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I haven't set out my camera trap since the rains started. I like to set it up at water holes since they are a natural lure to animals, but once the rain starts, there's water everywhere, not just in a few places. I had a new lure in mind this time, and I happened upon a few chanterelles near my new trap location.
Chanterelles often grow under oaks, and these were no exception. This is a close view of the underside of a fallen oak leaf. Our live oaks are evergreen, and I took an interest in the fact that there were still-green leaves that had fallen to the ground. Most of the leaves were very small, but this one was just big enough to be worth photographing. Check out the cropped section below:
When I was out in the woods trying to photograph the leaf, I didn't notice the little denizens burrowed into the brown spots. They look more like a critter than a fungus, don't you think? I have got to start bringing my hand lens with me again. I tried to find the little nuggets in this online field guide to no avail.
Here's my new camera trap set-up. Many years ago, around the time I became interested in learning tracking and so-called primitive skills from folks like Tom Brown, Jr., and Tim Corcoran, I was driving up to Mt. Tam when I spotted a road-killed fox in the middle of the street. I took the fox out to a part of the mountain where I could have some privacy, so I could skin it and stretch its hide to preserve it. I never tanned the skin, however, and it's been shedding quite a bit lately, so I thought it was time to return the fox hide to the mountain.
Being of a mischievous nature, I thought I could use it as a lure for my camera trap. So I wrapped the hide around a small log and nestled it on a pair of deer antlers stuck in the ground, tines-up, so the fox is up off the ground. I previously used this area with no kind of lure and have caught coyote, raccoon and deer, though only in still images. The camera is set to video mode now. One drawback to video mode is that it takes more than two seconds for the camera to start recording after it's triggered. Still images fire much more quickly. I figure my fox will slow down any passing animals long enough to actually be caught in the trap. We shall see.
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