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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, November 19, 2012

Video vision in the tunnel - Part 2

Our first attempt at subterranean video this year was disappointing.

Had the camera been placed differently the footage could have been better, but there was also the problem of the curious bear cub that dismantled the set.

The subterranean action however was more than enough to call us back.

Our second attempt in August was in a different segment of the same mountain beaver (=showtl) tunnel.

This time I came prepared with a customized mount that could be spiked into the hardpan on the floor of the tunnel and nailed into the log embedded in the silt bench above the tunnel.

Set 519.3 after being disguised
with a large flake of red fir.
The camera post was spiked and wired
to the embedded log. 

We covered the vertical hole with a large flitch of wood.

As you have seen in Part 2, the bear didn't show, and if any subterranean critters bumped into the camera they didn't move it.

But I still didn't get the angle of the camera quite right. It should have been aimed up into the tunnel. The focus was also off, and the microphone made hideous sounds (which I'll try to remove -- sorry about that).

The camera in situ as we uncovered it
33 days later.

I just replaced the lens of the DXG 567v with a 4mm wide-angle CCTV lens, which will take in a much wider view.

We'll try again next spring.


Anonymous said...

I think what you are doing here is ground breaking for camera trapping - I am seriously impressed. I wish I had the time and resourcefulness to try it myself


Jacques Prescott said...

Incredible footage indeed. Mycologists from Quebec have recently found subterranean fungi similar to the delicious European truffle. Red and flying squirrels are known for their ability to spot such delicacies. Your video eloquently confirms that. Should we consider training squirrels to mine out this valuable resource?

Trailblazer said...

Brilliant! In the last month, I started probing burrows with a fiber optic, hoping for good pics for the blog. This idea is infinitely better!

Absolutely incredible footage, Codger!

randomtruth said...

Well done Codge. So glad you're sorting out all the details before I dive in! :)

owlman said...

Groundbreaking exploration my dear codger! Great results which knowing your enthusiasum will get better all the time.

biobabbler said...

SO exciting, fabulous job. How delightful to see animals behaving NORMALLY, as opposed to freaking out as we retrieve them from a trap, etc. Truly delightful, and I so look forward to learning and seeing more next spring. =) Congratulations on the fungal foraging film!