Blogs > Nature Notes

Gliding Through Pinkham Notch

March 23, 2017

Frozen WetlandWhile staying at Joe Dodge Lodge, I explored the woods beside the beaver pond across the road. Deep snow earlier that week revealed recent animal activity— red squirrel middens, snowshoe hare scat, and wind-blown otter tracks along shore. I set up 2 wildlife cameras to see what might venture by overnight.

 

In the morning I set out to retrace my route. As soon as I reached the beaver dam, I found fresh otter sign—bounding web-footed tracks and slide marks. 

2

I followed the otter trail downhill towards one of the cameras and found a second set of tracks coming the other way made by a smaller animal. 

3

The bounding gait and the 2-2 track pattern told me it was another member of the weasel family. A fisher? Too small I thought. A mink? The AMC staff had talked about marten sightings at the visitor center.

4

Dark twisted scat look like it could be from either a marten or a mink.

5

The tracks headed up a rise, crossing some firmer snow that showed the animal’s footprints more clearly.

6

At the top of the rise, the animal started a long straight slide down—an impressive 40 feet to the bottom and headed for my second camera!

M2E77L134-134R399B369

(Photo from the first camera) River otter

M2E77L134-134R399B369

(Photo from the first camera) River otter

M2E84L158-158R398B368

(Photo from the first camera) Mink

10

(Photo from the second camera) Mink

Text and Photos by AMC Nature Notes Guest Blogger

Allison W. Bell

Co-author of AMC’s Field Guide to the New England Alpine Summits

https://amcstore.outdoors.org/books-maps/books/mountain-natural-history/field-guide-to-the-new-england-alpine-summits-3rd-edition

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Search AMC Outdoors and Blogs


Search for:

Nicky Pizzo

AMC Outdoors, the magazine of the Appalachian Mountain Club, inspires readers to get outside and get engaged. Learn more.