Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Trail Camera in 2018

Back in January of 2018, I set up our trail camera along the trail we made in our woods. The trail itself was an enlarged deer trail, and the many hoof-prints in the snow at the time suggested that the trail was still in heavy use, so I figured it would make for an interesting spot for a camera. And it definitely was! Over the past year, the camera has made many, many videos of creatures walking on and across our trail -- mostly lots and lots of deer, but some other creatures, too -- at both day and night (except for a couple of months at the end of the year when the batteries ran out sooner than I expected and I neglected to check it). 

So here are a bunch of video clips of animals in our woods from the past year!

The first few months of videos were all of deer. Even though deer are super common around here, and we see them frequently from a distance in our meadow and woods, it's still very cool to get to see these big animals up close. This first video compiles some of my favorite clips from the beginning of the year: a deer lying down on the path in the snow, a deer walking up the path during heavy snowfall, a daytime grooming session, a snowy portrait, a very fuzzy little deer (the previous year's fawn?) in very early spring, and a heavily molting deer up close in May.


Suddenly, in April and May, the camera started showing a whole slew of other creatures besides deer; I don't know what was going on here, but there was a greater variety of animals in these two months than we saw on the camera all year. The next video compiles clips of April and May's diversity, most of the clips at night: a rabbit taking a stroll in the woods, a raccoon searching for a meal among the leaves along the path, incredibly a Gray Fox (the first Gray Fox I've ever seen) with its bushy black tail and low/long body, a glimpse of a larger canid that surely must be a Coyote, and a flock of turkeys (I find that last turkey really funny).


During the rest of the year, the camera went back to mainly producing a ton of deer videos. Lots of interesting things happen with deer in the summer and fall, though, and some of these videos were especially amazing. Here's one last compilation of clips: a mother deer with the tiniest twin fawns I've ever seen, so tiny and unsteady that I think they must have been no more than a day old; another mother with her slightly older fawn, stopping in front of the camera for an extremely sweet grooming session; fawn zoomies!; at some point, the twins' mother got a very bad looking leg injury, but she and the twins continued to show up on the camera through the rest of the summer (the last time I saw her was in September, but the camera's battery also died soon after that); and the final clip shows a buck with an impressive set of antlers (I wonder if he made it through hunting season).

I'll be moving the trail camera to a new location this year, as soon as I figure out another likely place to try. The first year of trail camera footage was definitely a success, and I'm curious to see what creatures show up this year in other areas of our property!