Sunday, April 12, 2020

Mosaic Monday #75: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Coyote - November 7, 2019
And no, I am not talking about the coronavirus!

I am talking about trail cameras.  As faithful readers know, my personal trail cam has captured everything from bears to sandhill cranes to badgers.  I have also had the good fortune to have access to two other cameras that belong to a neighbor.  Recently, I retrieved her disks, which had not been checked since August.  While this meant scrolling through several thousand photos, it also meant a bonanza of wildlife.  Join me for a walk on the wild side!

By far, deer have populated the majority of the photos, with coyotes in second place.  In most cases, only one coyote appears in each frame, so it begs the question whether it is the same coyote each time.  As you study the pictures throughout the post, let me know your conclusion! 

Coyote lopes up neighbor driveway - October 30, 2019
Note that this snow had melted by November photo above
Click on collage to enlarge
Sometimes, I have wondered what is happening just out of view of the camera.  For example, check out the stance in this photo - doesn't it look like it sees something?  And the legs are pushed down and bent, as though it is ready to run off in the other direction.  Very different than the normal loping style.

Once the camera detects motion, it takes three shots in rapid succession, so at times I feel that I am watching a video as I flick through the photos.  (It reminds me of those flip books some kids used to make in school; a slightly adjusted image on each page, when flipped quickly, mimics motion.)  In this series of pictures, one coyote sits (patiently) in the background (look closely), while another paces (not so patiently?) on the driveway.  (Please note that I tried something new in this post - using Movavi photo editor to turn still photos into a "video".  Since I was not willing (yet) to pay for the full version, a watermark shows up on the video periodically - sorry for that.  I was looking for something that gives you the feeling of motion.  Let me know what you think of this and the other "videos" in this post.)

Does are so ubiquitous that I didn't bother to save any of their photos.  Not so with bucks.  They are so rare on the trail cam, it's enough to make me question where they all go in the winter.

The turkeys also have a disappearing act.  These shots were all taken on the same day in September, not to be repeated on either camera.  I can only assume that they head for lower ground with more plentiful food sources.  The first time I saw this series, it made me laugh out loud how they parade UP the driveway, and then DOWN the driveway.  

A feral cat also appeared on the camera several times, always on the driveway (sorry, I didn't keep any of those pictures).  In fact, most of these shots are from that set-up.  It surprises me - wouldn't the animals prefer an area that is protected by the cover of trees and bushes?  Perhaps the driveway offers an easier path with snow made shallower by the sun.  Only they know!

The following series shows three coyotes in one of the shots - very unusual based on the time I have been monitoring this site.  Were they comparing notes?  Preparing to hunt together?  Coyotes normally hunt alone or in pairs and rarely as a pack, unless the prey is a deer or other large animal.   
One                                                                         Two (in trees)                                                       Three 

As winter continues, I think about the struggle for survival for all of these animals.  Were these coyotes running after something or FROM something? 

In the following shot from March 1, the coyote certainly looks healthy and well-fed.  In Northwestern Montana, coyotes can become prey to bears, wolves, mountain lions, and other coyotes, not to mention man.  In past posts, I have shown a picture of a wolf in almost the exact same location as the shot below.  

And lest you think I joke about mountain lions … this brings me to the highlight of this post.  The following pictures show the mountain lion crossing the driveway at a point that would be directly behind the coyote in the picture above.  I know that mountain lions live in this area, having seen other trail cam pictures and having walked along a path left by a mountain lion dragging a deer for a half a mile.  Somehow, seeing these pictures from a trail camera that I placed and that I check regularly, is an extraordinary moment. 

January 27, 2020 - 6.13 AM

Happy Easter, everyone!  I have been working diligently on my attitude the last few days, and participating in Holy Week Masses via live stream has certainly helped.  At times like this I also turn to Christian music, and I was struck once again by the words to the song Indescribable by Chris Tomlin. 

"You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same."  What peace this brings to my heart and soul.  The ultimate Gift that keeps on giving.  I pray that you are finding peace and encouragement during these tough times.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
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Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.

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  1. WOW, you sure do get to see plenty of wildlife. Trail cameras are so darn interesting sometimes!

  2. ...count me among the nature lovers, but having a coyote as a neighbor has never been on my wish list. Take care and I hope that you are having a Joyous Easter.

  3. Wishing you a joyous Eastertime. Thank you for hosting. And thank you for sharing this Post.

    Stay healthy.

  4. Such lovely creatures. I so enjoy your trail cam photos. Simply gorgeous. I have been watching services online as well and trying hard to stay positive. Bless you
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  5. It is wonderful to see the wildlife that is around you. Good to hear you have found something to help you stay positive and that gives you peace. Keep safe.

  6. I enjoyed walking with you on the trail to see all the wildlife.. Thank you for sharing, Be safe.

  7. Game cameras are a bit of fun. We had several chickens killed in their house so we set up the camera there and guess what! next night here come 3 raccoons wondering where the chickens were---
    We have coyotes just about everywhere here but they just make a lot of noise. I would love to see the Mountain Lion---I did see some babies several years ago and they have been seen in the Tree Farm along with bears. We have deer of course and we share apple from our trees with them.
    Hope you had a nice Easter

  8. I love the idea of a trail cam. So interesting to see what you capture. I hope you have had a joyous Easter, though I little different to previous years. Stay well and have a good week, and thank you again for the link up.

  9. Hi, hope you had a great Easter. Your web camera is very well placed. Love this action shots, almost as the animals are posing or the camera. :)
    Take care, stay safe!

  10. Thanks for sharing your lovely pics. Happy Easter

    much love...

  11. Enjoyed the Chris Tomlin music video

    much love...

  12. Hello, I enjoyed your wildlife and the cam photos. You do see a neat variety of critters there. The coyotes seem to be doing very well. Great post, thanks for hosting. Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

  13. I don't think it's just one coyote. How many do you hear singing at night? Knowing there is mountain lion around probably keeps them on their toes! Great photos! I want to know what kind of camera your neighbor has that can hold thousands of pictures and not have the battery die before taking all of them! Your photos are always great too. We are about to buy a new game cam and only know the two brands we don't want to buy again.

  14. What amazing wildlife you see on the trail cams. We set one up in our courtyard but mostly saw squirrels! lol And we kept seeing ourselves out there. lol The mountain lion is quite a sighting! I don't worry when I get out in the wild....but I know there are lots of wild animals where we hike. I marvel that I'm not too afraid to hike! The Coyotes you have there are a lot bigger than the ones here in FL. Thanks for sharing! Stay safe!

  15. Looking at those photos, Angie, makes me feel as though I am observing something mysterious and primitive. Always wonderful to visit here!
    Stay well and safe!

  16. What a treasure trove! I love them.
    And a cat!
    I find our bucks hang together in a winter yard, and the does stay in a different territory. It's safer to hang together after rutting season.
    Our critters have slowed down.

  17. I always have fun looking through our footage too. We've had a few bears and a banded Elk. I haven't done a trail cam post in awhile. I enjoyed yours.

  18. Wonderful trail cam captures. The biggest surprise to me is that the Mountain Lion would cross such an open space! Amazing! I love that you caught all the critters .

  19. I can see why you enjoy your trail cam. So great. Yikes that Mountain Lion really is the highlight. That is a great song by Chris Tomlin and what a wonderful truth about God and the peace we can have because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.

  20. Angie, I expect a clear path is preferred to snow covered woodland. Loved seeing the mountain lion. Thanks for sharing the trail cam shots! Happy Easter. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  21. Awesome sights! That reminds me I need to check my trail cam. It takes a while to flip through the pictures. And it is a strange thing, watching branches blowing and light changing, punctuated by a few birds and occasionally an animal.

  22. I hope you had a nice Easter. Ours was different but fun. I think the best part was as we drove to our kids house to drop off baskets, folks outside would yell, Happy Easter! So lovely. Loved the pics. We think raccoons have been walking about on top of our hot tub. You take care. 💕 Kit

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  24. I've been running low on content to write posts. Sometimes I even do a mosaic but forget to link up if it isn't on a Sunday or Monday. But I do visit. Stay safe. You are lucky to have space to enjoy while staying home. - Margy

  25. They are beautiful photos. I love Coyotes Angie.

  26. The variety of wildlife passing through your area is amazing. Great shots from your cam.
    Take care and stay safe, Angie.

  27. The trail cam captured great shots Angie. I'm thinking that your different species follow similar paths because they can smell the trail of others that have passed that way - and left a sign/marker of some kind. A bit like cats and their spraying? I wonder if you ever see Mountain Lions in the day and how many might be in your area? Just a handful or a few dozen? Spring is not far away. Now we just have to escape confinement.

  28. There is no doubt that trail cams are a wonderful device to enable us to monitor wildlife without intruding on their lives.

  29. wow! nature is so fascinating and your trail cam shows it well ~ thanks ^_^

    Be Well,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  30. sure did capture the best wildlife!! i enjoyed the buck in the snow, but it was all amazing!!!

  31. Thanks so much for sharing the lovely creatures you captured! We have nothing that compares to these gorgeous animals at all here in New Zealand.

    Feel free to share at My Corner of the World

  32. A fantastic way to enjoy the wildlife.

  33. Retrieving those trail cams is like unwrapping a gift. Never know what you will find Definitely some amazing shots of wildlife being wild. :)


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