Monday, November 28, 2011

The Big Boulder Portrait Studio

Back to the Tehachapis...

When I sent this first photo to my friend Paul, he replied: "That bobcat looks like it was showing up to have its portrait taken!"

Unfortunately, the bob didn't leave me an email address.

"See these eyes so green? I can stare for a thousand years..."

The cam trap was set under a big overhanging boulder by the creek, which was just drying up for the year. This afforded several interesting opportunities:
  • to see what might go under the rock to get out of the sun
  • to see what might come to the last of the summer mud puddles
  • to do so with a 24-hour per day set, without worries of false triggers

That last point alone made the set. If not for the well-shaded sanctuary, I would have programmed the cam for night only, and we would have missed that beauty bob, and more.

big boulder
The big boulder by the creek - plus mulefat, goldenbush, foothill pine and Tucker oak

big boulder
The studio under the big boulder - note the camera trap on the left

Aside from the bobcat, the 3 local squirrel species also came by the studio for daytime portraits.

grnd squirrel
California Ground Squirrel trying to look tough (and not tasty)

Merriam's Chipmunk trying to look cute and coy (and succeeding)

gray squirrel
Western Gray Squirrel with face full of mud: "What? It's picture day???"

At night, the woodrats and bats came out to play...



Big-eared, dusky-footed woodrat poses for a portrait

rat and bat
Woodrat spots bat - likely Myotis evotis, the Long-eared Bat

Another bat swoops through - could be Myotis ciliolabrum, the Small-footed Bat

And then...


Uh oh. The local muscle.



  1. Gold star bobcat*

    I know the bat IDs were "maybes" and I see the long ears on the first one, but what are you looking at on the second bat ID?

  2. Thanks all. More still to come from this set - the bear only made minor adjustments... :)

    JK - good question. Here's decisioning details for both:

    - of the species known to range there, 2 are all brown with long ears. Codge tells me that the other, Townsend's Bat, Corynorhinus townsendii, generally lays its ears back when hanging.

    - on the second, again based on experience at Chim with Codge and Craig, a buffy body, small ears and eye mask generally point at Myotis ciliolabrum or californicum. And C&C both thought the gestalt suggested ciliolabrum.


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