Sunday, December 17, 2006
Ringtail exposes herself
The secret to getting these pictures of a ringtail might have been a crab dinner last week. The next morning Shirlee woke up saying, "Do I smell garbage?" Half asleep and not smelling anything, I assumed
the question was a gentle message. "No dear, that must be me."
When I started to brew the coffee I knew what she was talking about. A powerful stench was coming from under the sink. I moved the reeking crab shells to the garage, where I was doing a project, and the stink increased even more during the day. Something had to be done. We couldn’t wait until garbage collection day. That’s when I got the idea. I crushed the shells in a plastic bag, transforming them into a gooey paste. Crab potion #9.
Late that afternoon I spooned the potion into some holes in an old cedar log where one of the cameras is set. Up to now the only visitors to this log had been a spotted skunk and mice, and I expected more pictures of the same. I was mighty pleased 24 hours later when I found this charming critter in 8 out of nine images!
I cropped the first shot, but the second one shows the full frame as she sniffs the tangy potion in the hole. After that she ate a bait mouse, but the camera was a little too close, and her head was partly out of the frame. Dang!
By the way, the ringtail plucked the mouse. There was a little pile of mouse fur at the foot of the log. As far as I know, that's a trait shared by cats, but not members of the raccoon family. No evidence that she sampled the potion, but it was still