Monday, June 15, 2015

Our Backyard Wildlife Cam...

I'm not certain how long it was ago, probably about a year, that I bought an inexpensive wildlife camera. It isn't a top-of-the-line model; it was quite inexpensive. But this is one toy I have purchased that continues to thrill me almost on a daily basis.

I almost lost it once, when I set it up by a tiny seep of a spring. Pot farmers tore the camera down (but didn't destroy it), when they decided to use that seep to irrigate their grow. This was pretty far off the beaten path; I was surprised to see that tubing go in for the irrigation. That's pretty much the story of every little spring of water in the foothills: it is being used to irrigate somebody's grow. This drought is tough on the wildlife. Stealing water makes it tougher.

But I digress.

Lately I've been putting the camera pretty close to our house. All the apricots on our tree have gotten ripe at the same time. We can't keep up with them, so, inevitably, many fall to the ground and get a bit too ripe and buggy to use. Besides, the critters should get some of our bounty. So we pitch the apricots over the fence. That's where I set up my camera. Joni calls it "Chumming".

We've been curious as to what eats our apricots every year. Now we know.

We've had foxes, coyotes, skunks, jackrabbits, squirrels, stellar jays. Plus an assortment of neighborhood dogs and cats.

Having these critters this close to the house makes me all the more impressed with our 12 year old Rocky the cat. He is an outdoor/indoor cat. Comes and goes as he pleases. He is quite the survivor to be running around with all these predators. You have to be smart to not become a meal.

We haven't really seen any acorns for a couple of years now. The drought has severely limited their production. I can't help but wonder how the animals that are dependent upon the acorns are doing. Deer. Bear. Acorns used to be a staple of the Natives in the region.

We also have noticed that there aren't many pine cones. Trees are just trying to survive. Because the oaks and pines aren't producing food, we've started feeding our squirrels. It is probably a bad idea to feed wildlife, it's probably only a matter of time before the bears discover we've been putting food out. The bear have have been migrating into the cities around here looking for food and water. Two were killed outside of Chico and Oroville last week.

The same view during the day with a Steller's jay and our propane tank.

No comments:

Post a Comment