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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.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Patch Update # 4

The lower deer trail is getting regular wildlife traffic now, which is quite a change from last summer and fall when it seemed to be a dead zone.

Thirty photos were taken since my last update on the winter solstice. Three of these were blanks, i.e., the camera fired after the animal moved out of the frame. That's an acceptable success rate of 90%.

Squirrels, a deer mouse and a flock of turkeys walked past the camera. The photos weren't worth showing.

The gray fox spent 3 minutes sniffing about the trail (8 pictures), and the last picture of the series is the alert stance at the top of this page.

Three hours later and just before dawn this fox or its lookalike cocked its leg and pissed on the base of the tree. This was 12 days after the dog marked the same spot, but I suspect it was in response to some outrageously stinky Billingsley's Flat Rock Predator Bait I had dabbed at the base of the tree and a light garnish of dry catnip.

Two days later at 6:26 in the morning the fox indulged in a brief frenzy of neck rubbing on the same spot.

A spotted skunk also visited the site on three different nights and sniffed at the predator lure. Though the neck fur of these little charmers sometimes has a yellowish tint, I have never caught them in the act of "getting it on".

What I want to know is what happened to the bobcat? Now there's a species that plays hard to get.

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