Nature Time with Pine - The Princess of Poop!
I adore finding wild animal poop! It’s a passion of mine to discover the nuggets that wild animals leave behind. When I find wild animal poop, scientifically known as scat on the trails, it is as if I have discovered a precious gem! Over the past twenty years or so, I’ve even claimed the alter ego of the Princess of Poop! When I am feeling fancy, I even put on my Princess of Poop outfit, gown, tiara, and jewels – all decked out to represent my favourite rabbit and deer scat shapes of rounds and ovals!
I decided that I couldn’t always go around wearing my fancy many shades of amber gown all the time, so asked my dear Grandma, who was a prolific knitter, to make me a sweater vest with the Princess of Poop on it! With her generous spirit, not only did she make me a sweater vest, but she made two! One pink with white lettering and one brown with gold lettering. Yes, she admitted, I certainly was a different grandchild! Every winter, I wear Grandma’s sweater vests proudly. As I wear them, I remember her important teaching that love is what matters. One of my passions is to take time to connect with the wild beings that live right in our community and to share that with others. I love all the beings we share this incredible planet with!
I find that the blanket of snow in winter is a fantastic time to discover wild animal signs. What a joy it is to come upon tracks and then some scat! The scat helps to add another clue as to who was passing by on the land. The scat can also tell the story of what the animal ate, how long ago they were there and even their health.
Whenever I find scat, I am careful not to touch or inhale it. I also look for the clues of tracks and animal chews and nibbles on bushes and nearby plants. One of my favourite resources that includes excellent scat and tracks of various wild animals is Paul Rezendes, Tracking & the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign. Perhaps you will encounter your own track and scat resource?
When I go looking for tracks, scats, and other animals sign, I make sure to slow down and go with tenderness and great respect for all beings that I encounter. When I go out on my winter adventures, the first thing I always bring is love in my heart. As well as lots of layers, a healthy snack and thermos with a hot drink. I awaken my senses by slowing down and imagining the animals that live out on the land even in the beautiful cold of winter. I wish you many easeful adventures this winter perhaps in and around your own home, local park or at one of our many conservation areas.