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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, March 31, 2008

A Jonah log

At last, I found what I've been looking for -- a Jonah log, a log for camera trapping from within. It's a fallen snag with a cavity about 12 inches wide and 6 feet long. No need for chain sawing. There's a large opening big enough for the camera trap, and a small opening to create a draft over the bait -- in this case, smoked herring. True, it's a bit far from home here in northern Virginia, but good Jonah logs are hard to find.

I hope the county park authorities don't mind some cosmetic adjustments. The cavity was a basin, a nasty microhabitat for disease vectors, and it seriously needed drainage. Plus, I don't need any surprises like finding a camera floating in punk water.

Then I juryrigged a camera mount (not many supplies here at my daughter and son-in-law's).

The walk test was impossible. I couldn't see if the sensor was detecting my hand, so I recruited the redhead. While she looked for the flash in the big opening I imitated a vet giving a rectal exam to a cow.

I am not promising anything from this Jonah log. There are just a few days left before we head home, but until then I'll be checking it daily.


Anonymous said...


Check it out


Camera Trap Codger said...

This is fantastic stuff, and it doesn't surprise me. The best picture I took of a tiger in Kanha National Park (India) was from elephant back.

Chrissy said...

Hi, just stumbled on your blog. Will visit again. Great photos.

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Unknown said...

What a fantastic blog!
I actually work for two county park authorities in Northern Va (Fairfax and Loudoun) doing camera trap research and would love to know where these pictures were taken!
My cameras have taken many animals in these parks!