The morning after this last big snowstorm, I headed over to the inlet I paint once a month. The inlet opens into a marshy area so the beach I was walking along is sandwiched between the bay and wetlands. On the way I noticed some bunny tracks. I love animal tracks in the snow. The quite reminder that all kinds of creatures are busy with their own lives feels strangely consoling to me. With bunnies on my mind and my paint supplies on my back I trudged on towards the inlet. The tide was so high I had to walk in the water for short stretches. I was watching my footing rather carefully when I came across this track. It went from the bay to the marsh. The center area of the track was depressed about 2 inches deep and I’m guessing about 8 inches across. Foot prints straddled it.
At first I thought maybe a turtle, but then noticed how large the foot prints were and wondered if it could be a seal. Would a seal leave the bay and go into wetlands? Don’t they like rocks where they can quickly get back into the safety of the water?
I sent a photo off to Wenley Ferguson who is the director of habitat at Save the Bay. Maybe she would know. She guessed a beaver. I had neglected to tell her where I found the track, don’t beavers like fresh water? I read that beavers don’t have salt-excreting glands to get rid of excess salt. I don’t believe there is fresh water anywhere close by, so if it is a beaver they were out for an early morning adventure. To me the mystery remains unsolved. Any other suggestions or explanations would be great!
I continued on my way to paint the March rendering of my inlet series. I wanted to get to the site before the cold wind came up. It seems the winter wind is always blowing right in my face at this location.
This March painting marks the half way point for this inlet series which I started in October. I am looking forward to painting in more merciful weather this spring and though the summer.