Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa's Deer?

The wildlife camera works. After testing it yesterday I set it up in the back of the house. I strapped the camera to a cedar tree facing my feeder towards the northwest. I did notice some flashes during the night so I knew it had tried to take photos. I got several photos of deer including: a pair of does together, one small buck, and one good photo of a large buck (at left). That's probably an average size for a 'big' buck. I've seen larger. There were about 20 photos taken total and we were lucky to get a good photograph of a big buck on the first night. When the regulars begin to ignore the flash I'll get better photos. I bet it's not long before I get a photo of deer and raccoons together positioning for the feeder. I'm also curious as to what will be photographed in the day time. There will probably be 100's of photos tomorrow as I saw a squirrel sitting in the feeder for over an hour this morning. I guess it depends on how much motion the camera picks up.

Feeder: Notice my homemade feeder. I cut a stump flat and screwed a large plastic bowl onto it. I drilled a few holes to allow drainage and added the blue reflector. I've had a feeder on that stump for over five years so it's popular with the deer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Time 2008

It's continued being cold, some days colder than others. We've been cleaning and preparing for a Christmas party so that has kept us busy. The county has put the burn ban back into effect, but I did burn one stump using a fire ring. The deer and birds are very active of late.

I did get the wildlife camera out and I have the battery charged, but I had to order a new CF card for the photos. That arrived today so I'll get the camera set up. Maybe we'll see something, but I haven't seen any 'big cat' tracks since the last post. (Maybe why the deer have been more active?)

Addendum: I did put the camera out just as a test. It was facing away from the house lying on it's side facing east. Nothing seems to have set off the camera during the night but the sun rise does seem to set off the camera. I had several nice sun rise photos. (photo) The Christmas lights probably kept any thing away from the front of the house anyway. There are a lot of squirrels the past few days so any cat is probably gone. I'll move the camera to the back and see what it sees.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Even Colder Weather

We had another cold front come through. There was snow south of us, but we didn't get any. We did get about .50 of rain though. That was really needed. The wind took down two bird feeders again so I may need to wire them to the baffles. The fountain has made a very interesting ice design and this has been the coldest weather so far. It probably stayed below freezing for a lot of the evening.

We noticed more big cat tracks on the front walk on Wednesday morning. It makes me wonder if they come by more often than I think but only leave tracks after a bit of rain. I think I will put out the wildlife camera this weekend. When we had the cat problem previously I strapped the camera to a tree near the wildlife stock tank. I never saw a cat in the photos, but we had lots of photos of deer, squirrels, and raccoons. The photos come out very well, here is one of those photos. It would be great to get a photo of the cat in the front of the house. The flash of the camera may be enough to scare it away from the house as well.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Cool but Nice

We have had ice in the fountain for three consecutive days although it hasn't been too cold. In fact it got up to 65ยบ today. A good day to fill and rehang bird feeders. We have had strong winds for several days when these cold fronts came through. Three feeders were blown down as the new baffles act like sails in the high wind. The birds appreciate the seed.

Interesting to look around the country side and see little buildings in places you've never seen before. Hopefully these blinds will come down when deer season is over. I've seen a lot of hunters this year.

When I returned from town last night (visiting the wonderful Christmas displays at the Bosque Museum and the Bosque Conservatory) I saw a big Jack in the back when the headlights passed him as I parked the truck. It's the first I have seen since Spring and I guess the big cat didn't get them all.

I must have a lot of deer visit the livestock tank I have in the back. I had to fill it again today after having just recently filling it so something is drinking a lot of water. I know I have the usual deer visiting, but must get a lot of others as well. The bucks are in rut so I won't be surprised to see one come by in the middle of the day. We once had a big buck run between DW and myself and we were only about 60 feet apart. His nose was to the ground and he was going a bit crazy. Interesting.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Colder Weather

We had our first freeze of the season last night. There was ice in the fountain, but it may not have been a 'hard freeze' as far as plants are concerned. It is certainly colder.

It's really been a very pretty fall season with the trees turning various colors this year.

Since I missed my usual Wednesday trip to Clifton, I went to Cranfills Gap this week for the second time in two weeks. Last week I saw a huge elk on one of the 'game ranches' as well as some huge white tail bucks. This week I saw a big flock of turkeys. It's always an interesting drive and you do pass the Rock church. Much more activity in town as the town has been selected to participate in a promotion for the city of Las Vegas. I think 100 people are getting a free trip to Vegas and a 'command center' was set up in the old hardware store. I have rarely seen that many cars in town. I had on the uniform of the day. I saw five men at the station/grocery and ALL were wearing overalls. I bet they don't wear them to Las Vegas though.

I attended the 'Sausage Supper' in Womack over the weekend. Womack is on the German side of Bosque County. It's usually held the Saturday following Thanksgiving and I have attended for several years. The homemade pies are the best.