I truly believed that Gary would tire of the wildlife camera after a year. He’s never held on to a hobby for more than a few months. I think it has been three months now, and he has burned through three cameras and countless SIM cards, batteries, battery chargers, and bags of dog food in the last three years.
We have gone from the adorable, charming, nameable raccoons of year one (Snow White, Runty et al.) to the cow-like boring raccoons of this year. We have seen foxes, possums, and skunks. However, sad to say, the deer have figured it out. Initially the deer would sneak up to the food and grab a bite before the lights would turn on and scare them off. Now they don’t even go near the lights and the food.
So, of course, this is a challenge, and his new goal is to get photos of the deer. We know they’re all over our neighborhood. There were deer tracks in the snow in our front yard. Neighbors have seen them jumping the fence to get to our backyard. He’s put a manger of apples in the back for them. They just hate the lights.
Now in an effort to seduce the deer into getting on camera, Gary has deactivated all the motion-activated lights hanging off the tree. This thrills me, because I doubt our neighbors like the all-night light display. The lights flash on, they are no longer synchronized, and it’s like the raccoons are dancing in strobe lights in a disco.
“No lights?’ you ask, “How will the camera work in the dark?” It won’t. His Christmas present is an infrared camera that takes black and white videos at night and color videos in the day. Oddly, it cost a third of what the other lighted cameras cost.
I really don’t mind the loss of night color, because you can see more interactions as they run in and out of frame (or waddle in and out of frame).
Now if I could only convince him that what is putting the deer off is the pile of rotting dog food. If he cleaned that up and I could really enjoy his hobby too.