It has been over a year since I placed my camera trap in the woods. The hike through the hardwood hammock to where I have my set-up in Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed is always filled with a sense of freedom and joy.
During the numerous hikes out, the lubber grasshoppers and anoles scatter at the sound of my footsteps ambling down the trails, I look for rays of light illuminating the radiant pine lily bloom. I anticipate watching the sometimes-curious cattle and the sandhill cranes along with families of white-tailed deer.
To me, it is a build-up to the ultimate prize or the ultimate frustration, and that is looking at the back of my DSLR (digital single-lens reflect) camera when I arrive at my location. It is the first thing I do before anything else. I want to know what strolled by … I’ve been stymied as much as I have been fortunate.
Panthers, bobcats, black bear, deer and wild turkey and other wildlife have passed my sensor, which in turn makes my camera shutter release. The frustrations have far outweighed the rewards. I have back focused. The sensor has malfunctioned to the point of shooting up a whole 32 gig card in several hours, over and over and over again. The flashes have not gone off during crucial encounters, the camera has been pointed the wrong way and storms have made my sensor, cords, and the camera occasionally fail. But when it all comes together and works out, the adrenaline rush is like no other I’ve had.