Monday, July 9, 2012

Floured animal tracks

Sometimes, in the morning, I'll open the backdoor, and listen to the animals in the woods behind our house, while the rest of the human world is still quiet.  No mowers, no children shouting, no horns honking, just mother nature.  On these mornings, Aidan and I talk about the animals and bugs we hear, while eating breakfast.  It's a fun guessing game, as we listen to what's hiding behind the trees in the yard.

One morning, Aidan told me he thinks there are monkeys living in the woods.  I tried explaining to him, that monkeys don't live in small conservation lots surrounded by houses in Florida.  He didn't believe me, and thinks our backyard is the equivalent to a jungle.  He got me thinking could I show him what did live in our backyard?  There are many curious creatures we have witnessed out in the daylight, various bird species, squirrels, lizards, snakes, turtles, and rabbits.  Sometimes, animals leave clues behind, to let us know they were here, such as tracks.  So one evening, we made a plan to capture animal tracks.  Snow, and mud, are traditionally the best materials for finding animal tracks in, but it doesn't snow here, and my husband wouldn't appreciate us smearing mud on the patio bricks.  We thought flour would do the trick, and be easy to clean up as well.

As dusk settled in, we went outside, and began sprinkling the patio with handfuls of flour.  A thin layer was left to mimic snow, and its ability to see impressions made in it.  The next morning, an exciting discovery was made, something walked through the flour, and peed on it!  We observed a couple different looking tracks, and markings that may have been caused by a tail.  We looked on the Internet, in search of similar impressions.  We aren't entirely sure what left its mark in our yard, it was tough to tell.  It looked like there were tracks on top of tracks in some spots, but there definitely was a five-toed creature.

We will try again.  Hopefully, we'll see a different set of tracks next time, because I do have my suspicions.  We've talked and read about some of our typical nocturnal occupants of the woods, but Aidan still thinks this is just more proof to back up his monkey theory!


  1. What a great idea! It may take a lot more to convince him it's not monkey prints! thanks for adding this to the outdoor play link up this week.

  2. I love this! My kids would love this. Although we live in the city we do have a small yard and an astonishing number of little guests visit us daily. I think we might try to get some rabbit footprints in flour. Thanks for the idea!

    1. There's always something hanging out, even in the city!

  3. What a great idea. It sparks the imagination.

    : 0 ) Theresa


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