Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19, 2014

The most tantalizing aspect of using my trail camera is the mystery of what I might find when I retrieve it and down-load a set of new images.  Most of the time I haven't capture anything extraordinary, but I usually get a least one or two interesting pictures - and I always learn something about the animal life, even if it's just that they aren't active, at least in my chosen location. 

Knowing we would have warm weather and a full moon, I set my camera out for a few days last week to see who was in the neighborhood. As is often the case, the Gray Fox came by a couple of times, once on the 13th and once on the 15th, both times traveling in the same direction. 
13 January at 4:51am

 I'm always excited to see this magnificent animal in the area, with its thick winter coat and beautiful colors. 
15 January at 5:57am

But then I moved onto the next image and beheld one of the greatest shots I've ever gotten:


A good-size Fisher Cat carrying a large Gray Squirrel home for breakfast!  A few weeks ago (see December 22 post) I followed Fisher tracks around Lake Wicwas, and I knew one was in the local area because I had seen its scat.  But I have never got a picture of one, probably because they take such varied paths from tree to tree in their search for food.  My guess is that after getting such a large meal, this one was happy to take the shortest route back to its den to either eat or store its bounty for later. 

The picture was taken at 6:45 am, before sunrise when it is still quite dark;  I don't see squirrels out this early, so the fisher had probably found the squirrel's nest in one of its trips up an oak tree.  (This time of year it is pretty easy to see the ball of leaves that form a gray squirrel's nest high up in an oak tree.)  At any rate, there will be one less squirrel under the bird feeder this week.

We had a beautiful, light snowfall on Saturday night, which greatly enhanced the scenery around Lake Wicwas - it was getting a little drab after the recent thaw.

And this morning, the squirrels were back searching for food under the new snow.  (Though I only saw one gray squirrel!)  With a layer of crusty snow and ice on the bird feeder baffle, one clever red squirrel found a way to climb up and mount an attack on the feeders. 

Linda enjoyed the ensuing display of creativity and acrobatic ability.

You have to appreciate their drive for sustenance! 

I hope all the animals managed to get a good supply of fat and protein to store up, as the weather is now forecast to return to a prolonged stretch of deep freeze!  We'll see if it will surpass the last one....

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