Monday, August 13, 2012
An attempt at subterranean video
I was eager to set the home-brewed video cam (a DXG567) in a burrow so the camera trapping class could see the magical underworld of the mountain beaver or showtl.
In June we revisited the tunnel we used last year, and found that it wasn't feasible.
We couldn't drive a pipe into the hardpan of that tunnel and couldn't mount the camera.
We settled on another tunnel nearby.
Underground set-ups often require special mounts, and since we lacked the necessary equipment we jammed the short pipe mount into the muddy side wall of the tunnel and stabilized the camera with a wooden stake.
It was a sloppy job, but we took a chance.
During the workshop we found that something had uprooted the camera, and when we viewed the video clips we found that the culprit was a bear cub.
Its curiosity satisfied, it left the camera like a tortoise on its back, and it took over 100 video clips of waving tree limbs.
As you can see from the video the camera was positioned too high in the tunnel.
When a camera is underground you can't pre-visualize the picture by looking at the LCD.
Instead of seeing the floor of the tunnel we see a pale fungus above.
The camera took 270 30-second videos, and most of them were of the forest canopy overhead.
Though the underground video clips were poorly framed they show us once again that the mountain beaver shares it tunnel with several other species.