Friday, March 14, 2008
A curious cat
The four cameras we left in the Santa Cruz mountains a month ago took 244 pictures.
I expected at least a few coyote pictures, as there was plenty of scat to be found. We camouflaged only one of the cameras, so maybe wily coyote was camera shy. The rest of the cast was the usual assemblage of skunks, deer mice, woodrats, brush rabbits, and raccoons, as well as a varied thrush and a hermit thrush.
The camera hog was a young bobcat. Twenty+ pictures of it were on 3 of the 4 cameras. Most of the photos were taken at a small creek, really just a rivulet, where it seemed to be waiting to ambush thirsty birds in the morning. That was Reno's camera, and he was as happy about the photos as he was about finding some prime chantarelle mushrooms, which he generously shared with us. Good man!
I say 'young bobcat' because you can see that it still has to catch up with the growth of its ears, and obviously hasn't reached its fighting weight.
It made several skulking passes by my camera which was hidden under some coyote bush on a grassy hillside. I suspect it was the castoreum that attracted it.
The tear in its left ear told us it was the same curious cat. It had no qualms about facing the camera.