Scenes from a Wildlife Camera

The young buck appears on the screen for a total of five sequenced pictures. He’s making his way through the woods. I count the points and it appears that’s he’s legal for hunters. I think about him when I hear the guns fire in the distance in the next few days. November is no time to be straying into open woods with a rack. I hope this guy makes it through to see another season, for I’d like to see what he looks like in a year.

Nearly in the same spot a coyote nested a week before. I wondered if the buck smells the coyote when he walks by. But this time of year scent changes quickly as leaves stack up and the rain washes everything down. Strangely, there’s only the one coyote on the camera. I thought they were social animals, yet here he was alone in the woods. He took a quick nap under this tree on at least two occasions.

Of course, not everything happens in the night. The wild turkey roam through the scene in large numbers during the day. This is so commonplace now that it hardly warrants a mention, but even now there’s something interesting about watching these large birds. There’s clearly a pecking order in this rafter, coordinating movement through the woods and spooking would-be predators like that coyote.

I put up the wildlife camera after years of wondering what walked unseen through the woods behind us. I’ve seen plenty over the years from the yard or from an upstairs window, but hearing that bear crunch through the woods last month finally inspired me to get the camera up and running. To find what defies the eyes peering into the darkness. And it hasn’t disappointed. It’s a bit like Christmas morning walking out to see what it picked up every week or two. Isn’t it always interesting to see what the neighbors are up to?

We had a fire again on Friday night. I could hear something crunching in the woods. Not as loud as the bear, not as stealthy as the deer. I wondered what it might be? This morning I may take a walk out to the camera to see who our visitor was. I’ve come to enjoy solving a good mystery.

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