Monday, March 19, 2012

Love & Spring is in the Air! Camera Trapping Heaven.

Hello, hello!

Since my last blog posting, literally minutes after I hit "Publish", computer became horribly infected with a wormy virus. All files (school documents and pictures primarily) appeared to have disappeared forever. To my chagrin, tech support of the company I purchased the laptop was NOT helpful in anyway...but a friend sent me a lovely link that walked me step-by-step through rediscovering my hidden files, backing them up externally, and then removing the virus. I was able to do steps 1 and 2, but 3 had me bringing my computer to Staples yesterday morning to leave it to get reformatted and fixed. Because of this, I am without my photo editing software for a few days...and I have the last day of my NC Spring Break vacation that I wanted to share...including a large and awesome mega-fauna that I saw the last night. For now, I'm blogging from school :)

But, for now, I'll share some awesome camera trap photos that I've been neglectful on sharing. Just too much going on!

These pics will be from both the tail end of my Outer Banks trip, and then weeks 5 & 6 from my field study at the Muller Field Station.

Domestic cat

Domestic cat #2

Virginia opossum

And my favorite friend of the week, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, the gray fox.

And here he/she is again! After having never gotten a gray fox on cameras that I personally set, I was so excited to have visits from this one night after night. I baited at first with Kishel's 'Crossbreed' a carnivore/predator food call lure. Stink-y. Then I poured some bacon grease, and threw a couple chunks of rotten coconut out. This kept the critters coming back :)

Last camera-trapped picture of the week, an opossum.

I did move this camera to the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve a few miles away, where I saw the nutria...hoping for THAT new species. I realize to the locals, nutria are nasty, invasive pests. To me though, lover of (almost) all wildlife, this critter was on my bucket list. I was so excited to have observed them here, and baited my camera with apples and pears. I have pictures of the set up, on my external hard drive, at home. I always like to take a 'before' and 'after' shot of my sites so that I can remember what the setup looked like and if it worked.

Well, the next day when Mady and I went back to the secret spot to retrieve the camera and pics...all fruit was gone. We were ECSTATIC. What else could've eaten all that fruit? No 'chucks in the area, or beaver (surprisingly) it had to be nutria. And then the ol' camera malfunction occured. One picture. Of me retrieving it. I don't understand! It was at the correct height and distance from the bait...and no pictures. Stupid nutria probably covered the lens with a paw. Next time nutria, next time.


Moving on...

I came back to check my cameras on this GORGEOUS March Monday the 19th. The last time I was at the Muller Field Station was March 5th. Two weeks ago today, the temperature was 16*F. Today was 65*F. WHAT a difference, I was actually breaking a sweat while resetting my cameras! No complaints here though.

Red fox

White-tailed deer

White-tailed deer

Can you believe this? MARCH and a buck with antlers?! I hope he drops them nearby so I can find them!

Mystery critter?

A pair of 'coons! First time I've ever gotten more than one raccoon at a time. Joe at Massanutten Game Trails has awesome pics of herds of 'coon. I'll settle for two :)

Another NEW species for me: muskrat! Can you pick him out?

A red fox with dinner for the family? It's got to be about that time when females are ready to pop, and looking for a good den...

Another gorgeous red fox pic, in the daylight! What a gorgeous coat...

Eastern coyote (this guy seems bigger and burlier to me than the red wolves I saw last week...)

White-tailed deer in motion...anyone else get a blur with fast motion in front of your cams?

Wild turkey! Another newbie! Please watch the following video, and watch til the end :)

Another pair!

Canada Geese...and yet ANOTHER pair! Is Spring in the air or WHAT? Makes me think of my beloved childhood movie, Bambi.


NAUGHTY opossum chewing in the scent pad again...I wonder if this is a repeat offender?

Another critter picking dinner on the way home from work. Gray squirrel

And THAT is that. Alot of pictures, and I didn't even share HALF of them! I need to spend mucho time going through all that video- never skip out on video, and always watch til the end! Thank goodness they're only 30 second clips at a time.

Until the next time!

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