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Severe weather events like the one that struck the Upper Delaware River region recently throw us suddenly out of our normal routines. Priorities shift to survival activities like securing adequate shelter, clean water and ample nourishment.
Today, finding food most likely means digging out a vehicle, navigating treacherous roadways and hoping that the grocery store still has something to sell. But in days gone by, humans had to rely on their ability to forage for plants and to find animals to survive.
Studying animal signs and honing the practice of tracking were essential skills. Hunters and wildlife photographers still rely on such practices to improve their chances for success.
For the rest of us, learning to read animal signs such as scat, digs, tunnels, trail patterns and activities like nest-building, browsing and de-barking is a fascinating educational process that raises awareness and respect for the animals that share our region.