Along the Natchez Trace

Friday, January 4, 2013

Oh Rats!

I didn't take the pictures I'm posting today.
We were volunteering at Sevilleta NWR a couple of years ago and one of the things I did was go along with another volunteer and change out the memory cards and batteries in 21 game cameras.
Sevilleta is a huge refuge...  around 250,000 acres.  It is situated in a part of New Mexico that has four different biomes or habitats.  The game cameras were located at locations that had formerly been stock tanks for the huge McDonald Ranch.  Some of the wells were located high up on mesas...   others were on the floor of the desert.  The windmills are gone now...  and the pumps are all operated by solar power.  The cattle, too are gone.  Now animals such as pronghorn, mule deer, elk and javelina frequent these watering spots.

This series of shots are my very favorite of all the thousands of pictures that were captured by the cameras during the time I volunteered there...

This herd of mule deer were slaking their thirst at the drinker...
When the camera senses movement it will take 3 shots, 1 second apart.

The 2nd picture....
Faster than a speeding bullet!
Don't know where it came from, but obviously
this mountain lion has spotted the deer and has taken chase.
The dust is both from the deer and the mountain lion in hot pursuit!

The next scene that was captured is...
(my guess as to what he's thinking...)
Oh rats!...  guess those guys are pretty fast.
I didn't nab a one of them....

And the last scene....
Oh but, I didn't want to catch one anyway.  I really just wanted a drink of water and those guys were hogging the whole drinker.  Guess I showed them who's boss.

(After all, a mountain lion IS a feline and we all know that cats would never admit defeat)

I worked on this project for about 3 months.  When we'd get back from collecting the memory cards I'd spend the next week or so collating the data from the photos....  species, numbers, time of day, etc.

I loved every aspect of this project and hope the information we gathered was useful.  Even so...  it was certainly entertaining!

That's All For Today!


  1. That is really cool beans! I'd love an assignment like that. :)

  2. Great pictures. I've noticed you guys have a camera like this and a couple other blogger use them also. One guy has a remote control helicopter that he uses to take photos. Now I need (want) to get one of these cameras also. It's all your fault. LOL

  3. How awesome to get a peek at such dramatic nature in action!

  4. A great scene to watch, this way. Thanks for the enlivened captions!

  5. Cool pictures. The biologist interns here are the ones that go out to get the picture cards and to sort through the pictures, I should ask if I can go out with them someday. They have been posting some of the pictures on the Facebook page for the refuge.

  6. What a wonderful, fascinating life you lead! Thanks for the great cougar sequence--that's my "totem" animal.

  7. What an amazing sequence. I really want to see a Mountain Lion in the wild. They got a shot of one two years ago on a game cam here at Laguna Atascosa NWR, but never got another.