Monday, July 20, 2009
Another telling tail
Only 23% of the 77 pictures at this night set had animal images. The rest were blanks.
That's a rather crappy success rate.
Something was triggering the cam.
Was Bigfoot toying with me again? I think not.
More likely small cryptic critters were triggering the sensor and vanishing like Tinkerbell.
They can be hard to see. You have to click back and forth between images on a computer screen.
Then your eyes can see changes in the scene. Often the change is in vegetation caused by a gentle breeze, but sometimes you can see a disturbed path in fallen leaves, the footfalls of a phantom passerby.
I zoomed in on the edge of this picture and there was a long rodent's tail.
There's only one rodent in the upper Yuba River area with a long tail like this, the Western jumping mouse (Zapus princeps). All the other species have tails shorter than the head and body length.
Plus, the coloration seems right -- "pelage on sides usually washed with lemon yellow" (Verts and Carraway, Land Mammals of Oregon).
I can't really prove it to the satisfaction of all, so you call me a bluffer, BS artist, or worse.
(Thanks to Don E. Wilson (aka Batfinger) for confirming my hunch.)