September 22, 2020

MyNature Animal Tracks MyNature Tree Guide MyNature Animal Tracks MyNature Fishing App

This May Be the One!

Received a new Binary on the Tree Guide this morning, so far so good.  I need to check one more thing on Thursday morning with the programmer and if all is well on that end we should be all set to resubmit to Apple.  I feel pretty good about this one but still keeping my fingers crossed.  I also heard that the Animal Track update is just about ready also. That’s going to be a great update and I’m sure you’ll love it.

What’s A Good Track App?

As the app market expands more and more Animal Track apps are coming out. The real question is are they any good and what should they contain for content that is useful. If you were to purchase one, what would you expect to get in return for your hard earned dollar. Lets start with the number of mammals to feature. The average person roaming the woods today is more interested in larger mammals, after all those are the tracks that are most noticeable when your hiking. A rough calculation of the larger mammals of North America bigger than a Weasel would be around 45 to 50 different species and family members.  These would be the most common animals to be seen or leave sign for which anyone would be interested in identifying.  Your outdoors for a reason, your either hiking, camping, hunting or fishing, heck you may even be on a golf coarse.  The point is when you finally find a track you are curious about identifying do you want to identify it and get on with your activity or do you want to spend extra time on your smart phone wading through numerous animals that the average person will rarely find a track of.  It’s sad that everyone is on the go and it’s a hurry up let’s get where were going society but that’s the reality of it and that’s one thing a track app should do, quickly identify what you found.  Apps loaded with Polar Bears are nice but how many of you will be looking for Muskox tracks in the arctic region? Would you really take the time to differentiate between a Meadow Mouse and a Deer Mouse or would you just be content to know it’s a mouse track.  An app that contains around 50 to 60 animals for all of North America is more than sufficient.

A good app should have a search feature broken into categories and then search again by track size leaving you with 2 or 3 results to further pick from rather than 7 or more.   The main thing especially for kids is for the app to hold your attention long enough to identify an animal. If there is to much time involved in searching then it becomes a job and we want this to be quick, fun and educational after all were outdoors for a reason and it’s not to spend additional time on our phone.

The bulk of any track app should also contain digital images of tracks and the animal itself and lets not forget sound files of the vocalization of each animal.  All these features should be self contained in the app, relying on a wireless connection to access these features leaves the app useless when the majority of outdoor adventures take place where there is a lack of wireless service. If you are thinking of getting a Animal Track app then make sure that it does not rely on cell service to use.  If it doesn’t have built in digital images of what a track looks like in the wild then what good is it?

Once your app ID’s an animal it should give you some basic information on habitat and life cycle, two paragraphs maximum. Remember were outdoors having fun, you can save all the heavy reading on the animal for later when your home if you want to learn more.

Throw in a ruler feature and you have a pretty concise app, one that is accurate, searches quickly and has the right amount of content all contained in one nice neat self stored package. Keep all these in mind when you decide to take the plunge into an Animal Track app and you’ll have a more rewarding and I hope educational experience on your next outing.

So all that said what’s new from us here at MyNature. Well, we have been working on an update for the past three months to our own track app. Once the new version is released (which will still be a while) we’ll have a searchable database for the addition of scat to the app. We’ll also have additional digital images of tracks, animal gaits and sign left by each animal. We redesigned the journal page to make it more functional and are also adding some social networking features for Twitter and Facebook.  There will also be the addition of the all to popular life list to keep track of your discoveries.  Were also going to have a web based site to post your identifications to as well as  images.  With your participation we should have a very complete database to refer to for animal sign, scat and tracks of North America. Some of the new features will need a wireless service to utilize but the app and all images will still be self contained as they are now.   Don’t worry you’ll hear when the update is done we won’t forget to tell you!!

Happy Tracking!

Spring Tracks

   The last of the winter snows have disappeared and along with them went the perfect canvas for animal tracks. As I bummed as I am to lose the good tracking snow I’m very happy Spring has arrived. Along with Spring comes  mud season which not as plentiful as snow still has the ability to capture a perfect crisp outline of the animal that passed through it. I recently scouted a farm field not far from here. The great thing about the agricultural fields south of here is that they consist primarily of clay and the next best thing to Spring mud is Spring clay. I’ll probably return there tomorrow if I get a chance and do a little plaster casting of some of the tracks if the rain holds off. The best way to approach finding tracks in farm fields is to just walk the edge, there really is no need to venture any further than 10 feet from the sides of the field to find tracks. In fact most animals will be doing the same thing, just cruising the edges. Any animal that ventures out of the bordering brush will definitely leave evidence of it’s passing as long as the clay or dirt is wet. Take for instance the Weasel Tracks I found, weighing in at just under a pound this one left a very distinct track.  

    Weasels have a heel pad that is easy to recognize once you know what your looking for.  The size of the track and placement of the feet also give it away.

Farm fields really offer one of the best places to find and identify tracks. Prey animals are attracted to the crops and the carnivorous animals follow the prey so there is an abundance of sign as long as you keep your eyes to the ground.

If you don’t personally know a farmer then just stop and ask for permission if you can walk the edges of their field to do some tracking, most won’t mind as long as your respectful of the property. It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors especially with the kids and what kid wouldn’t love traipsing through the mud?    Happy Tracking !!

Identifying Tracks

Many times identifying an animals track isn’t the simplest thing to do. You can buy all the books and yes even the apps on tracking and still be left wondering what track lies in front of you. It’s not always as simple as matching up a picture to the imprint left, more often than not you need to have an investigative mind. In light fluffy snow  some tracks appear distorted as the animals foot drags snow back into to the track as they move.  Some tracks may just suddenly disappear all together  and your left to figure that out where they went. Did they jump out of your line of sight, climb a tree, fly away or was the animal swept up by a hawk or owl.

In the picture (not a great one I admit) everything is there to identify the animal that visited this spot and what happened. While not the clearest of tracks the general form of it is still in tact as well as the stride and the trail width, all clues left to who it belongs to.  The fact that it suddenly dissapeared  and you found no other tracks in the area or trees close by that it could have climbed will be a huge clue.   Hopefully by now you came to the conclusion that it was some kind of bird that suddenly flew away. But what kind?  Was it a Grouse, Turkey, Crow or maybe even a Heron?

If your in the middle of the forest with no water around you can immediately discount it being a Heron. That’s going to leave you with three choices, now what?  Well, if the tracks have been walking for quite a distance that’s going to knock the possibilities of it being a Crow off the list. Crows won’t walk a long distance on the ground and if the do then they will hop, clearly the tracks above aren’t hopping. Now were left with either the choice of a Turkey or Grouse.  Now you can go back to an individual track measure the size, even if it isn’t a clear print and come to a conclusion based on the size difference between the two birds on which one it is.  The one in the picture was 4 inches long.  The only animal it could be was a Turkey since a Grouse is around 2 inches.

Tracking can be a great way to spend some time outdoors. There’s no need to have a destination to get to, no time limit, no crowded trails to follow, just you the woods and the animal your following.  Life doesn’t get much more laid back than that.        Happy Tracking!

Beavers on your iPhone!

That’s right, there are beavers on your iPhone but don’t worry they won’t be chewing through your memory. What beavers are on your iPhone are located in the MyNature Animal Track app. Next time you come across some unknown tracks near the waters edge you can use the app to measure the tracks, compare the outline, find out the gait pattern, see a beautiful image of one in the wild and learn about their habitat. Below are just a few pictures of what beaver sign you might find on your next outing.

Happy Tracking!!

MyNature Press Release

MyNature Animal Tracks for iPhone – Only Track I.D. App on the Market – Published on 01/15/10

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MyNature Inc. today released MyNature Animal Tracks 1.0 for iPhone and iPod Touch users. This is the first app on the market that can identify animal tracks using smart phone technology. Users can learn about the animal whose tracks they’ve found, see images, listen to the sounds they make and even find out what animals may be in the area where they are. Using categorized track illustrations, users can match what they’ve found against the listings in MyNature Animal Tracks.

North Creek, NY – Announcing that MyNature Inc., the developers of MyNature Animal Tracks, are excited about launching the first and only app that can identify animal tracks using smart phone technology. Users can learn about the animal whose tracks they’ve found, see images, listen to the sounds they make and even find out what animals may be in the area where they are.

No other application can do what MyNature Animal Tracks does. It makes an educational experience fun in new way. Using categorized track illustrations, users can match what they’ve found against the listings in MyNature Animal Tracks. After that, they can listen to vocalizations, see photos and range maps, or read more to learn about the animal that left the track. The app can also alert users to which animals they may find in any area in North America. This is helpful for being informed of the locations of dangerous, as well as interesting species. A user can then keep an eye out for specific tracks to avoid or follow.

MyNature Animal Tracks also includes a place for making notes, which is particularly useful for those who enjoy ‘collecting’ tracks. Users will find tips in this app that guide them to finding tracks, making plaster casts and other valuable information that has been gathered by nature field guides.

Some of the MyNature Animal Tracks Features
* Searchable database on track size and shape featuring 7 search categories. For example 4 toes round in shape the Felid family, 4 toes oval to square in shape the Canid family, hooved tracks, tracks with 5 toes, tracks that are birdlike and much more
* Clearly illustrated track drawings showing both fore and hind prints with track measurements along with a description of the animal’s habitat and life cycle
* Illustrated images of each animal’s common gait as well as other gait patterns they may use
* Digital images of an actual track of each animal in the wild
* Range maps to reference an animal’s presence in your location
* Sound waves of each animal’s vocalizations
* Full color digital image of what the animal looks like in its natural environment
* Handy ruler to measure and aid in track identification
* MyNature journal, where you can personally record the tracks you’ve found along with the location, weather conditions or just your own personal thoughts about your day in the field
* Tips on finding tracks, plaster casting and much more

Currently, MyNature Animal Tracks covers all animals in North America, from the smallest creature to the largest. If the track belongs to an animal on this continent, it’s in the app waiting to be discovered by users. MyNature Animal Tracks is a fully-loaded, one of a kind app that’s great for kids and adults alike. It is the most fun a nature loving person can have while learning.

Device Requirements:
iPhone or iPod Touch 3.0 or later

Pricing and Availability:
MyNature Animal Tracks is only $6.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category. Please specify the website or blog you represent when making your request.

MyNature Animal Tracks 1.0: http:/
Purchase and Download: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mynature-animal-tracks/id338980245?mt=8
Demonstration Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtkHPIs2GYQ
Media Assets: http://s900.photobucket.com/albums/ac205/mynatureinc/MyNature%20Animal%20Track%20App%20Screenshots/

MyNature Inc. is devoted to educating people about nature in a simple, easy to understand format. MyNature designs field guides that are functional and enjoyable to use. Copyright (C) 2010 Edward Turner & Mobile-App-Marketing-Makeover. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

###

Jeff Greco
Media Contact for MyNature Inc.

mynature@mynaturesite.com

Squirrel, Cottontail or Snowshoe Hare?

Even though it’s winter and animal tracks are everywhere to be found how do you know which track belongs to what animal? Squirrels and rabbits have an almost identical track pattern and to make it worse their toes usually aren’t distinguishable in the snow.  Most often you only see a group of 4 imprints that are merely oblong impressions. If you can remember a few different trail width sizes then you’ll be an expert in telling which of these three animals left the tracks you found.

Snowshoe Hares will always have the largest trail width averaging around 6 inches wide.  Once you have identified a Hares tracks you’ll never confuse them with any others. Another important thing to take notice of is where are the tracks. A Snowshoe will almost always be found in a coniferous forest.  I’ve seen them in the open of hardwoods, but there was always the cover of evergreens within site.

This set of tracks on the right are of a Cottontail Rabbit.  The trail width of a Cottontail is approximately 3 to 4 inches wide.  Their feet are much narrower than a Snowshoes but the gait pattern and track pattern are identical. Cottontail tracks will usually be found in brushy areas, the thicker the brush the better the habitat for Cottontails. They will also be found along hedgerows and agricultural fields. The length of the Cottontails hind track is approximately 3 to 3 1/2 long.

This set on the left is of a Red Squirrel. These tracks are more commonly confused with those of Cottontails. Red Squirrels as well as Gray Squirrels are more boxed shaped in the track pattern and are much smaller in length. Even though the trail width can be quite similar the rear track size will distinguish the two apart.  The rear print of a Gray Squirrel will usually be just under two inches long while a Red`Squirrels rear track will be approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches long.  Depending on how deep the snow powder is squirrel tracks can appear much larger than they actually are as more of the foot and leg tend to leave an imprint.

With that little bit of knowledge you should be able to tell these tracks apart on your next outing.  Happy Hiking!!


Redtail Hawk 0, Snowshoe Hare 1

I was tracking a Snowshoe hare today and he turned out to be one tough rabbit. I came across a spot where he was attacked by an obviously hungry Redtail Hawk. I’m assuming it’s a redtail since I saw one in the area and the sign at the crime scene was as fresh as could be.

The spot of the first attack, they wrestled around here for a few minutes. The spot is trampled so much from the Hare escaping the clutch of the hawk several times.

The hawk drew some blood at this point in the attack.

Here is where the final attempt to catch the hare took place. The hawk did manage to get a talon full of hair but not a meal. I followed the tracks for 100 yards and with the exception of a few drops of blood the Hare was traveling at a normal gait. There was a lot of Coyote sign around so I’m sure they will be on his trail tonight.  He’ll probably do fine since he seems to be one tough Snowshoe!!

iPhone and Animal Tracks

As the snow starts to pile up distinguishing individual tracks of larger animals can get a little tricky. Most tracks of heavier animals fill in with snow as one foot is lifted and the next in line pushes more into the imprint. Often times their trail  may just appear as a trough throw the snow obscuring most of the details. When this happens if your not lucky enough to find an identifiable print you need to look more at the animals gait pattern, trail width and stride.  Not all animals traveling gaits are the same, some are bounders, some are pacers and some are diagonal walkers. Learning their gait patterns will eliminate some possibilities of which animals tracks  your looking at.  Just as their gait is different so to is their trail width. Trail width is the measurement from the outside of  the left track to the outside of the right track. If you can distinguish in the deep snow the edges of the tracks then you have narrowed down your choices even further. The last measurement to help you out is the stride of the animal. The stride is the measurement from the back edge of one track to the back edge of the next same track. An Elk will have a larger stride than a Mule deer or Whitetail.

Just because the snow gets deeper doesn’t mean identification is impossible. Next time your out bring along the MyNature Animal Track app, everything you need to know about stride, trail width and gait patterns are just a push  button away. So pull on your long johns, strap on the snowshoes and hit the woods and see what’s living in your back yard.

Otters on Your iPhone

Yep!! there’s an app for that to. Whatever you wanted to know about an Otter or any other mammal is now on the iPhone. Learn  how to identify their tracks, about their habitat, listen to the sound they make and much more. The tracks below were made by an Otter and you can see the different gait patterns it uses to travel. Most often Otters will use a bounding gait where all four feet register close to one another and the track sets will be spaced one to two feet apart, it’s tail may not be show in it’s trail when bounding. Otters will also use a walking gait where each track registers seperately as in the picture below. The tail drag is a dead give away when walking.  You can look for other clues too as to which animal left a set of tracks. Does it go up a tree? does it go into the water?  what size are the feet and the trail width?  All the evidence left behind will point to which animals track you found.  Good luck on your next outing and don’t forget to pick up the MyNature Animal Track App on the way!