After dragging myself out of bed on Saturday, I got to go out to Emerald Lake, and take part in an intro to tracking course.
It was with a guy called Nick, from North Star Bushcraft, and he was very knowledgeable, and the course was very fun. l I was very interested in this, as I kept getting excited about all the random tracks I was coming across…We don’t get to see many tracks in NZ, we just don’t have the same population of mammals, and I don’t get to spend much time in areas of snow, where the tracks are all laid out, easy to see.
It was a balmy minus 33, I was equipped with toe and hand warmers, and we traipsed around in the snow with our snowshoes, examining tracks, and growing icicles on our faces, beards and eyelashes. Even the guide’s feet were frozen by the end of it. We would stop and look at some tracks, have a bit of a discussion, do a few measurements, and then walk around a bit before we froze.
Was very interesting, and hopefully has given me a few tools with which to interpret all the rest of the tracks I find in this lovely snow laden wilderness. They’re not just tracks, there is an animal at the end of them, and they were going from somewhere, to somewhere, and the tracks tell a story. Also, most of the things here are cute! Cute little bunnies were hopping over there, cute little martens were bounding across the frozen lake over here!