Sunday, March 27, 2011

3 Cool Cats

Driving the washed-out, creek-side road to pick up the first 3 cam traps, such as the one near the big sentinel stones, proved to be the shortest and simplest trek of our latest Tehachapi trip.

Because, the next morning we awoke to snow.

snowy peaks
Snow-trimmed Tehachapis

Which meant, that if we wanted the cam that was up the canyon at 4,500 feet, we were going to have to go and fetch it old-skool trapper style.

Aka, on foot.

(no - not snowshoes - it wasn't THAT much snow)

Round trip turned out to be 11 miles, with over 2,500 feet of total ascent.

Took us just under 6 hours.

But, much of it was taken up by my gawking...

up the canyon
Hiking up the snow-speckled canyon

snowy canyon
Canyon views

big canyon live oak
Ancient canyon live oak

snowy landscapes
More canyon scenery

The camera was not far from the Under the Live Oaks and Serendipity Squirrel set. Just down the canyon a bit, and up the dryer, east-facing slope near a rocky outcrop.

We had wanted to set the cam within the jumble, but couldn't find a solid purchase that didn't leave the camera pointing towards the sun for large chunks of the day.

So, we'd settled for a game track leading down to the rocks from the canyon ridge above:

cam set 5
Pre-snow set - rocky outcrop is behind the point-of view

When we arrived at the now snow-covered scene, we pulled the dead camera, popped in new batteries, and with the usual "I wonder what..??" anticipation, we perused our pelts.

Photos #7 and #8 of the 184 pics were this beauty bobcat in full daylight:

"What are you looking at?"

"I've got my eye and ear on you..."

After that, we started seeing dozens and dozens of the same sunny scene - sans animals.

Damn. False triggers.

Appears that each day from around 11am to 2pm, when the sun was high, something was tripping the infrared, and causing the cam to take lots of photos of nothing:

false trigger
Invisible animals or false triggers?

Since it's no fun looking at lots of nothing hunched over a little point-and-shoot's screen in the glare of sun and snow, we headed back down the canyon, and home.

Little did we know what was hiding among the nothings - near the end of the 184 photos...

2 more cool cats.



The Nature of a Man (this blog) - posts on cam trapping in the Tehachapis



  1. Wow....stunning scenery!

    And nice 'cat pics!

    Looking forward to what caused the "false triggers".

  2. Teaser, teaser! Gorgeous cat! And gorgeous scenery!!! Thanks for trekking to share it with us!

  3. Lovely lovely images. Sure makes a difference to use those homebrews!

    And what a cliffhanger! I can't wait to read the next chapter. Does 818 turn out to be a large feline?!

  4. I totally missed the foreshadowing in the post title. That being said I really like how you include a shot of the set from a few yards back including the camera. I am going to steal your idea and start taking these pictures to include in my posts in the future. I know the Codger does this from time to time to, but the lesson is just finally sinking into my thick skull.

  5. Tis a beautiful area, for sure.

    Steal away Jake. I learned it from the Codge, of course. I like it for both the POV and the record of what the scene looked like when I set it.

  6. Agree Jake that the foreshadow was a tad subtle. Added it to the end too, for future readers.


Please leave a comment, thought or question at any time.