Walking in the Footsteps of the Animals

Last fall my children and I went somewhere we’d never been before…and neither had any other humans for quite a long time.

We walked on the dried-out lake bed of Lake Bella.

Now for those of you who don’t know, Lake Bella is not supposed to be dried up. This isn’t some prehistoric lake bed, filled with fossils or some such. It was, unfortunately, very dry due to the serious lack of rainfall we’ve had here in SW Minnesota in recent months. (We’ve gotten a little here in the last week…and a little snowfall helped, too…but the water levels are still not what they ought to be.)

We chose to make the best of the dryness. We had a very fun time, finding animal prints, seeing places up close that we’d only ever seen from far away, and exploring an area close to home that we’d never before gotten to explore.

This is what it's supposed to look like - and did in October. The rest of the pictures were taken in November.

Dry all the way to the island.

Grass on the island.


We made a few prints of our own...and yes, she had her boots on the wrong feet.

Birds, too.

Bird birds...but not Big Bird.

I'm clueless.


Something...that I don't know.

A dog?

Don't know what this is. I'm so not an expert. Any ideas?


The kids decided this is a dinosaur print. I didn't argue.

Deer, too...

I'm guessing a raccoon?


A few of the local creatures were actually still around.


There's the island today - a bit more wet! But still...we need more rain...

4 thoughts on “Walking in the Footsteps of the Animals

  1. I’d gladly give you some of our rain, though the weekend was wonderful!
    My guess on the prints is:
    The one before the frog looks to me like the front paw of a raccoon.
    The one above the “dinosaur print” maybe a dog.
    Above that a cat.
    Below the birds I’d say is the back foot of a raccoon.
    And my favorites are the Lucy prints. Just think what the wildlife is saying about those ones!!

  2. Wow, these images really do tell a story about the lack of moisture. What a fun adventure. I love that you take the time to do these types of activities with your kids. But I’m guessing this was as much fun for you as for them. Right?

    • It really was fun for all of us, for sure! They were a little more excited than I was about the muddy bits. :-) My son was actually disappointed when we got some rain (though we need lots more) – he said, “Oh, I wanted to go out to the island again.” Even though he also said he knew we needed the moisture! Definitely Minnesotans need rain boots!

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