01-19-19 – Judith Ashley – My Sanctuaries and Safe Havens: Writing and Spiritual Practices

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

THE JOY OF TRAP CAMS! by Sarah Raplee

  I love looking at photos and watching videos of unsuspecting wildlife caught on my day-and-night-vision trap camera. It was after watching my sister and brother-in-law’s videos of their visiting herd of deer in the high desert that we got inspired to try filming on our property. They know each doe, buck and fawn by name. He puts out corn for the animals during the winter when food is scarce. Ducks, quail, rabbits, foxes and the occasional dog or cat visit as well as the deer. Who knew their neighborhood on the edge of the city had such a diverse animal population?
Now my husband and I realize how much hiking into the woods up the hill to attach the camera to a new vantage point is worth the effort.
               Reward number one: watching the videos of deer and quail (who knew we had quail?) puts smiles on our faces!
               Reward number two: we learn there’s a whole nighttime community of animals living on our property that we were mostly unaware of until we began filming their activities. Watching them makes us feel closer to the land and to nature. We appreciate and pay more attention to our beautiful surroundings. We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful place!

               Reward number three: we have a tool to determine whether those big cat tracks by the barn were from a mountain lion or a bobcat—and whether or not the predator is still around. Same for the black bear that left scat at the back of the property last week.
               Reward number four: watching the videos is a mindful meditation. You forget everything else and live in the (recorded) moment. Very relaxing.
               Reward number five: we find out what our cat does outside at night. He’s a mouser extraordinaire!
               And lastly, we get some exercise moving the camera from place to place and retrieving the SIM card so we can watch the videos on our laptops.
               I highly recommend this hobby to anyone who wants to enjoy life and smile more often!

If you own a a trap camera (also known as a trail camera or wildlife camera), what is the most interesting photo or video you've captured?


Judith Ashley said...

Love the second video - deer caught in headlights? nope, deer caught in trap camera. I'm fairly sure if I had a trap camera it would show raccoon, maybe a possum, cats and that's about all. I've seen coyotes trotting along the street at night although not since neighbors who had chickens have moved.

Sarah Raplee said...

It's fun to see if a new deer comes by, or some other animal we haven't seen before. So far our neighbor caught the bobcat on her camera, but it seems to have moved on, which is fine with me.

Diana McCollum said...

I love our trap cam. My dang computer video card is going out so I couldnt' view your videos. It is a lot of fun having a trap cam. And Judith, you can train the cam on your bird feeder to. We've got some great pics of birds and ducks in the yard.

Judith Ashley said...

Diana, I gave up on bird feeders due to the squirrels, mice and rats. Actually the squirrels are more of a problem than the mice and rats! Found out today that the reason my security camera isn't working is because they chewed through the wires. Totally rethinking my tolerance for cats in the yard. They do not stalk the squirrels even though they watch them and twitch their tails. That is not a deterrent to these rodents.

Dora Bramden said...

That was lovely to watch. I think you're blessed to live where you do also. Not so sure about the big cats and bears though. Think I'm happier with our big kangaroos, they only eat grass.

Sarah Raplee said...

Diana, I hope you get your new computer soon! You inspired us to get a trap cam.

Sarah Raplee said...

Judith, Not even my great mouser Freckles has brought home a squirrel! Sorry to hear they are still plaguing you.

Sarah Raplee said...

Dora, I'd love to watch your kangaroos! The big predators scare me a bit, too, although we haven't had an issue so far. Our neighbors a quarter mile away lost their dacshund to coyotes not long ago. When the coyotes are around, our cat won't go outside. He lets us know it's not safe.

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