Creek basin winding through the Tehachapi Mountains
Sentinel outcrop above creek
We set the cam pointing along the subtle path, where it wraps around an old log, cuts through some tucker oaks and foothill pines, and drops down to the creek. The big rock formation is behind the camera, uphill and beyond a few more trees.
The set between the creek and the big rocks
Big bear was first to the scene. Think this is the 4th individual we've caught so far in the survey. The chocolate & sable siblings, the shaggy Ursine Orson Welles, and this broad-faced biggun. Wonder if this might be the mom of the 2 sibs? They were photographed not far away.
"Hmmm... smelly rock"
A 2nd drive by to check out the camera - that's a big bear
An unhappy-after-the-rain bobcat waddled through too:
"Hey man - can you help a cat out with a heater or blow dryer?"
The annoyed shaking-water-off-legs tip-toe through the wet grass
And a desert cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii, popped up. The region is a crossover for it and the brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani, so it'll be interesting to see if we get that species too. We'll definitely see many more as it warms up.
Rounded ear tips, color, tail and size show this to be a desert cottontail rabbit
There's also this Peromyscus mouse out foraging (left side of frame) - perhaps looking for that millipede on the right side of the scene?
Based on ears, color and tail length, I'd say probably Pinyon, Peromyscus truei
And - oh my - were there foxes. Many and/or often. 14 of the 25 different animal visits (in 25 days), and 53 out of 74 photos were gray foxes. One character hung around for 11 shots!
Evidently, they are thick in the area (and loving the scent-mark). Makes sense - the place is prime habitat and chockers with berries and small rodents.
Here's 8 of the funner photos...
Gray fox standoff
Dance around smelling it...
Then go in for a nice long rub
Guess it's rock-rolling good
The full back roll
Drunken sailor rub
Swishy snake roll
A fine start to our new round of Tehachapi sets. But, as we found out, getting to all of the cameras wouldn't prove to be as easy as it was when we set them weeks earlier...
- The Nature of a Man (this blog) - posts on cam trapping in the Tehachapis