Thursday, September 11, 2008
Cam C's final days
Greg McMillan kindly sent me the cams from San Luis Obispo county. They arrived as he had found them, covered with mud.
Greg wrote (a few weeks ago): "I brought back the cameras today. They have had a hard life. The Gillis Canyon camera and the Portuguese Canyon camera are totally muddied up although intact. The critters at the Fernandez Spring set seem to be a bit more civilized as there was no damage there."
"The camera we set up on my place was attacked. You drove a square tube post into the ground and there is a cross piece on the bottom 3rd. That post has a 45 degree bend at that crosspiece and another 22.5 degree bend about 8" from the top. It appears that something, probably a pissed off hog, hit it at high speed. Angered by the flash I assume. The camera box was opened and the camera was about 25 feet north of the scene of the accident and the box was 35. I will send the mount spike up for your perusal."
Look at the post on the right, good readers, and you will see how it is supposed to look.
Cam C was the casualty, and it looked like this when Greg put it back in the case.
It's hard to imagine how a hog removed it from the case. Perhaps a ninja pig charged the cam in response to the flash, and then rooted it, stepped on it, and gnawed at the case until it opened. Maybe it carried off the camera in its mouth, or snouted it forward like a hockey puck.
Maybe hogs dislodged it while rubbing against the post. Maybe that's how they bent the post. Pigs or even raccoons, which are attracted to shiny objects, could have pushed the camera around.
Or maybe it was the work of a vandal?
I know I drove the pipe into solid ground, but the mystery is how it or they bent the upper section. A person would have to wedge it in order to bend it.
And how did the case open? It wouldn't be hard for a bear, but it would be quite a feat for a hoofed animal. Perhaps stepping on it was enough to snap the catches.
Okay, I'll cut to the chase. The pictures on the memory stick didn't identify the attacker, but that's valuable clue.
In the first 2 weeks the camera didn't take a single picture. On the third week it took 4 pictures.
Something must have bumped the post, which redirected the camera to the ground where only a mouse could trigger a picture.
Because the camera was set for night time pictures we can only conclude that the attack took place in daylight and wasn't a response to the flash.
The attacker remains unidentified.