Animal Tracks




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There are three ways of recording and collecting tracks. You cannot pick up a hole in the ground.  But you can draw it, photograph it, or make a plaster cast of it.  Kanohwahke Naturalist. 


To make plaster casts of tracks is a pleasurable method of recording observations for more accurate and scientific study later.  Observations are likely to become vague, pictures require careful measurements to show proportions, book notes sometimes neglect an important point.  Undoubtedly, the actual -imprint reproduced in a permanent cast is the very best record for study, next to the original track itself.

To make casts in mud, place a small frame about the track to keep the plaster from running.  The plaster-of-paris powder is shaken into water as fast as it settles until a small hill shows. The mixture is then stirred until creamy, then it is poured carefully into the track to be recorded.  Leave for several hours, if possible. 

In a day or two, the "negative" cast is cleaned, waxed, or soaped, and a "positive" track made from it in the same way.  To make casts in the snow, take a small atomizer, or spray can such as is used for misting flowers or for spraying pests.  Gently spray a film of water into the track. It will quickly freeze, and the track will be ready for the recording process. 






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On Nature's Trail ] [ Animal Tracks ] Birds in Winter ] Birds Nest Collections ] Nature Collections ] Signs in Jan-March ] Signs: Nov-Dec ] Trees in Winter ] Animals in Winter ] Winter Tree List ] Tree Photography ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.