Sunday, December 18, 2011

Drawing and Tracking Training

Professional artist and art teacher Mark Kang O'Higgins explains the value of drawing exercises in training observation skills relevant to wildlife tracking.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December Tracking Intensive

So Dec tracking intensive class was busy. The weekend started for students with class room lectures for the first part of Saturday. Then out into the field, where there were plenty of tracks to be found under bridges in Duvall and at Chinook bend. Everyone stayed out until the light began to fade and then that evening went to the schools land for an evening class on observational principles and drawing as related to tracks.

The following day was spent at Stossel Creek. It was a beautiful riparian environment and we weren't there long before we found tons of bear tracks and sign. Some was old and some was very fresh. An exciting and beautiful place. With the low hanging mist in the morning giving way to clear sunshine in the afternoon the place took on a magical quality. We found Coho salmon swimming in the streams, returning to their spawning beds. There were signs that the bear had also found them. We came across cougar and otter sign. All in all it was a great weekend. Top left; In the woods. Top R: Hannes Wingate finds bear tracks. 2nd down L & R: Old and new bear sign. 3rd down L; bear track. 3rd down R;drawing class. Below L; drawing review. MKO

Coho in this shallow stream made easy fishing conditions for a black bear patroloing its banks. Photo by Terry Kem.

Remains of a coho salmon consumed by a black bear found by students during class. Photo by Terry Kem.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Marcus Reynerson explains river otter scent marking

While teaching on the Snohomish River in Western Washington, Marcus discovered the tracks and sign of some recent scent marking activity of a river otter.

A prominent sandy location above a body of water such as this is a typical location for river otters to scent mark.

Scent marking stations include scratch marks, scat and other secretions, often deposited on vegetation.