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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wet cat on a rainy night

I've had a camera trained on this mossy rock since December 6. Though I've used scent and sound lures to attract game, it’s not a very active place. I was going to pull it today, but I got a surprise when I checked the pictures.

This photo was taken 4 days ago (Feb 9) during the long overdue winter showers. Unfortunately, the wetting agent I used on the camera lens window didn’t prevent water drops, and I guess it's time to get serious about placing a couple of external flashes for better lighting. I mean, this could happen again. If the mossy rock is on the cat's beat, I can expect the next visit in 7 weeks (see "The owl and the pussy cats", December 2006).

What is it looking for? It's looking for the "canned rabbit". That’s a digital player that sounds like a distressed rabbit in a tin can. I hung it on an overhead limb on January 27. It plays for 5 seconds about every half-minute all-night-long.

My wife was with me the last time I checked the canned rabbit's batteries. When I switched it on for the test run she asked, "What in the world are you doing?".

"I gotta test it, don't I."

"Well, you don’t have to test it when I'm here." She insisted that we depart immediately before the place was crawling with mountain lions or bears.

That was February 3rd. Six days later big kitty heard the canned rabbit up in a live oak and posed on the mossy rock.


David said...

Fantastic picture, even with the rain on the lens. I'm thrilled to see someone get a picture using the FurFindr(www.wasatchwild.com) as an audio lure.

Fort Collins, CO

Camera Trap Codger said...

Indeed, the FurFindtr did the trick. I'm going to try it farther down the canyon before long. Sure wish I had a video cam to see how the critters react.