Well, we finally deployed our drift fence traps and engaged them for the first time on Wednesday.
Also, nothing under the coverboards.
Despite the fact that we had gotten a brief warm up and rain over the weekend, the temperature dropped this week.
During the day it's been in the 50s and 60s....but at night is a different story. I checked the temperature when I woke up this morning and it had dipped down to 27.
So, no new herp-related stuff to share, which means I'll continue to regale you with mammals and camera traps.
Last fall, after a summer of no carnivore activity (aside from raccoons and oppossums), I started getting alittle antsy. I wanted to see some fox or 'yotes, or something. The 'yotes did show eventually (see here: Coyote Cams, posted Feb 19, 2011), but it was the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteneus) that first decided to play ball (although it took alittle bit of persuading).
In mid-September 2010, I set one of my cameras along a small wooded stream. The stream ran parrallel to a game trail (the stream is on the left of the field of view in the picture above, and the game trail is on the right). I placed the camera in between these two, hoping something would cross from the stream to the game trail and vice-versa.
At first, I baited the camera with an open can of dog-food that I buried about 3-4 inches. I also added a drip of my secret weapon to a stick that I placed on the soil: skunk essence! Something about it draws in the critters.
My first glimpse of a carnivore was actually a gray fox...but it was just a glimpse. The animal really was not interested in getting right up to the bait, and although he came close, he never really gave in to temptation. Perhaps it was the red LEDs that glow when this camera takes a photo at night? Perhaps it was the noise that the IR filter on the camera makes when taking a picture? Who knows?
He's difficult to see in the picture below, but he's there.....
Not long after his appearance, a steady string of raccoons finally dug up the can of bait and removed it to an undisclosed location.
The gray fox, however wary at first, appeared to acclimate to the camera enough to return. The thought of a potential meal, coupled with curiosity, must have brought him back.
First, he stuck his nose in the empty hole left by the removal of the dog food can.
When nothing presented itself, he took a second to roll in that good ol' skunky stink!