Sunday, October 4, 2009

Big Cat Project Update

I had a disappointing weekend in some respects in regard to my camera trapping project. I was due to refresh Cameras #1 and #2. Yesterday (Saturday) I was not able to get out at all due to some pretty heavy thunderstorms. This pretty much killed any chance I would have to get both cameras refreshed this weekend.

Today's weather wasn't much better but I was itching to get out and do something positive (watching the Cowboys on television sure wasn't a positive experience today). So, I loaded up with some fresh bait, film, and new batteries and set off to get Camera #1 refreshed. If you have been following this project, you will recall that the location of Camera #1 is very near my home. The location was chosen due to an alleged sighting of a large long-tailed cat crossing the road nearby. The camera is set near a dry creek bed and is usually not too difficult to access. However, today the "dry" creek was anything but dry. The creek was overflowing and the surrounding area was a virtual bog. I should have taken one look at this mess and turned around and gone home. However, I decided to plunge into the brush and get the job done. I slogged through the slop, at times sinking ankle deep in mud, and made my way to the camera. I was pleased to see that 20 shots had been taken. However, since the film I've been using has 24 exposures, I needed to manually rewind the film. The camera refused to rewind. I tried everything I could think of to no avail. So, I pulled the camera completely and trudged through the thorny brush and mud back to my truck.

I guess I will take the camera into my photo processor and ask them to remove it in their darkroom. This will probably not be a big deal this one time but will not be a practical solution long-term. It could be that this camera is done.

So, today there was a lot of walking, rain, mud, and frustration. Hopefully, the camera is not dead and will continue to be useful. If not, well, my birthday is coming up. Maybe I can upgrade to a digital model. I will update again once I have the pictures developed.

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