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We offer several one and two-day programs focusing on specific areas of tracking and awareness.
ANIMAL GATES AND MOVEMENT
Gaits and movement are a critical part of reading what tracks have to say. In this workshop, we will study how animals move and how their movement is expressed in their tracks. We will discuss the meaning of baseline behavior and exceptions to it, and the science of pressure releases—the science of how the ground responds to pressure and gives us an extremely accurate way to read animal movement.
We will learn how to “get inside” the animals we track—to merge into their thoughts and feelings through the tracks. We will also study the art of reading weather history in the ground and how to accurately tell the age of tracks.
FEATHER, HAIR, AND BONE ANALYSIS
This day will be devoted to a study of feather structure and identification; fur identification; bird and mammal skeletal structure and bone identification; and bird and mammal skull basics. Working with my extensive collection of bones, feathers, scat, and other animal artifacts, we will gain a solid grounding in animal morphology and an understanding of the structural adaptations each animal species has evolved to be efficient in its particular niche in the environment.
WALKING IN THE DARK
Darkness is a great ally and teacher for anyone interested in being comfortable in nature and learning to use our senses fully. In this class, we will practice the art of movement on the landscape with limited or no vision. We will practice understanding and learning to love darkness.
Through the use of blindfold exercises and actual trail walking in nighttime darkness, we will practice the skills of balance, feeling the ground through our feet, and expanding into our other senses-smell, hearing, skin sensations, and mental orientation. Fun blindfold games and sensory intensification exercises will lead up to night-time walking adventures.
We will discuss how to apply these skills and experiences to navigating inner, personal darkness and fears and overcoming panic and disorientation in all aspects of life. You will come out of this experience with a greater sense of confidence, calmness, and self-control in any unfamiliar situation.
Sign tracking is as important as footprint studies to understanding what animals are present in any landscape and what they are doing. In this class, we will take a deep look into the wide world of scat identification and analysis, feeding signs, digs, dens, and burrows, kill site interpretation, scratches and rubs, and sign aging. We will survey at least two different locations to gain a wide variety of experiences.