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  • Molly
    I m Molly, a homeschooling mom of 3 in northeast Texas. Over the past year or so we ve encountered more wildlife than in rest of my whole life it seems!! We
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 4, 2006
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      I'm Molly, a homeschooling mom of 3 in northeast Texas.

      Over the past year or so we've encountered more wildlife than in rest
      of my whole life it seems!! We live in a moderate sized town(70K+
      population) but it is growing with new construction all over the
      place and the animals are getting pushed around pretty bad. Last
      fall we started hearing coyotes in the 100 acre oil lease across the
      street from our house(on a busy corner). They were driving our dogs,
      and me, crazy!! I saw them on the driveway twice and one afternoon I
      watched one stalking something in a small grove of trees across the
      street. They sprayed in our neighborhood during mating season and
      carried on quite loudly most of the winter and spring. My kids and I
      would go check out a sandy area across from us when we'd hear them
      close the night before, I've got some good track pics. This summer
      was quieter but I'm sure they'll be starting up again pretty soon.
      I've become kind of the unofficial coyote watcher for the city, I let
      them know what I see and hear every month or so.

      Two weeks ago my husband and I took our girls to a local lake(about a
      50 mile drive) to check out some fishing spots to take our son. On
      the way home we were watching for deer since it was about 7pm and
      they'd likely be feeding then. We were about 3 miles from a small
      settlement(gas station, church or two, some houses and a few
      businesses). I glanced across a pasture and saw a yellowish tan
      shape slowly walking just outside a treeline at the back of the
      pasture, about 50 yards from the road. My first instinct was "cat",
      but then I immediately dismissed that as not possible. I ran all the
      animals I could think of through my mind and kept coming back to
      cat. It had a very long tail, cat head, and was very muscular with
      thick legs. It was maybe 6 feet long and 2 feet high and held its
      head down low. When I called my animal control contact to ask if I
      needed to let a game warden or wildlife manager know, he told me he
      was on his way out to trap some wild hogs on the south side of our
      town. Sooo, now I'm up to three animals(besides the normal deer,
      skunks, possums, armadillos, etc). The local wildlife person did
      call me and said mountain lions have been in that area for about 12
      years now so I wasn't crazy.LOL

      Our homeschool group has a regular weekly park day but we rotate
      parks frequently. That week one daughter was taking an acting class
      downtown so the other kids and I went to hang out at one of the parks
      (our favorite). We walked and found what we thought were deer tracks
      but they did look "funny". As we came up through the middle of this
      park we saw that the ground was really broken up. I wondered what in
      the world those deer had been doing! About midnight the next night
      it hit me that they were hog tracks so I had to get out of bed to
      come google it. I was right! And now we are hooked on tracks!!

      Here's pics of the hog tracks we found this morning at the park and
      the coyote tracks/possible den from this Spring.

      http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?
      sid=0AaMmLRk4cMmLCaA¬ag=1 Hope the link works, there are 26 pics
      so I figured it was faster to post that than put them all in an album
      here.

      I'm really glad to be here. I've read many of Tracker's stories in
      the past year or two but never new there was a group.

      Molly
      http://www.geocities.com/mollymomm3/
      The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
      discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I've found it!), but 'That's funny...'–
      Isaac Asimov
    • Audrey Smith
      Hi Molly, welcome to the club! I m glad you have taken such an interest, not only in tracking, but in the wildlife your family seems to find literally in your
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 7, 2006
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        Hi Molly, welcome to the club!

        I'm glad you have taken such an interest, not only in tracking, but in the wildlife your family seems to find literally in your backyard! Pumas (mountain lions, cougars, etc.) range throughout Texas, so I am guessing that is what you saw. Consider yourself lucky: I have lived in Florida my entire life (27 years) and have never been able to have a confirmed panther sighting, though I am looking all the time.
        This is a great opportunity you can present to your kids, and the fact that they are homeschooled probably offers that much more freedom! Tracking is a fabulous way for you and your kids to feel a more intense connection with nature, as well as a way to bond with each other. Tracks and sign such as scrapes and kills offer an abundance of ways you can relate animal lives to your family's lives, and the similarities and differences in survival.
        Good luck and keep us posted!

        Audrey Smith

        Molly <darkoakwoman@...> wrote:
        I'm Molly, a homeschooling mom of 3 in northeast Texas.

        Over the past year or so we've encountered more wildlife than in rest
        of my whole life it seems!! We live in a moderate sized town(70K+
        population) but it is growing with new construction all over the
        place and the animals are getting pushed around pretty bad. Last
        fall we started hearing coyotes in the 100 acre oil lease across the
        street from our house(on a busy corner). They were driving our dogs,
        and me, crazy!! I saw them on the driveway twice and one afternoon I
        watched one stalking something in a small grove of trees across the
        street. They sprayed in our neighborhood during mating season and
        carried on quite loudly most of the winter and spring. My kids and I
        would go check out a sandy area across from us when we'd hear them
        close the night before, I've got some good track pics. This summer
        was quieter but I'm sure they'll be starting up again pretty soon.
        I've become kind of the unofficial coyote watcher for the city, I let
        them know what I see and hear every month or so.

        Two weeks ago my husband and I took our girls to a local lake(about a
        50 mile drive) to check out some fishing spots to take our son. On
        the way home we were watching for deer since it was about 7pm and
        they'd likely be feeding then. We were about 3 miles from a small
        settlement(gas station, church or two, some houses and a few
        businesses). I glanced across a pasture and saw a yellowish tan
        shape slowly walking just outside a treeline at the back of the
        pasture, about 50 yards from the road. My first instinct was "cat",
        but then I immediately dismissed that as not possible. I ran all the
        animals I could think of through my mind and kept coming back to
        cat. It had a very long tail, cat head, and was very muscular with
        thick legs. It was maybe 6 feet long and 2 feet high and held its
        head down low. When I called my animal control contact to ask if I
        needed to let a game warden or wildlife manager know, he told me he
        was on his way out to trap some wild hogs on the south side of our
        town. Sooo, now I'm up to three animals(besides the normal deer,
        skunks, possums, armadillos, etc). The local wildlife person did
        call me and said mountain lions have been in that area for about 12
        years now so I wasn't crazy.LOL

        Our homeschool group has a regular weekly park day but we rotate
        parks frequently. That week one daughter was taking an acting class
        downtown so the other kids and I went to hang out at one of the parks
        (our favorite). We walked and found what we thought were deer tracks
        but they did look "funny". As we came up through the middle of this
        park we saw that the ground was really broken up. I wondered what in
        the world those deer had been doing! About midnight the next night
        it hit me that they were hog tracks so I had to get out of bed to
        come google it. I was right! And now we are hooked on tracks!!

        Here's pics of the hog tracks we found this morning at the park and
        the coyote tracks/possible den from this Spring.

        http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?
        sid=0AaMmLRk4cMmLCaA¬ag=1 Hope the link works, there are 26 pics
        so I figured it was faster to post that than put them all in an album
        here.

        I'm really glad to be here. I've read many of Tracker's stories in
        the past year or two but never new there was a group.

        Molly
        http://www.geocities.com/mollymomm3/
        The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
        discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I've found it!), but 'That's funny...'–
        Isaac Asimov






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