Photographs by Frank

21 March 2022

Game Camera Fun

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Wildlife — Tags: , , , — Frank @ 8:00 PM

At the very end of 2020, I bought a game camera just for fun. For those who might not know, a game camera is a waterproof, automatic camera designed to make photos of wildlife. When the camera detects movement, it makes four or five photographs. It does this day or night, using an infrared flash at night.

I experimented with the camera around the yard and then in March of 2021 (i.e. about a year ago) I strapped the camera at chest height to a tree “down back”. The lot that our house is situated on slopes back away from the house and ends in a beaver-made wet meadow about a quarter mile from the house. The tree I strapped the camera is located on the edge of the meadow and the camera was pointed out on the meadow.

Our property, which ends about half way across the wet meadow, abuts the roughly 2000 acre NH Audubon sanctuary at Willard Pond. This sanctuary is contiguous with another roughly 5000 acres of forested land, most of which is conserved. There are no public roads (only logging roads) in this area. In other words, there is a lot prime wildlife habitat behind our house. I was interested to see what we could capture with the game camera.

After setting up the camera, I promptly forgot about it, until today! I retrieved the camera this afternoon and was interested in seeing how long the batteries had lasted. The batteries are still just fine, but the memory card ran out of space after seven months (i.e. in November 2021). There were six thousand photos on the camera! Most of the photos were “false positives”… that is pictures of just the vegetation.

However, over the seven months the camera was active, there were forty frames that contained an animal. These documented twenty different “encounters”. Of these encounters, eight were deer, five were moose, four were bear and there was one encounter each of coyote, racoon and turkey.

None of the photos could be considered “art”, but here are seven of the most visually interesting. The monochrome images were made “in the dark” under infrared illumination.

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14 August 2011

One More Turn in the Swamp / Close Encounters of the Ursine Kind

Yesterday afternoon, I headed back down to the beaver swamp at the back of our property just to see what was around.

Meadowhawks, including one mating pair, were present but in lower numbers than previously seen. The darners were ever present patrolling their territories and there were many spreadwings (all the same species) present.

At one point, while I was stalking a spreadwing, I heard the loud flapping of  wings (the sign of a nearby darner) and was quite surprised when a female landed nearby intent on laying eggs (see the third photo). She was only present a short time (about a minute) as another darner (male maybe?) appeared and harassed the first. Much to my surprise they both fell into the water but then both we gone in a matter of a few seconds.

The male whitetail was the only one (of either sex) that I saw, twice while I had it in my viewfinder it flew off only to land on my shirt!

The highlight of the afternoon was a “writing spider” (Argiope aurantia) eating a damselfly. I did not see the initial capture of the damselfly but I did spend twenty minutes (according to the exif data) watching and photographing the meal.

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On my way back up the hill to the house I heard the noise of a large animal off to my right, I stopped and turned to locate the source and was quite surprised to see a good sized (four or five feet long) black bear coming toward me less than a hundred feet away! She/he stopped maybe 75 feet away when they spotted me.

My first thought was to get the extension tube off the lens so I could get a photograph! Instead, I acted on my second thought… I headed off at an angle away from the bear and towards the house leaving the bear standing its ground.

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