made while the ground was wet but not covered in water. | Source

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    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Forensics - we need to focus on what we leave behind. Or what we take with us. Footprints. Tracking really shows how we impact our world just like a fox.

      Mrs Browns, I think your presence will leave a good footprint on our lives.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Hello Ericdierker, I'm pleased to make your acquaintance here on Hubpages. :-) I really like this one---very interesting subject and approach!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I think that is the main thing. Getting really in the moment.

    • Quirinus profile image

      Queirdkus Ω Ibidem 4 years ago from Sitting on the Rug

      Interesting hub, thanks, Eric. It reminds us to stay in childlike wonder of even the small things around us.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Asp52, yes the same with mud prints as they dry out. And that is part of the fun. As a youngster I once proclaimed a 6oo lb mountain lion, that is how I learned about expansion.

    • Asp52 profile image

      Asp52 4 years ago from England

      A very good hub, on something that we take for granted in everyday life. After it has snowed I like to see the different animal prints that leave their impression in the environment, I think the snow and ice distort the footprints left behind by the pressure. Keep the hubs coming I am now a fan.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Moni Mas. It is a marvelous world we live in.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Very interesting hub! Voted up.