Page 117, ArM5 says, "Wounds caused by an animal are an Arcane Connection to that animal with a life-time of a few hours". This shows that an Arcane Connection is not/was not always a part of the thing it connects to.
So, along the same lines, is a footprint an Arcane Connection to whoever/whatever made it, again with a lifetime of a few hours?
And a related question - if a magus wants to find a woman's footprints in a forest, would you consider that Intellego Corpus or Intellego Terram?
Thanks, I like these suggestions. I also like the idea that if a person is not barefoot the connection is to their boots - so you could set their boots on fire even if you can't target them directly...
Good spot! That spell addresses the tracking question as a Vision target spell, rather than the footprints/earth/individual as the target, which is an approach I had overlooked.
As an arcane connection I see a couple of possibilities- an animal bite leaves saliva in the wound. A footprint will likely leave some trace behind, but not something that would last long (sweat of a bare foot for example), on the other hand the foot or boot would also have picked up material that would link it to that spot- again, not for long. Finally long after (maybe even hours!) it has become useless as an arcane connection it might be usable as a sympathetic bonus for penetration as it has captured the image of what left the print.