Driving the washed-out, creek-side road to pick up the first 3 cam traps, such as the one near the big sentinel stones, proved to be the shortest and simplest trek of our latest Tehachapi trip.
Because, the next morning we awoke to snow.
Which meant, that if we wanted the cam that was up the canyon at 4,500 feet, we were going to have to go and fetch it old-skool trapper style.
Aka, on foot.
(no - not snowshoes - it wasn't THAT much snow)
Round trip turned out to be 11 miles, with over 2,500 feet of total ascent.
Took us just under 6 hours.
But, much of it was taken up by my gawking...
Hiking up the snow-speckled canyon
Ancient canyon live oak
More canyon scenery
The camera was not far from the Under the Live Oaks and Serendipity Squirrel set. Just down the canyon a bit, and up the dryer, east-facing slope near a rocky outcrop.
We had wanted to set the cam within the jumble, but couldn't find a solid purchase that didn't leave the camera pointing towards the sun for large chunks of the day.
So, we'd settled for a game track leading down to the rocks from the canyon ridge above:
Pre-snow set - rocky outcrop is behind the point-of view
When we arrived at the now snow-covered scene, we pulled the dead camera, popped in new batteries, and with the usual "I wonder what..??" anticipation, we perused our pelts.
Photos #7 and #8 of the 184 pics were this beauty bobcat in full daylight:
"What are you looking at?"
"I've got my eye and ear on you..."
After that, we started seeing dozens and dozens of the same sunny scene - sans animals.
Damn. False triggers.
Appears that each day from around 11am to 2pm, when the sun was high, something was tripping the infrared, and causing the cam to take lots of photos of nothing:
Invisible animals or false triggers?
Since it's no fun looking at lots of nothing hunched over a little point-and-shoot's screen in the glare of sun and snow, we headed back down the canyon, and home.
Little did we know what was hiding among the nothings - near the end of the 184 photos...
2 more cool cats.
The Nature of a Man (this blog) - posts on cam trapping in the Tehachapis