Wet weather delayed my return to the beer can highway, but when it dried up I checked the cams.
I surmounted the cut bank without acrobatics and bee-lined to the camera, which was facing the sky.
The woodworked sapling had snapped under a snow load.
I knew at a glance that the case contained water. The fresnel lens always has the weakest seal in my home brews.
The LCD was fogged, the D-cells were taking a bath, and the silica gel container was soaked.
But the camera fired up and I quickly clicked through the pictures.
I could only make out two species: the neighborhood wood rat hung its tail over the lens and a gray fox posed demurely.
The other two cams had even less to show, but I was still high from the Burma trip, so I could afford to be reflective.
When I downloaded the photos at home, however I found a pleasing wood rat portrait,
and the unmistakeable tail of a ringtail.
There was only one other photo -- of the ringtail sniffing castoreum and looking patently stupified.
With a year and half of camera trapping on the Chimineas, I believe that Chimineas's ringtails are few and far between, but we are not ready to throw in the towel yet.
We've just got to climb down into those deep rocky canyons and set cams near water and dense cover.
By the way, I dried the camera and controller over the wood burning stove, and they are again in working condition.