Now that we are approaching something of a summer, it is time for me to get to far-away shores, and do some tracking . I am always excited by new territories and landscapes. I am not sure about communications yet, but if its g
The Jumping Cactus(or Choya) is a truly remarkable plant. I tracked all over the world, and seen some vicious plants in jungle, but this one takes them all.
It is a modest looking creation, but get anywhere near them and it feels like the spines have just jumped.
The spines in the image are embedded into the bumper of our Hummer in Arizona. You can just see one pod but look more closely and you will see spines sticking out of the bumper.
I have written about an experience with these jumping cactus in my book . They make uncomfortable bed friends for trackers.
Today was a classic April showers day( although its May). There is a location where a recent colony of badgers have set up home.
The tracks of one of the males are the biggest badger tracks I have ever seen. They are big in size, but the stride is normal.
I suspect if that it is a rather portly male
Here we are , into early summer, and we have had the best weather imaginable this year. We have had a our spring tracking course, which was a little wet, and they team did a brilliant job tracking and stalking. They were lucky enough to track and spot some melanistic fallow. They also located a new territory that is growing daily. During some private tuition a couple of weeks later, the tracker could see a welcme member of the family. The patter of tny badger feet in the tracks.
Had a some great results with interpretation of roe deer tracks, where a yearling was suckling from its mother. Lots of practice done at the reservoirs on bird dynamics, and after gettig some old gorse needles down my neck we were delighted to find a complex kill site, in a very in-accessible place. In tracking terms its called 2nd penetration, and its amazing what wildlife secrets are going on around us all the time.
We are back at Canonteign next week filmng with Countryfile, and private tuiton. It should be interesting, because this is the cusp of rapid growth in the vegetation and it goes through a transition from sparse to vibrant colours and then green.
Somehow the woods seem to have lost the austerity of winter, the vegetation and wildlife, is looking good!
Thanks to Bruce at Heinne Haynes for sending my new Maxpedition out so quickly. This is my second Falcon, the first one was stolen!
They are amazing backpacks. My last one was the perfect pack whether going through airports or deep inside the jungle or desert. I had it for six years, and I used it every day in Namibia, India, Kenya, USA, Nepal, and the Amazon.
It is jammed pack full with well thought out features. An example is the intermal mesh puches for valuables and a lanyard with a clip, that slips into an internal pouch. The first thing I do with car keys is to clip them on, that way there is no chance they will get lost whilt out and about.
Its easy to customise, an in true tracker stlye I have customised it with Maxpedtion Cocoons, which are shoulder mounted for easy access to kit while on the hoof. I have customised it to give access to trail markers, track pack, latex gloves, GPS and Easy Id Cards withoo
The Shadowhawk tracking instructors are big fans of Maxpedition kit, incuding the Falcon, that they have customised in their own style.
Now that summer is here( despite the slight chill in the air) wildlife is seems to abundant.Some of our migrating birds have arrived, and the woods are teaming with life.
Just a few days of shine has brought the new growth into action. Blue-bell carpet woods are just around the corner.
Next week we have a whole new group of trackers arriving and some familar faces from the USA coming over to mentor.
Had a brilliant day up at Canonteign Falls doing one 2 one tracking. I have never seen it that cold up there, and was amazed by the ice crystals that were growing upwards from the ground. Very unusual, as this only occurs when it is very cold and the air is saturated with water( usually at dew point). We did lots of skills n a very rrelaxed yet focused manner. Some challenging tracking was done and was a useful confidence boost for the client, who is already
We are approaching our first wildlife tracking course this year. It is my favourite course of all. The woods will be alive with new life, and its always great to see a new influx of
Wel done to al 17 of you who passed either the Advanced or Basic Search and Rescue Course.
It was good to see people on course who had been on our Search and Rescue courses ten years ago, returning to their avanced and incorporate it into their SOPs.
For a couple of years I have wanted to experiment with a SAR bike team, by placing a low mounted light onto the bike for night tracking. I was amazed that it was more succesful than I had expected and works well.
The team are busy preparing for an intense tracking course. This is the first time we have done an Advanced Search and Rescue course, that includes controller ,tracker team.
That means that those who do the Advanced course will be trained in controlling a tracker team
Over more than ten years we have evolved a course that is specific to SAR tracking, and it is getting great results from the SAR technicians who out there come all weather.