Dear Readers, what a week it’s been! Work has been relentless, the boiler has gone on go-slow, my washing machine won’t drain, and the pond has sprung a leak. Fortunately, a lovely friend of mine has lent me a trail camera – I’ve always fancied trying one out, and it has been a welcome distraction from all the deadlines and high anxiety. I wondered what I might see, and I have not been the slightest bit surprised, though it’s always good to have your suspicions confirmed. So here, in no particular order, is what goes on in my garden when I’m not looking.
Firstly, cats. They always seem completely different at night, a bit like gremlins. Look at the one above, with those scary eyes. The reflecting lens at the back of the eye is called the tapetum lucidum, or bright tapestry, and it glows different colours according to the kind of animal. Apparently if you go out after dark with a torch, you can see the eyeshine of all the spiders. I must give that a try!
And we get cats in daytime too. Look at this fabulous chap. He lives across the road, and sometimes sits on my gatepost like one of those stone lions.
Next, collared doves. They seem to be cropping up everywhere, and they bustle about with perfect confidence, in spite of the moggies.
And then there are the squirrels, who are very flighty indeed.
And then there are those pesky humans, walking backwards and forwards and setting the camera off…
But the main reason that I set up the camera was to see if the foxes visited, and I wasn’t disappointed.
And in broad daylight this very afternoon.
Well, having the camera is a lot of fun, and it has piqued my interest into what the foxes, in particular, are up to. The night time images aren’t clear enough to identify individuals, but what intrigues me is that they don’t seem to have a regular pattern – they’re as likely to turn up at 18.15 as they are at midnight. But what a privilege to have a little window into what goes on after dark. I think I shall definitely have a look and see if I can get one of my own. It’s given me a little taste of the excitement that naturalists must feel when they put out trail cameras to see if there are snow leopards in the area, or to spy on bears. There is something about looking at those images that’s a real treat, because you never know what you’re going to see. And I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, I’ll see cubs later in the year. Keep your fingers crossed!
What a great idea! If we had one, we’d definitely see deer as we’ve seen them with our own eyes – even once in the morning, happily sauntering down our grassy drive. Like your fox(es) they don’t stick to a time but around 11pm is quite common.
Nice slippers btw. 😊
:-). Trouble is, the cameras are quite expensive, but! it’s always worth keeping an eye on the NHBS (Natural History Book Society) website as they often have sales on things like trail cameras.
I think I’ll stick to just looking out of the window when I wake up in the middle of the night. Last night (or rather this morning, @3:30am) it was a stag hoovering up the sunflower seed husks under the bird feeder and at least one fox (which ran across our field and startled both me and the stag). I then saw a fox to the front, but wasn’t sure if it was the same one. (I suspect it was a different one, which chased the first one across the field). So much activity that we (normally) miss. 🙂
Blimey Mike, it sounds like a David Attenborough documentary. He’s not hiding out there behind a tree is he?
Could be, but I bet the snowman could tell a few stories, if he wasn’t still looking up to the sky! 😉
Brilliant photos of the foxes. I need a night camera set up in summer to find out what exactly munches all my sweetcorn plants in the dark 🙂
Everybody likes sweet corn! In Dorset, the deer trample them down and then the badgers and foxes eat up what’s left.
We get foxes here too (being only a few miles away from the Quorn Hunt, we’re in fox country here) … but mice are the biggest pest – one year a mouse got into the garage and devoured our tent, before making a nest in my welly.
This is an exciting balance to boilers and washing machines! I think it must be quite fun to know a fox visits your garden on the sly.
I love it, Anne! Who knows what you might see if you had one 🙂
We have a trail camera too and they are wonderful we bought ours to watch a family of hedgehogs last autumn and on the first night was surprised to see a gorgeous fox too! The hedgehogs have hibernated now but the fox still comes most nights for his fox food!
I was really hoping for hedgehogs, but no luck so far :-(.
It looks amusing until I consider what goes out outside here that I probably don’t want to know about. My neighbor insists that one of the unseen visitors to my former garden who seemed to speak to me from the darkness in Vietnamese was actually a Sasquatch.
Now, that would be something to get a photograph of…I thought Sasquatches were supposed to be about eight feet tall though? Wouldn’t that be a bit of a giveaway, even in the dark?
I have never seen it. I only hear it. It thought it was a neighbor messing with me, but it happened a few times, and moved very fast. I doubt that Sasquatch live here (despite local folklore), but if they do, I do not need to know about it.
Somethings are best left undiscovered I suspect.
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