Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bear #4

I was enroute to check my camera trap and was travelling down bear highway as I call it. This is the same road I saw two bears from the car a couple weeks back. I've been down this road a few more times and hadn't seen any bears. I think that's because I was a passenger in someone else's car and we were driving the speed limit. Today, I was solo, driving slow, and looking for bears. I hit paydirt. There was one on the other side of the road. So I pull over and jump out the car. It was big and had two ear tags. It probably means it's gotten in trouble two times. I just hope that three strikes doesn't mean it's out aka dead....but it probably does. Da bear was rooting around in the leaf litter and took a minute to scratch it's butt on a tree. I called over to it a couple times and it only stopped and looked over at me once. Clearly I was not a threat or food to it. I actually was quite boring to it. The only time it got scared was when a tractor trailer went by, but it only scampered a few feet. Most of my photos came out horrible. Apparently, mist, super zoom, target partially hidden by trees, the threat of being hit by a car, and shaky hands always means a blurry shot. This is the only in focus shot. I did manage to shoot two short videos. See the combined effect below.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My first camera trap

I bought my first camera trap on the company's dime. I had found a potential bobcat den this past week during our big walk about. Bobcats are endangered in NJ so it's important to make sure it's real a bobcat den and not something else. I figured I'd test it out at my parent's place since they have a ton of deer, turkeys, and housecats.
I came back sunday afternoon and 43 photos had been taken. I knew at least a couple were of me setting and removing the camera. Even mourning doves would set the camera off. The only mystery photo is the one above. There's a blurry figure on the ground just to the right of the bird feeder. I think it's probably a raccoon from the size and shape. As you can tell, the housecats are clear as day.

I just hope the camera doesn't get stolen or eaten by a bear. It is along the bear roadway we drove along last week. On Monday, I'll set it up. It seems everyone in my group wants to come along for the setup. I'll be sure to post any good photos...assuming neither of my fears come true.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Three bears and no photos

Sorry folks, I was not able to obtain photos during my three bear sightings this week. The first bear was seen on foot and by the time I spotted it, the bear was barely visible in the woods. However, it was a lot closer when we first approached the area, but I oblivious to it. Makes me wonder how many other bears I've been oblivious to. Y'know with it's soft and padded paws, they can be silent walkers. The only thing that drew attention to it's presence was a chipmunk scurring across a log and making a ruckus. The last two bear sightings were in the car and moments apart. One bear was hoofing it up a wooded and rocky slope and another was in the was heading to the road. I heard today another bear was on that same road today. It's like a bear convention or something. I'm half tempted to drive that road this weekend to spot a bear and get an actual photo. Although it's tough to drive and bear watch at the same time. I'd that person driving like 5 mph on the non existent shoulder with the hazards on.

I've spent the entire week out in the field hiking many miles. Someone I've managed to keep up the energy to keep going. I kept saying that by friday, I'll need a walker and a wheelchair. Nevermind the predawn wakeups. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel and we should be able to finish up tomorrow. I am demanding at least one bear sighting. I've been spoiled this week since the last bear I saw was a couple years ago. I'm not counting the ones that I've heard or near misses. Here's some photos that shows what sort of hills we've been climbing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I heart pumpkins

On Halloween, I and company headed off to the giant jack o' lantern blaze in NY. It was different that I imagined in my head, but in a good way. First off, I apologize to any small child that got knocked to the ground or pushed out of the way in my dark photo frenzy. The photos really don't do it justice. We spent a good 45+ minutes walking a meandering path that was surrounded my oceans of jack o' lanterns and various themes.

All I know is that I came out of there with a ton of ideas for carving my own jack next year. Mind you I've carved exactly one or possibly two jacks in my life and that was only in graduate school. As a child, we were not allowed to touch the pumpkins. My mother said that the pumpkin would last longer if it wasn't carved. I guess she was hell bent on making that pumpkin last until past Christmas.
I also plan on fully investigating the nearby Sleepy Hollow cemetary. But alas, the weather was very wet for this Halloween. Better luck next year.