After a snowy run with Keith on Friday, Angela came up for the weekend to run around the woods with me. We got 6 hours on our feet on Saturday and another 3 on Sunday. Time on the feet, right?
Saturday morning's warm-up on the Spray River -Quarry Loop, was so pretty with the fresh snow and I was beyond excited when we spotted these ridiculously fresh prints in the snow. I was sure it was a smaller Cougar, until I got home and I looked at the photos. Then I just got confused. I had myself a 5 toed mystery on my hands. A Rare Breed.
Cougar's have 4 toes, wolves have 4 toes and claws and this doesn't look anything like a bear. What the hell was it?
I sent my friend at Parks Canada a note, who is knowledgeable in all things big and fuzzy. I asked for help identifying the mystery animal, because I thought I had found a mutant Abominable Snowman or Killer Snow Turtle.
Her response to my photo was this:
I've had that situation before and our best guess from what we can see isSo, the mystery was solved and I learned a little something. Who knew animals walked in their own tracks putting back feet in front footy prints? Maybe the cougar was just grumpy like me and didn't want to get his/her feet all cold, wet and snowy. The rest of the run zoomed by pretty quick like, that's the nature of being in good company. She's a rare breed that Angela!
that it's a cat -- could be a lynx with the hard snow or a small cougar who
has double registered (but not perfectly) over its track to give the five
toes. That would also explain the deep centre pad mark. Whatever it is --
take your bear spray!
It turned out to be a beautiful day and in the 6 hours we were out running, lots of the snow melted down in the valley. It's 4 days later and it's disappearing quickly. There are double digits forecast for the next 3 days! It's supposed to be 17C on Saturday. Whoa.
We followed Saturday's run up with 3 hours on the shoreline of Lake Minnewanka. Keith joined us for the fun and we ran into Steve and Brenda. It's always laughable when you run into people you know in the middle of nowhere. I think I've been out there every weekend for the last 2 months. It was dreamy, as always. It was good to run something fast, flowy, runnable and cruisy. Not that we were fast, but we were flowin'.