The siblings weren't the only bären we caught on the camera traps during our first round of survey sets in the Tehachapi Mountains.
High up a north-south canyon, above the snowline, and under a dense canopy of live oaks, our cam also had a black bear encounter. But this older, shaggier beast wanted to be director...
Riparian habitat at 4,500 feet with canyon live oaks, granite boulders, and snow
This cam lasted 4 weeks and 52 photos before water crept inside and caused it
to freak out, shoot 370 continuous shots, and run the batteries to death
Our set critic and wannabe director was the first to the snowy scene:
Good size black bear on the boulders
But, for this opening visit, the bear just checked out the set and left it as-is.
Glad for it too - it allowed the cam to catch these two playful foxes:
Fox on the rocks - grays trying to scale, smell and rub a slippery scent-mark
The next night, Yogi B. DeMille came back for his first go at set adjusting:
Moving the camera...
"How about that?"
"No - back there is better..."
A quick cameo after adjusting the camera back to nearly the original position
Fortunately, bear left the cam at that angle long enough for it to photograph this spotted skunk. Not a great shot, but it's nice to know they're around and not camera shy:
Western spotted skunk, Spilogale gracilis, sniffs through
Then director Ursus Scorsese returned for his curtain call, and final set adjustment:
Checking out the granite boulders one last time
Some more heavy-handed camera adjusting...
Final scene - the slope just to right of the camera
This - btw - is a downside of round camera trap posts - they allow for rotation. The wise Codger, of course, has square posts with spade-shaped ends.
But all is not lost!
It seems this Ursine Orson Welles had an eye for sets...