Ringtail, ring-tailed cat, miner's cat, civet cat, and Bassariscus astutus.
All are noms for the marvelous lifelister I caught while cam trapping with the Codger's wise guidance (or is that wise-guy dance? Hmmmm...).
An oft-elusive raccoon-relative of rocky river canyons, one might not guess ringtails would be found in Sac Valley wetlands. But they are - the Sacto backwaters have become a home.
Perhaps it's because their infamous haven, Sutter Buttes, is nearby. Or, maybe it's the heaps of yummy year-round forage for them in the dense woods and waterways (small rodents, insects, fruits, berries, birds, eggs...).
Whatever their reason for residence, places that make ringtails happy make us Cali-mammal-huggers happy. The seldom-seen ringer is a Fully Protected Species in California, with dwindling habitat and pocket-populations, and thus a species in need of such sanctuaries.
But, instead of waxing all Wikipedia, I'll just offer up these shots to give you a glimpse into the amazing lemur-like coolness, and curious, cute quickness, of the Bassariscus that visited the muddy rootball and late-night latrine of my Sac Valley set:
A good first catch of ringtail. And given their character, I might never get enough.