Monday, May 28, 2012

More Wild Things In Our Trail Cameras

After scaring a new fawn from the woods two days ago with my noisy mower, I wondered if the fawn would walk past one of our trail cameras with its mom sometime and get its picture taken. So today I hiked down and exchanged camera cards, bringing up the ones that I had not checked for two weeks. Lots of excitement was recorded in that time period! Or, at least, I was excited to see what the cameras caught.

The mini-camera in the swamp just gives us stills, as the batteries wear out fast with videos. In the last two weeks it recorded several stills of a domestic-type black cat, one of a tawny yellow cat (also domestic), and about twenty of a deer circling to take a nap and napping. Every time she twitched, the camera took her picture again. I can now tell you that this doe circled to make a bed from 10:48 p.m. until 10:52 p.m., finally settled down at 10:53 p.m. and didn't get up to leave until 11:47 p.m..

The regular trail camera along the trail I've mowed through what we call the "lake pasture" (because it floods in the winter) takes videos, having a big rechargeable battery. Today, after uploading its movies, I discovered that on the first day after I reset it last time, it captured a new animal for our trail cameras: an elk! Here is the still capture I took from that video of May 14.

I'm not sure why I'm happy about having a bull elk down there. Something, probably a buck deer, killed the tops of all my young Alaska Yellow Cedar trees last fall while rubbing the velvet off his antlers. An elk could damage taller trees. But, like the bear and the bobcats, it's nice to know the wild things are here in spite of humans invading their territory... even though they occasionally cause us trouble (from my human-centric point of view.)

Here, staring at the trail camera on May 15, is a buck, probably the fellow who mauled my Alaska Yellow Cedar trees. He is growing a new set of antlers that will get itchy again come fall..

The deer seem to find my woodland paths quite useful. I noticed today many hoof prints in the mud when I hiked down to change cards in the lake pasture camera... big ones and little ones. So I was not surprised to find a fawn in a video. But I didn't expect twin fawns from one mama and a single from another! The doe we call Split Ear (because she has one ear split at the top) walked past the camera with a single fawn. In the video below another doe paraded by with twins... very bouncy ones. The twin does not appear until the very end of this video.

I tried to get some still captures of the fawns but they moved so fast.. and the vegetation is so high... it was difficult.

We still have a few more animals that live around here that have not yet appeared in our trail cameras: skunks, porcupines, otters and beaver... but we've seen all those ourselves. The one animal we have not seen that we know is here from time to time, because neighbors have seen it and even videotaped it, is a cougar. I don't think our mama deer would be happy about having a cougar in the neighborhood right now. Neither would our goats, llamas, sheep or horses. But it sure would be exciting to upload trail camera photos and find a mountain lion in one.

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