Well, last weekend was the last weekend. Of the Cascadia Wild 2016-17 Tracking and Camera season, that is. And it sure was a good one to finish the year -- lots of critters showed up on the cameras, and our tracking team had a beautiful day in the snow. And signs of spring are showing up on the mountain -- even in the snow -- giving us a taste of the season that's starting up as we're winding down.
Hare of the Frog, Fox of the Spur
Last weekend, camera crews prepared for some of the final checks of the season, and a team of trackers headed up to Frog Lake for a beautiful sunny day in the snow. Both the tracking and camera volunteers made surprising finds!
Volunteers set out to track in the Cloud Cap Road area this weekend, on the north east side of the mountain. It's an area where long-time volunteers remember seeing mustelid tracks (that's the animal family that includes two target species, weasels and marten), and they were hoping for some good tracks, and to get out of the rain down below.
Even (and perhaps especially!) for experienced trackers and naturalists, the forest is full of mysteries. It turns out this is true for wildlife, too.
Not all of them are quite as spooky as this shot of a raven taken through a fogged up camera , though. In fact, most are pretty fun. Read on to find out about some of the mysteries that did and didn't get solved in the woods this weekend.
It was another busy weekend for Cascadia Wild volunteers up on Mt. Hood! Tracking teams went out on Sunday and Monday this week to lower-elevation sites on the West Side of the mountain, including the beautiful Salmon River area, pictured above. And at the same time, camera teams were venturing out to refresh bait and returning with memory cards full of photos.
In this edition of the winter weekly, we'll look at what we've learned about these areas, including a look at three weeks worth of camera footage. Read on for some tracking adventures and the full story in pictures of three weeks in the winter woods.
Ever wondered what's it like to spend a night in the woods, the way the animals do? Many animals, in fact, are most active during the night and early morning hours. Well, some of our trackers made an overnight snow camping trip to Twin Lakes this weekend to see for themselves.
Our volunteers on the mountain this week were greeted with blue sky, fun finds, great conditions for snowshoeing, and both the biggest and smallest wildlife tracks we could hope to find on Mt. Hood in the winter.
The forest is full of mysteries, isn't it? Volunteers found some tracking this week, and we caught one on camera. What is this blurry animal, and how can you tell?
Volunteers were diligently combing the mountain for wildlife this weekend, documenting a number of species. The trackers that were out explored two new areas for this season, on the South side of Mt. Hood.
Saturday’s tracking team went out in on-and-off snowy weather, and as they began their snowshoeing, saw lots of squirrel and snowshoe hare tracks right away. When they headed off the trail, though, they quickly found a trail much larger than that. The snowed-in tracks made it hard to distinguish the details, but they suspected a coyote, a fox, or a bobcat, and started following the trail.