Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 14-17, 2012

After the number and diversity of pictures last month from the new camera site next to the spring alongside the stream, I replaced the batteries and set the camera to take video as well. Since then, not as much activity, but still more going on than back in the summer:

 turkey on the right
gray blur, dead center

Videos that went along with the turkey and squirrel pictures aren't worth posting as they had moved out of the frame. I still have high hopes for this spot though. After a dry summer, more rain recently led to the stream being filled, to the extent that there was little area for good track viewing. After swapping SD cards in the camera I poked around further downstream and uphill from the camera site, and picked up 6 ticks for my trouble. YTD total now 118. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sept 24-29, 2012

Another quick visit to the camera on the way home from work. No time or inclination to poke around the woods. A few rainy days since the last time I checked the camera, interspersed with some very autumnal weather with crisp cool nights. The new camera site is definitely paying dividends, most gratifyingly with these shots:

look who's back, not that it ever left of course

This is also a popular raccoon spot:

And finally, a deer passed by as well:

No ticks, mainly because I stuck to the trail and the streamside. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

9/20-23 2012

The site near the spring has yielded results after just a week. Quite gratifying as I was starting to wonder if I was going to get anything larger than a squirrel captured on camera. Most exciting was this shot:

Walking out of the frame to the left is what I'm fairly certain is a coyote. If so it would be the first one I've caught on film here. I haven't seen any obvious tracks that would be indicative of a coyote's presence but they're of course becoming more common in the area. Brues woods would seem like a good area for them to frequent as well, at least as a corridor for getting from here to there. I also wonder if the skunk cabbage berry-laden scat I found at the base of the tree last week came from a coyote.

Also making appearances were far more familiar denizens of the woods:

No ticks that I could find after what was admittedly a brief visit. The current camera placement is convenient in that respect, no tromping through mats of ferns and multiflora rose to get to it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

July through 9/16, 2012

...Aaaand we're back. The buzzard's luck continues with the camera though. The camera's batteries ran out again due to my not visiting it frequently enough. Motivation to go back there in the height of summer not the greatest what with the swarms of mosquitoes and of course deer ticks, although I emerged from my most recent visit without any of them on me. Whatever the case, pickings have been slim, with these two representing the highlights of the past couple of months:

Date and time are off because I forgot to reset them after replacing dead batteries. After tromping around considering my options for where to place the camera, I finally settled upon a streamside location near a small spring, up against the hillside that leads to the school. It's also relatively close to the small footbridge crossing the stream but I'll take my chances. Camera is too high to pick up the raccoons walking in the streambed, but there have been visitors to the bank next to the stream as well, as evidenced by the following scat in the nook at the base of a tree:

skunk cabbage "berries" from scat

this could be from a raccoon I suppose, although the shape isn't indicative of that. Whatever left it was eating (if not digesting) the fruit of the skunk cabbage, examples of which can be found all over the swampy low-lying areas of the area:

 fruit pod opened by me with berries scattered

Those berries couldn't have been a very good meal.

Friday, June 29, 2012

June 15-28, 2012

Has it been two weeks? I guess it has. Quick hitter visit today as I was running late to begin with. Rampant mosquitoes as well of course not conducive to lingering. Last time it was small rodents visiting the camera. This time the camera captured a blue jay, I'm guessing the same blue jay, three times. And a bug, I think, in the first pic below:


Couple of videos from the 22nd, almost exactly an hour apart of the jay strutting around:

Batteries were getting low, so I replaced them. Also, I decided to move the camera to the other end of the log, such that it's now facing the spot where I've been placing it previously.

Shockingly, I was unable to find a single tick on me after the visit despite wading through knee high ferns to get to the camera.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 7-14, 2012

Relatively quick visit to the blowdown, wading through knee-high ferns to get to it. There were multiple exposures, but unlike a year ago at this time not a whole lot of diversity. In fact it was a squirrel and a chipmunk:

If I'm correct about chipmunk behavior, it's the same one in both pics and has taken over the spot as a territory. A far cry from last year when the fisher cat was visiting this log habitually. Mosquitoes and thick vegetation kept me from spending too long or straying too far from the path, but I did notice fresh raccoon tracks in the stream bed. The lady slippers growing next to the path near the school ball field have finished blooming and gone to seed. 

 more impressive three weeks ago

track just below the sharpie

On the tick front, after careful inspection I found 8 of them. The last 2 took a while to discover too, not pleasant. Expecting more quite frankly. YTD total now stands at 112. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

May 25 - June 4, 2012

With the camera moved back to the blowdown while I was away on vacation, I came back with hopes of maybe a change in the recent run of buzzard's luck. Seeing 21 exposures on the memory card got my hopes up. Not so much as it turned out, as most of them were either false triggers or this guy:

The squirrel also checked out the camera at one point, moving it slightly:

There was also a visit from a fisher, but all the camera got was its tail as it jumped off the log:

A year ago the fisher (the same fisher?) was a lot more photogenic. You can see some of those pics on the SVT nature sightings page (link to the right) under the fisher pics. 

Didn't bother taking any shots with the point and shoot this time, the most notable aspect of the forest is that the ferns and skunk cabbage are now a thick carpet on the low-lying areas. I had meant to check on the lady slippers I noticed on my last visit near the trail but I forgot. The hectoring presence of mosquitoes may have contributed to this.

Despite having to tromp through the tall ferns to get to the camera, I could only find a single tick on me after today's visit, bringing the YTD total to 104. 

Finally, in an unrelated wildlife sighting, I got home from vacation extremely late Sunday night/Monday morning. On pulling into my driveway I spooked a coyote from the next driveway over and it proceeded to trot away, across the street and up the embankment to the library parking lot and beyond. Its head on a swivel the whole time. While it's common knowledge they have no problem visiting more urban areas (like Brookline and JP) seeing one in "downtown" Maynard was a bit of a surprise. Possibly visiting the chicken coop set up by the folks down the street.