I have been really busy modifying the photo blinds and getting ready for the season, so I haven’t had time for photography yet – However, I couldn’t resist grabbing a photo of this cute little guy. Our javelina group has two little ones so far this year.
Well we had a crazy couple of days. First a snow storm on the drive to Anchorage with cars off the road all over the place. Then an all night flight to Phoenix. Lyft to our storage unit where we had a car that wouldn’t start, a flat tire, and broken jacks on our trailer. Long story short, everything worked out well and we are now on the property at the Desert Photo Retreat.
This summer was dry in Arizona with a lack of monsoon rains. When we checked on the property in October, I knew we would be right back, so I decided I had enough water storage that I could double the amount that flowed into the waterhole each day, that way the water hole never went dry. Well, thanks to the drought, that had huge results!
We picked up a few new regular species, including a mountain lion that at times came twice a night! Plus, a ring-tailed cat became a new regular, as did a spotted skunk, so now we see three species of skunks. The gray fox still visited nightly. The javelina were still regulars, and coyotes became a new regular. Bobcats were a infrequent visitor, but fun to see. Deer were regulars, that is until a mountain began showing up, then no more deer! At least two species of skunk also show each night. The activity has been incredible, that is until the rain arrived, and then I must say it dropped off. We should have a bunch more rain this week. But, the good news is, as soon as it dries out, most of these animals will be back!
Here is just one night, the times represent when the animal arrived. Most stayed for a few minutes at least. The night of November 2, 2019:
- 6:26 Gray Fox
- 7:47 Gray Fox
- 8:17 Gray Fox
- 8:45 Coyote
- 9:18 Ring-tailed cat
- 9:33 GrayFox
- 9:55 Coyote
- 10:39 Gray Fox
- 10:53 Mountain Lion
- 11:44 Gray fox
- 12:11 Hooded Skunk
- 12:38 Gray Fox
- 12:58 Coyote
- 1:34 Gray fox
- 2:43 Gray Fox
- 2:57 Mountain Lion
- 3:18 Gray Fox
- 3:26 Coyote
- 5:41 Stripped Skunk
An unusual night without javelina.
The little bobcat came in for one last visit right before we left Arizona – I sure hope they are there again next year!
We are all packed up and ready to catch a flight home to Alaska in the morning. Excited to be home, but sad to be missing all the wildlife in Arizona! Nice problem to have.
Second night in row were we had bobcat, fox, javelina and owls! I’m excited to be getting back home to Alaska, but I’m going to miss all the activity here in Arizona!
Last night I got my own bobcat!!! He hung out at the water hole for almost 15 minutes, so I have a lot of photos of this cute little guy. It was another great night at the waterhole, bobcat, skunks, owls gray fox and javelina!
All photos by Joe McDonald.
It was great to have Joe and Mary Ann McDonald visit us this week at the Desert Photo Retreat. When it comes to camera trapping, I have learned so much from Joe thanks to his book Understanding High Speed Flash and Triggering Systems. It is $20 well spent as it will vastly speed up the learning curve. If you have any interest in camera trapping, it is a must have. You can find a link on their website. So it was great fun having them out to the property, and seeing Joe set up two cameras for the night at my two water holes. Between Joe and Bruce Taubert, I have now had the chance to learn from two of the best camera trappers in the business, who both have been doing this for a long time!
So these photos are all images Joe captured here in just one night. He was more than gracious in sharing the photos to help promote our property which I appreciate! It was great to have him here, but it was also great to have the Desert Photo Retreat really deliver. Two bobcat visits, many gray fox, screech owl, and two skunks! From my trail cam, I could see the bobcat show up, and then quickly run off. I thought the camera / flash spooked it. It wasn’t until we downloaded Joe’s images and looked close that we realized the cat caught a mouse! Check out the cloud of dust. It was also a treat to have the bobcat return and pose so nicely! Check out more images below.
As a final note, Joe also shared a copy of his beautiful new book Gorillas In The Wild, A Visual Essay. It is full of beautiful photos – it has to be the most comprehensive coverage of gorillas to date. Check it out.
The fox under the stars last night – with the approaching new moon, I can go for these starry skies again.
This time I used a 14mm Rokinon at f/2.8 and ISO 4,000 and 4 seconds. I would have loved to gone to 20 seconds, but if I had a taller animal who was juxtaposed against the sky I would have had a ghost image, so played it safe at 4 seconds. The exposure time has no effect on the fox, only the sky.