Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lots of wildlife is attracted to beaver ponds.

Beaver ponds are a focal point for wildlife.  Of course there are plenty of wood ducks.

And various birds, like this gray jay.

Otters are pretty common, though hard to photograph well.

And finally, a bobcat came snooping around the beaver logging site.


I set a camera up on a beaver's skidding trail, and got a LOT of pictures of them going back and forth.  I compiled them in a video.

Then, I moved the camera to point at what I thought was a likely looking tree, and sure enough, the beavers cooperated.

False alarm!


Now the work starts!

The moose rut starts.

Things start picking up in the fall.  I got two bull moose just a few days apart.

This young bull just shed his velvet.  You can see the reddish tinge to his antlers, and see chunks of vegetation stuck to them.


Set up a motion activated camera, and you get a lot of dud pictures, sometimes of parts of animals.  Here's a few of my favorites.

I THINK this is a bear's ear.  Looks like it might even have a tick.

Then there's the swamp thing.  Just can't decide what this is.  Duck?  Woodchuck?

Then this is my favorite.  The camera is set up on a blowdown at about waist height.  It looks like some critters chin in the upper left.  Moose?  Bear?
The camera takes 3 shots in row, and here is the second shot of that event.  Whatever it was is gone.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Bears started showing up later in the summer.  This little guy was photographed in Isabella.

Another Isabella bear:
There were bears north of Duluth as well.  This one came buy just a few hours after I had set up the camera.
A few miles away, I got this shot:
But the funniest thing was when a bear managed to get a camera off of a tree.  The camera got knocked to the ground.  This was taken on the way down.  
No the cam is on the ground facing the sky.  The culprit!

I think the bear is mooning me!
The rest of the pictures looked like this.  Maybe bats were triggering it.  

Summer pics: moose!

For all the news about the declining moose population, moose pictures were surprisingly common.  My first one was in my new homebrew, set up just 15 miles from Duluth.  Not the best picture.  You can see the edge of the case in the upper left, and I sure didn't pick it for the background.  Cute momma and calf though.

Up in Isabella, I had luck with moose too.  First was a lone cow.

Then a few days later this moose came by.  Interesting how similar the picture is, except for the radio collar.  

This bull in velvet came by in August.

Homebrews and the neighborhood

The next phase of this obsession was to start building "home brew" camera traps.  A homebrew consists of an actual digital camera "hacked" so that it can be controlled via wires which are in turn connected to a controller board which can be purchased online.  I got my very first homebrew picture right off of my front porch.

Once a homebrew is finished, it needs to be tested, so I took a lot of photos right around my house.  Here's a few:  Lots of grey foxes; there seemed to be a lot of them around.
Of course skunks.

And racoons.  This one is in a little creek bed behind our house.  I love the wet feet.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Getting started

I decided to start this blog both to share some of the best of my camera trap (aka trail cam) photos and also to help me organize the thousands of photos I currently have stored.

I started out in February 2013, with a commercial trail cam.  I set it up under the bird feeder at our cabin in the boreal forests of central Lake County Minnesota.  My first set was highly successful;  the first week alone I had something like 800 photos, over 400 of one very hungry fox that was feeding on dropped sunflower seeds.

Other animals showed up too, as the spring progressed.  A marten:
A fisher came by one night.  Fishers aren't known to be shy.  I'm not sure why it didn't stick around but this was the only picture.

Later, when the long delayed spring finally arrived, a raccoon made an appearance:  

After the snow was gone, I moved the camera to one of our little ponds hoping for some waterfowl
And waterfowl aren't the only creatures to use a rock.