Otto: Out on a walk, a real gem discovered
One of my very favorite things about taking a walk outside is that you never know what you might find. Even when you set out with a single purpose in mind, your trek may yield discoveries you never dreamed possible.
Take the walk I went on a few weeks ago with my coworker Lisa O’Brien. Heading to western Kane County, Lisa (the same person who spotted the tagged red-tailed hawk we wrote about a few weeks ago) had noticed an odd series of burrows along the north side of Route 38 near Pouley Road. A frequent traveler out that way, she said it appeared that the burrows were increasing in number. We both wondered whether this activity indicated that a badger was in the vicinity and, given the sunny and 50-degree weather that day, decided to go check it out.
Now, I’ll tell you up front that we never did decide whose work those burrows may be. They seem fairly deep, and at 10-plus inches across certainly wide enough to accommodate a badger. But what was missing were the telltale claw marks badgers typically leave on the burrows’ interior walls, as well as strands of fur around the entrances – another sure-fire badger sign.
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