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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Look up, look down, look all around

Gray Squirrel
(Seneca Falls, NY 9/12)
I have been playing around a little with different camera angles. My secret goal is to get some flying squirrel video footage. To that end, i have a Cuddeback Attack pointed up a tree in our backyard. I chose the tree only out of pure convenience. Without getting a ladder, I was able to reach the lowest branch and attach the camera at an interesting angle. The results so far have been slim, but today I found this photo and video of a gray squirrel. I cannot label this as "special" but perhaps "cute" is enough to blog about.




The video is only 16 seconds long and not particularly special, but I really like the angle. For a moment at the end there, I always forget that he is moving up and think he is moving straight away from me :)



Gray Squirrel
(Seneca Falls, NY 9/12)
The squirrels have been busy getting food cached for the lean times ahead. Last year we had no real winter to speak of but these guys don't seem to be fooled into thinking that will happen twice in a row. So here at our property it is all hickory nut mania. I have lots of streaky photos of squirrels going about their business and a few posers that seem to be mugging for the camera. But it is a different story at my Father's property. He has more pines and fewer hickories than I do. His acorns are nearly nonexistent this year so his gray squirrels supplement their diet with less than ideal food.

Gray Squirrel
(Fremont, NY 8/12)
Red squirrels are the ones that thrive in the pine forests. But that doesn't mean a gray cannot eat pines seeds. I found references that mentioned casually that grays eat pine cones and others that mentioned that they only eat green cones or eat cones at the end of winter when nothing else is available. All I can say is that I personally have not watched gray squirrels collect pine cones.

I also have had a few cameras pointing down hoping to catch some deer behavior. Monday, October 1st was the opening day of archery season here. Traditionally, the opener is October 15th so hunters are out two weeks earlier than usual this year. I was hoping for a nice big buck on one of the cameras to get me excited but no such luck yet. This first photo is a very small buck, almost certainly a yearling buck. I am only going from memory here, but I believe the statistic is that 90% of 1.5 year old bucks grow antlers that are not as wide as their ears. The second set of antlers are usually wider but even at 2.5 years old 25% of deer are still growing antlers that are not as wide as their ears. Even if the width isn't quite there yet, the diameter of the antlers is increasing. This final photo is set at our farthest pond. There is an area beaten down by the deer as they come to drink. I have a Cuddeback Capture set high on a limb. This is the only buck so far. I think that the thin rack that is not as wide as his ears tells me he is almost certainly a yearling or 1.5 year old deer. When I see a deer like that while hunting, I let him pass hoping that he will grow. I am not a trophy hunter by any means, but I enjoy the challenge of taking a deer that is wiser for having survived a season or two. Other hunters disagree and I can respect that. Taking the first legal deer is a valid goal and one that I ascribed to for many years. I guess I enjoy mixing it up, whether I am stalking prey for with the gun, bow or camera trap...

White-tailed Deer
(Seneca Falls, NY 9/12)


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