Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pawprints in the Dirt

Mr. Johnson and I took a walk over to the pond in the woods this evening in hopes of seeing some deer like the doe and fawn he saw last night (when I wasn't along......he always sees the good stuff when he's by himself). We saw only one small buck--a little forkhorn with antlers still in velvet.

The pond is right next to Neighbor Jack's woods--remember back in May when I did the 2-part post about my morning walk in the woods and Neighbor Jack said to keep an eye open for a wolf? Well, check out these pawprints I found tonight.....

They were so huge and to the best of my knowledge, there's no dog this large roaming loose in our neighborhood. However, after I came home and checked with my "Mammals of Minnesota" field guide, here's what it said about coyotes and wolves: "hind paws fall near or directly onto fore prints when walking, often obliterating the forepaw tracks." So much for exciting evidence of a wild animal in the neighborhood, but it still leaves me wondering where that big dog might have come from.....

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

So many hit and miss sightings of wolves, why not near you? The woods are so heavy anything can live there and roam around at nite. Those paw prints sure are huge, what else could they be? thanks for sharing.
MOM

barefoot gardener said...

Wow, big! How super-cool is that!

Mel said...

Keep us posted if you find out more about it.

Jayne said...

Maybe a knock-kneed wolf? A wolf with arthritis? ;c)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That is a big paw print. I wouldn't want to come face to face with such an animal unless it was well fed.

Lynne said...

Those are some BIG feet! And I don't mean yours...

scienceguy288 said...

Sure, there could be wolves. But, it could be some foreign dog that is not usually in the neighborhood. Not to take away from the discovery, though.

Marsha said...

I was ready to comment on "what big feet those were" and read Lynne's comment. Now I am laughing so hard it's hard to type...now I have to say "what big pawprints those are"!!!

That really would be something if there was a wolf in your neighborhood.

I loved the garden updates too!

nina said...

Hmm.
I think I'd not want to meet whatever it is making those tracks.
A dog of that size could be just as troublesome as a wolf!

She sure is strange! said...

I wouldn't discount the wolf idea just yet, I found the coyotes living across from our driveway don't always follow the "norm" for tracks.

A friend of mine shared an article about wildlife making a comeback in a big way, adapting to us. I'll see if I can find it and pass it to you. Just last week I found bear scat near an area lake(in northeast Texas) and there aren't supposed to be bears here(yet). Of course, everyone knows they ARE here. Sigh.

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if those weren't wolf tracks. Not at all.

Molly

Mary C said...

MARMADUKE!!! I was wondering where he is living now. LOL ;o) Just kidding, Ruthie, but I just couldn't pass it up to joke about it. But it sure is a good mystery.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for all the comments--both for & against the wolf theory. We're supposed to get some rain again for the next few days and I'll be checking back to see if any more pawprints can be found. If there's any new evidence, I think this would be a perfect opportunity to put the "StealthCam" to work and try to solve this mystery. I'll be sure to keep you updated!

Meggie said...

Hey Ruthie! I've been away from your blog for far too long. I'll catch up soon, I promise. Awesome looking print...won't it be interesting to find out exactly what did leave it? Good luck!

Mary said...

I thought of Marmaduke, too! LOL! Be careful out there, Ruthie.

Robin Wedewer said...

Whoa. Great Dane?

The coyotes are heading further north all the time. They were recently spotted here in Maryland. Not looking forward to adding them to my list of local wildlife.

Robin
Gardening Examiner

pennie said...

snowed in Va yesterday. I have some prints that look exactly like those! I am baffled! These prints are almost 4' by 4". Dog prints? I have never seen a dog here that would leave such a large print. We live in the mountains ,south central, on the west side of the the state of Virginia. These prints came out of the woods, on a deer trail, crossed the dirt road and headed off into the woods again. We are not known to have wolves here and coyotes have small feet.Whatever it is, it is huge!