Friday, October 17, 2014

They're baaack!

A couple of days ago I found the lid of the metal can where I keep dog food laying on the floor of my tool shed.  Didn't have to be a genius to figure out that the neighborhood coons were back.  Last night I put a heavy concrete block on the lid of the can to keep the raiders out, and set a trail cam.  Caught these guys coming and going.  They might try again for a couple of nights, then they will go somewhere else where the pickin's are easier.  I have neighbors who leave cat food out at all times.  Let the coons go freeload off them. 


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Caught in the act!

I kept fooling around with the trail cam and got the video function working.  Don't ask me how, because I have no idea!  Anyway, I put it back out in the yard and caught this guy.  Fortunately most of the rest of the peaches left on the tree are above his reach.  There was one that looked like it might be a little to low, so I reached up to feel it; to see if it was getting soft yet.  It fell right off in my hand.  It was ready, and delicious!    

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Peach eaters


My peach tree has been a disaster this year.  It was originally supposed to be a dwarf tree, but the top of the tree shot up as high as the roof on my house.  I realize now that I should have cut that top of the tree off, but at the time I thought it was a good thing.  I reasoned that any peaches on that part of the tree would be well out of reach of any deer, but I hadn't counted on a bumper crop.  It couldn't support the weight and broke off!  The neighborhood deer quickly found it and began eating the green fruit.  Since green peaches won't ripen like tomatoes, I thought of another use for them.  Bait!  I picked up the peaches and dumped them in a pile at the edge of the yard and set up a trail cam to watch over them.

I first set the camera to take video, and it came up with a bunch of blanks.  I think the chip for the camera, where it stores video and still photos, must have become damaged in some way.  I need to pick up a new one, but in the mean time I reset the camera to take still shots and put it back out there before the deer finished up what was left of the peaches.  It worked, and I got several photos of the raiders.  Many are unusable, such as the south end of a north bound deer.  The 2 shown here are the best of the bunch.

This ghostly image is a night time shot of a spike buck that is a regular visitor here; taken by the camera using infa red technology.  In all I have seen 2 does with fawns, this spike buck, and a forked horn buck that I have only seen once.  That would be the little spike buck that was around here last year.  The pile of green peaches is gone now so this is probably all I am going to get.  Fortunately there are still peaches getting ripe on the tree that I will get to eat myself.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


It seems like forever since I've posted anything here.  My only excuse is because I haven't had much to write about.  I haven't been out in the woods at all.  Still somewhat weak from the operation and constantly out of breath.  The back still gives me problems too, so put it all together and I haven't been able to do much.  Just have to adapt to the situation.  The biggest danger right now is that I might trip and fall, and I've done that a couple of times right here in my own yard.  I have a difficult time getting back up!  I now carry a cell phone with me at all times.  If I'm in trouble I can at least call one of several neighbors to give me a hand, even if 911 isn't necessary.  If that happened out in the woods I might be in big trouble, so I've kept pretty close to home except for shopping trips.  Since I haven't been out and about, I've had to content myself with observing the backyard wildlife right here at home, and I'll post some pictures soon.  Very soon.

Aside from my personal problems, and probably of more interest to most people, is the news of our wild fires.  The closest fire to me has been named the Log Fire since it started near Log Lake in the Marble Mountain Wilderness Area.  It burned down onto private timber company land where it has remained ever since.  Although it was never any real threat I have been under an Evacuation Advisory, which means I should be prepared to evacuate if conditions worsen.  As of this morning the fire is 95 percent contained and the advisory has been lifted.  Other fires, mainly the White Fire, are still raising heck; and the little historical town of Sawyers Bar has been evacuated.  For those who are interested, news and lots of pictures are available here.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Trouble of another kind

Sometimes trouble comes when you least expect it.  A couple of nights after I made the last post here, I was awakened in the early AM hours.  I was gasping for breath and wringing wet with sweat - no pain.  I staggered out of bed, took an aspirin, and made the 911 call.  A short time later the paramedics arrived in an ambulance and hauled my carcass to the nearest hospital some 25 miles away.  I spent 2 days there while they built me up enough to transport me to a larger hospital, approximately another 75 miles away.  I spent another 2 days there and was finally operated on to replace a valve in my heart which had simply worn out.  After several days to recuperate from the surgery I was transferred to a nursing facility a short drive away.  I was finally discharged yesterday and allowed to go home.  It has been a hard fight with a short stick, but I am finally gaining ground.  I can feel myself getting stronger every day.  I went into the surgery expecting pain, but what I wasn't prepared for was the loss of strength.  I had little choice about the surgery.  The options were few - have the operation or die.  Some choice!  For several days after surgery, I couldn't have whipped my way through a box of new born kittens!  I wasn't allowed to get out of bed without at least 2 people holding onto me for support, not that I could have made it to my feet anyway; but they soon had me up in a walker for short walks in the hallway.  Once I transferred to the nursing facility, there were physical therapists there who exercised me every day.  Although I am home now, I am still a long way from getting my full strength back.  Have to take it slow and easy while still trying to stay as active as possible.  How long it will be until I am able to take short walks in the woods, and do a little predator calling, is anyone's guess.  My dog, big Bear, is with some good friends in Nevada who were kind enough to drive over and pick him up.  I was obviously in no condition to take care of him, so that is a big load off my mind.  So that is about it for now, until I have something more interesting to write about.      

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coon update


The new trail cam has arrived, and I now have a better idea of what has been going on around here.  When I caught those youngsters I thought that I just had Mama coon to deal with.  Turned out that I had more of a coon problem than I knew about.  Count the coons in the video!  I have them locked out of the dog food now, so hopefully they will move on to greener pastures.  I know of at least 3 of my neighbors who leave cat food out at all times, which is probably what drew the coons in the first place.  Let the coons go pester them.  I wonder if they realize how many coons they are feeding in addition to every feral cat around.

Now I know why I couldn't catch these coons in my live trap, although I suspected as much.  Look at the size of these guys!  This video shows one trying to squeeze into the trap.  Now the door is messed up and won't close.  I put it away for now and will fool around with it later.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Coon troubles

A short time ago a critter began to make nightly visits to my tool shed where I keep dog food and grain.  The grain wasn't touched, but whatever it was had a real taste for dog food.  Although I hadn't seen a coon around here in years, that is what I suspected the visitor to be.  I keep the feed in metal garbage cans, but coons are pretty handy with their front paws and could get the lid off the can.  I have a live trap that I have used several times to catch skunks, but I had my doubts about it being large enough for a coon.  Imagine my surprise when I caught not 1, but 2 youngsters.  The video is pretty much self explanatory.

Since catching and transplanting these guys, I have continued to set the trap every night.  Mama coon still comes around every night, but the trap is obviously to small to catch her.  I recently ordered a new trail cam to replace the one that was stolen awhile back.  I'll try to get some still photos and video of big Mama before I cut off the food supply.  I put a heavy concrete block on top of the lid of the dog food can, and that has her locked out.  The only treats she is getting here now is the bait she is stealing from the trap.  Once that is cut off I imagine she will quit coming around.   


I'm back

It's been a long time since I've posted anything here, so I suppose a little explanation is in order.  It all started almost a year ago when I slipped on some ice last winter and messed my back up in a big way, which I have never fully recovered from.  Since then I've had to make several changes.  I can no longer walk very far which leaves hiking out of the picture.  I've had to find a new home for my horse.  I can no longer swing up into the saddle, let alone ride.  Sis went to a good home where she will make some kids happy playing "baby sitter", and will be well cared for the rest of her life.  I only have 1 dog now; my buddy and almost constant companion, big Bear.  So that in a nut shell is where I stand right now.

I'm beginning to get back out for a little predator calling now and then, although I've had to make some changes there too.  Since I can no longer walk far, I've had to adapt my calling procedure somewhat.  Also some of my old "hotspots" have become so over grown with brush and small trees that they are no longer practical to use.  I'm experimenting with calling directly from the pickup, or at least very close to it.  The attached video illustrates that.

When I shot this, I was sitting on a camp stool right in front of the truck.  Bear was in the cab of the truck on the seat, and he could see the foxes, which is why you can hear him bark.  An electronic call was placed a few yards down the dirt road where I was parked.  The foxes left several times, but I would change sounds on the caller (remotely) and they would come right back.  I played with them for about 15 minutes, but they were so active that it was hard to get the camera on them.  This short video is all I came away with.