July 25, 2015

Trail Camera at Work


I set up my trail camera months ago on the deck railing and never moved it to a "trail." It's triggered by motion, sometimes missing subjects because of a delay feature that I don't quite understand. Mostly it takes pictures of birds, blowing branches, the swing moving (or falling over) in high winds, hard rain, squirrels, and us. Occasionally it's triggered by a cat, but not every time a cat visits the yard, so I think the cat may have found a route that avoids the infrared beam.  On April 1st, the camera caught a bear visiting our yard! The bear destroyed a bird feeder so I stopped feeding the birds until next winter, when bears hibernate. (You can see that bear on my Night Shots post.)

Since that incident, we have not had any more damage from bears and I didn't check the camera's SD card again until yesterday. There were hundreds of images, mos of them boring, although when I scan through them quickly I get a cool time-lapse effect. Today I've picked out a few that are at least a little bit interesting, saving the best for last.

When the ambient light dims, the camera can still shoot but the images look like the monochromatic ones you get from a basic security camera.

Frank driving his mower back to the shed as dusk falls.
Feral cat.

The bear came back on April 16th. As you can see, the bird feeders had been removed; even the poles are gone. Otherwise this photo looks very much like the April 1st one.  Apparently Mr. Bear was disappointed by the lack of food because he has not reappeared in any recent photos.

He was in the same spot, apparently because that's where the sensor can pick him up in the dark. The bright spot on his head appears in both pictures and is probably a reflection of the infrared beam on his eye. (A quick search confirmed that this is a known phenomenon with trail cams and security cameras. I found a fun example of this effect in a deer photo.)

Our Virginia bears are fairly shy and avoid people. Even so, I don't plan to wander around the yard at night!

Sharing with Saturday's Critters


  1. The trail cams are cool. I love the bear capture! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy day and new week ahead!

  2. I love the bear, what a surprise to find! Guess I should hook my camera back up, I took it down this spring,phyllis

  3. How wonderful to see a bear in your cam recorder. Have a great week ahead.

  4. I wouldn't wander around outside at night either with a bear not far off! Must be kind of fun to go through the shots and see what surprises you find.

  5. One of my blog friends in these parts has a trail cam, and often gets animals in the shots. It is a good idea to stop feeding the birds when winter ends, not only because the birds can find plenty on their own, but also because bears and raccoons can become problematic that way.

  6. I love this camera! LOL You have all kinds of surprises. I like the tractor coming back at dusk. No, I don't think I'd wander out at night with bears around, either!


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