Thursday, December 13, 2018

Along the Trail

Last year I set a camera trap along a wildlife trail below the rim of the Allegheny Plateau. The rolling top of the plateau is at an elevation of 1,500 feet which drops, gradually at first, then precipitously to a large stream 900 feet below.

Most people have a mental image of a plateau like those in the old western movies – a treeless expanse of rock with "cowboys and Indians”. The Allegheny Plateau isn’t like that; for the most part it’s forested with a mix of hardwood trees and has only a few small scattered open cliffs; some areas were cleared for farms in the 1800s, but for the most part those farms were abandoned in the early 1900s.

The camera trap was on a steep sidehill a mere 75 feet below the rim of the plateau along a trail that led from an area of jumbled boulders to a small outcropping of bedrock containing a few tiny “caves” both of which could provide shelter for medium-sized predators and their prey.

The first photographs yielded by the camera along the trail were posted here last February. This spot is quite productive in its yield of photographs: gray squirrels, raccoons, wild turkey, black bear, deer, bobcats and others –

Black Bear



Eastern Coyote

Wild Turkey

White-tailed Deer


White-tailed Deer

The most recent time the camera was checked it had another photo of a bobcat –

That photograph looked very familiar, prompting the thought, “Dummy you forgot to delete some of the old photos from the memory card.” But then I looked at the metadata in the photo’s file and realized it had only been taken a few days before. What the ??? In the file of photographs from the site was the older image, which is also the earlier one in this post, so I compared the two photographs. Here they are, a photograph of a bobcat taken on July 31 and the new one taken on October 22 – in the same spot and virtually the same pose –

A closer examination of the images reveals that it was actually the same bobcat – take a look at the spots on the two right legs, especially those on the upper part of the front leg. The conclusion is inescapable, it’s the same animal in the same spot, with its rear foot on the same rock – how cool is that?


cliff wheeler said...

They sure look like the same bobcat and great location.


Jacqueline Donnelly said...

How cool is that? I'd say that was SUPER cool! But all those images are pretty cool, too. I never see any wild animals in the woods where I walk (not counting the ubiquitous red squirrels), but after a snowfall, I see their tracks and I am astounded: bobcats, mink, otters, fishers, coyotes, foxes, and more -- including tiny shrews!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, looks like a great spot for the camera. Awesome vareity of critters.

I love the bear and bobcat images. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend.

Anu said...

Hello! It is really cool!

Fantastic photos!

Adam Jones said...

That’s excellent! The joys of camera traps. I wish I was able to put some out in the wild.

Lady Fi said...

Wow - amazing.

Rambling Woods said...

I would love to get a trail cam for my deck. This one takes wonderful photos...Michelle