Wild animals do not always show themselves in the daytime when we are outdoors looking for them.
One reason, of course, is that our noisy walking and talking warn them we are near and they hide. Another reason is that the nocturnal or night creatures sleep and rest during the day and only begin to prowl in search of food and water when night falls and we are back home.
However, there is still a way to enjoy these animals you can’t see. Learn to read the record they leave behind—their tracks. Examine the size and shape of tracks and before long you should be able to tell which wild creatures made them.
As you spend more time with tracks, you also may be able to read a story from them. You will see where the animal stopped to nibble at some food. Or you may see where a predator picked up its trail and carefully stalked it. The chase also may be written on the ground, along with the escape or catch.
To test your skill at
reading tracks, match up
these common Texas animals
with their footprints. Check
1983 Animal Tracks. Young Naturalist. The Louise Lindsey Merrick Texas Environment Series, No. 6, pp. 38-39. Texas A&M University Press, College Station.