Wednesday, April 20, 2011

California Bayous

Some years back, a few friends and I took a Louisiana bayou tour just outside of New Orleans. It was cheesy, but fun. Shared cheese often is.

Aside from the camaraderie, the best part of the cruise wasn't actually the scenery and wildlife - it was the storytelling, deep voice, and gravelly accent of the character Cajun man that gave us the tour. For us, he made the cruise.

"Down here on da bayou, ya got yore possum, yore raccoon, yore squirrel, rabbit 'n rat."

"Or, as we call 'em - da weekday dinnars."

Serious local flavor.

Back on December 2nd, Codger and I started a little wetland cam trapping in the Sacramento Valley that reminded me of that day on the bayou. Maybe it was all the mosquitoes.

waterway
Tree and shrub shrouded waterways

deep in the weeds
Deep, dense canopy and understory

In a tangle of pokeweed, blackberries and poison oak, I set a cam on a large fallen tree.

tangle in the woods
The tangle where my cam trap was set

The eroding, muddy rootball of the downed-tree was about 4 feet off the ground, and - in a dent in the dirt - had a midsize-mammal latrine on it. Seemed the perfect spot.

As you've likely learned from the Codger and Camera U, we didn't know at the time how fortuitous that 4 feet of clearance would be for my cam.

It survived the December deluges, and ran until the batteries died, taking 273 pics.

And, much like the bayou, it got yore possum, yore raccoon, yore squirrel, rabbit 'n rat.

opossum

raccoons

western gray squirrel

audubon's cottontail

rat

And, since it's a latrine, it got yore possum and raccoon pooping too.

opossum

raccoon

Plus, yore wet possum sniffin' dem scats.

opossum

Of these characters, the cottontail is actually a bit odd. What's it doing up on a downed tree? Even the Codge was perplexed by the behavior.

Wild turkey, spotted towhee and hermit thrush also dropped in - 3 birds you might too see in the backwoods of Louisiana.

Last - this cam also caught me an elusive wishlister that we had heard was around, and the wise Codger predicted I'd get - yet I still almost didn't believe when I saw it.

One that definitely ain't found down on da bayou...

:)

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8 comments:

  1. nice "the end" shot of the possum, but it was more of a dot-dot-dot wasn't it?

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  2. Very funny Bayou story and some cracking pictures.......

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  3. A cliff hanger? Ouch. WHAT IS IT? =) Maybe the bunny was hiding Easter eggs?

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  4. I can't wait to see the last visitor.

    I wait patiently every single year for the Hermit Thrushes to arrive here in CO. Then, I follow around their flute-like songs, planning my hikes to hear them sing. Maybe the ones who dropped in on your cam are heading my way.

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  5. awesome pictures with a great story. Want to hear what the last one is...maybe river otter?

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  6. Tease!

    Great pictures.

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  7. That cottontail is def. odd!

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