We call it “The Running Log”, but it’s actually a fallen tree suspended several feet above an old logging road that climbs a hillside. Fallen trees and logs are frequently used by wildlife since they can be a bridge across a stream, offer an elevated viewpoint, are easier travel than pushing through vegetation or they're a place to leave a scent mark.
If you look at some of the earlier posts on In Forest and Field you’ll see that fallen trees and logs are great places to put a camera trap and to capture photographs or videos of a wide variety of wildlife. This summer a camera trap was watching the running log to take videos of mammals and birds that used the log and some that just passed by. Here are the first month’s results –
And the second month’s –
The camera trap was moved closer to the log at the end of the second month. Here are the third month’s videos –
It was surprising to see how frequently the weasel used the log since I seldom catch them on a camera trap and have personally seen them even less often. Only two of the videos of the long-tailed weasel in the third month's were taken on the same day.
The raccoons and the weasel repeatedly scent-marked the log in the last video; is there something about the change of season that causes them to scent mark more frequently, staking out a territory for winter perhaps?