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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.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The thrill is gone

I was thrilled with my first pictures of a spotted skunk over a year ago. The chicken neck I had nailed to a mossy stump was intended for a grey fox, but the taker was the skunk. Its gladiatorial tango with the bait filled the camera's memory card. Six months passed before another spotted skunk encountered the cameras. I was ready for it, and baited it in with the patience of Sherlock. When I had exhausted the staging possibilities I had over two hundred pictures of one jazzed-up skunk climbing trees, disembowelling gopher carcasses, and digging holes to cache the meat.

Now I can't seem to escape the critters. The first time I saw this canyon live oak a diaphanous bobcat appeared momentarily in the crotch like a mirage. A week ago, when I finally laid my hands on squirrel a la camino I prepared the site with loving care. (Can't see the bait, can you?) Then I waited a week. Bobcat was no where to be seen, but Stinkarella was ready for action.

When she was done, her entourage of rodents was there to clean up the scraps.


Jace Stansbury said...


First thanx for adding a link to my blog(Journals of an Amatuer Naturalist). Your blog is so cool!! I also have some remote cameras that I'm about to begin playing with so maybe I'll get with you to get some tips. I'll definitely be putting a link to your blog on mine. Jace

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks a lot Jace -- I was pleased to find your site, and could tell you were a kindred spirit. There are plenty of science blogs and bird blogs, but not many natural history blogs. And as far as I can tell, there are only two camera trapping blogs. Feel free to contact me when you get started with your camera traps. "Wildebeast's" "Game Camera Photo Logbook" is excellent, and has many good tips too. Good luck.