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About:

This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Friday, June 19, 2015

EGGS

Last year I put up a nesting box at school.

The past few weeks we have spotted a pair of Western Bluebirds coming out of the box and hanging out on the power line nearby.

Today, we confirmed our hopes!


School ends next week, but I hope to tell more of their story...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Finding the Freaks

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Calochortus tiburonesis, or my white whale of the botany world

Many years ago, as a curious young person interested in the outdoors, I would spend hours researching locations in the Bay Area to explore through the site Bay Area Hiker.
It was here where I first learned of the Tiburon Mariposa Lily, while reading of hikes in Ring Mountain Open Space.

Along this wind-swept Tiburon ridge and its serpentine rocks, the freakish lily and several other rare plants have found a home in what would be a usually toxic soil.

For the lily, the ridge is its only home.

Many visits were made over the years and I never caught glimpse of the rare flower during its brief bloom -- either I was too early, too late or too poor of a observer.

Yesterday, I happened to be in Marin for CPR training and the thought randomly popped in my head to check on the lilies once more.

On what was a perfect CA spring afternoon, my partner and I ambled up the Phyllis Ellman trail along the dry grass landscape. Ithuriel's Spear were still out in strong numbers and provided a nice contrast to the yellow-brown background.


image Perhaps it was just my time, or my lady is a good luck charm -- immediately upon coming in sight of the 14 marker that is referenced as lily habitat, I spotted one right next to the trail, then another... they were all over the place!


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about a half dozen in bloom

It reminded me of searching for owl pellets, how usually once you find that first one, then all the sudden it is like you can see the matrix, and the ground is actually covered in pellets.



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so weird!


And then of course another great feature of Ring Mountain is that once you have brought your attention away from the ground, a few other things look pretty cool around you.


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yeehaw

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why Hello There

Damn it has been forever since we posted. I don't have the time for a long eloquent post so this post-bath spotted towhee will have to suffice for now. Wish the flash had fired.



Camera trapped at non-natural puddle in the Sierras last weekend. Birds gotta drink and bathe somewhere during this epic drought. Many more birds at this same puddle to follow.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

This is the final part of the three part series from a Winter Solstice set near Bon Tempe Lake in the Mt. Tam watershed.

The closers shall be the spirit animal of this half of CTC, the gray fox.
Very common to the Northern California camera trapper, these guys are usually the first to the scene, eager to sniff and rub any foul scent concoction laid down by naturalist/fauna.


This set had foxes coming in for a drink



Foxes screaming








Foxes leaping, running and knocking the camera 'round


One thing that would be neat to capture is their true leaping and climbing ability. Gray foxes have been observed to jump 4 feet high from a standing position, and have been seen denning 30 feet high high in trees. 
Perhaps a goal for this season of trapping !



Friday, November 28, 2014

Coho Choogle

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Today while going through the morning birding list round ups, I noticed that a Dipper had been seen in San Geronimo Creek, Marin County, near the Inkwells. I was planning on heading to San Rafael anyway, so I figured a side adventure would be easy and perfect for this holiday Friday.

No Dipper (though my lord what nice habitat for these amusing little guys when the water level gets up), but I was able to hang out with the unofficial animal of West Marin, the Coho Salmon.

Always a treat to get a look at these guys and as my third season as a Trout in the Classroom teacher is nearing, it was also an excellent reminder to start getting into the SALMONID STATE OF MIND.

Anyway, here are some photos and videos of the three coho salmon I saw this afternoon.

coho!

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coho thrash

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May the rains be thunderous this weekend to harken your brethren's arrival.

Note 11.30.14 : Dire news about the Redwood Creek Coho