Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Animal Signs and Ice Crystals

Last Wednesday (14 JAN 2015) I was able to spend a little bit of time walking through the woods at Chipp-A-Waters Park in Mt. Pleasant.  I already posted some pictures of ice taken that day, but ice was far from the only thing I found.

Part of my walk took me off the paved trail and onto the frozen surface of an oxbow pond.   In Summer the edges of this pond are the home to rushes and bur-reeds.

Giant Bur-reed at Chipp-A-Waters Park

The center of the pond is home to a colony of Yellow Pond Lilies.

Yellow Pond Lily colony at Chipp-A-Waters Park

This time of year, the oxbow looks like this...

Ice and snow-covered oxbow pond

It's covered with snow and ice and criss-crossed with tracks from White-tailed Deer and Red Fox.  Many of the fox track passed near an old muskrat lodge along the edge of the oxbow.

Fox tracks converge on an old muskrat lodge

At least one fox took the time to leave its mark with a spray of urine.

This spot serves as a marking post for local wildlife

A yellow spot of urine shows that a fox has recently passed through

Fox tracks and urine were not the only interesting things that I found on the oxbow.

A fox-eye view through the rushes and sedges
Some of these emergent vegetation was covered with delicate blades and feathers of frost

Frost-covered leaves and stems

Some of these frost feathers were nearly an inch long.  This picture shows them in more detail.

Feathers of frost on a rush stem

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