Welcome Back to Red Rocks Park

After being away from Red Rocks Park for a long time I was curious to see what changes I would encounter while there. When arriving at my phenology location the land was all iced over and hard to navigate. However, the area had lots of visitors such as humans and dogs, which can be seen by their footprints in the snow. The dog’s footprints were similar to the one of a coyote because they have tracks that are around the same size and have four toes with four claws as well as a heart-shaped pad. A notable way of confirming that they are similar is with visualizing an “X” drawn across the print with the claws included. They also are a walking and trotting animal have a large straddle with a zig-zag pattern.  Dogs scat has a cylinder shape and is pointy just like coyotes, but would not contain pieces of bones due to them eating ground up kibble.

                       

As I walked along the trail I saw tracks off to the side. They seem to belong to a mouse since the tracks are not the same size, whereas the hind feet are larger than the front feet. Another noticeable characteristic is that all four of the prints are together and their straddle is very small showing that they are hoppers due to their tracks being side by side when they are traveling. Also, when walking around one could tell a small animal had been in the area by the numerous fallen pine cones scales being eaten.

    

Some trees species that I was able to identify where the tall Eastern White Pines, Red Maples, Read Oaks, and White Oaks. Finding identifiable twigs at my site was a difficult process. One of twig that I was able to find was the Pinus Strobus (Eastern White Pine) in the snow. When I took the twig out of the snow to draw my sketch the texture of twig was smooth and bumpy.  The buds on the twig seem to just be forming since they felt very hard. 

   

Overall my trip back to Red Rocks Park was eventful. The very noticeable changes where that ice and snow where everywhere making it hard to walk on. I can’t even imagine animals walking on these surfaces for they were very slippery. I also noticed that the water near the shore was frozen over and that my area had lost its coverage allowing it to be more exposed to the harsh wind.