New ventures in neighbour-watching … four footed, furry neighbours.

A member of an on-line naturalist group from Ontario recently posted some splendid trail-cam images of deer and other wildlife at a vernal pool. Inspiration was sparked.

A few years ago, ten perhaps, we had purchased a trail-cam to watch birds visiting our garden pond. It was OK-enough for the technology at the time but there are only so many photos of squabbling Blue Jays that you need and it made its way into the basement “for the future” and was pretty much forgotten. More recently we had been reminded of these cameras by an acquaintance at the MBO – excellent work, more modern technology but considerably more expensive and so we wandered down other paths to find things to do. Then these latest images surfaced – J contacted the chap and he told us what trail-cam he was using. Not only are the images better than we had experienced before but the whole set-up only costs $100 and also has infra-red ability so monochrome images can be recorded in the dark. This is not cutting-edge technology, but it tells us who is around when we are not and it is impressive how the technology has improved.

So we purchased one and installed it overlooking the garden pond late yesterday. Much to learn, including how to record video and how to set the date marker but it’s a start. And what did we learn? We learned that our pond was visited several times by a raccoon in the small hours of the night … no surprise there!

Note: these first images were with “out of the box” settings which were for lowest quality (4MP) with minimum use of SD card storage. Will be able to get much better next time (starting at 16MP and it goes higher if needed) – and will investigate video too. Time to read the manual.