As Fall moves along and Winter draws ever closer, ProfessorRoush is not the only creature participating in increased garden activities. My game camera has been rather quiet all summer, but as I checked it today, I saw a sudden increase in the number of automatic exposures taken, so I brought the chip in for download.
There were several pictures of her that morning, all taken while she nibbled on the two-year-old 'Conrad Ferdinand Meyer' closest to the camera. I have evidence that she'd been around since at least 5:27 a.m. that morning, because if you look closely at the picture to the left, you'll see her head just on the left most edge of the picture. Sneaky, aren't we?
She came again Friday evening, October 19th, but this time she visited in the evening again, at 8:34 p.m. She must not care that we're home, because you can see the lights on in the house at the upper right corner of the photo to the right.
I've captured a new visitor as well, a coyote, sneaking through just at dusk (7:31 p.m.) on October 16th. You can see the twilight sky in the picture in the background, as further evidence that this guy is starting early on his night of hunting. It's the only time I've caught a picture of a coyote this year, and the big question on my mind is whether he knew that October 16th, 2012, was my 30th wedding anniversary to Mrs. ProfessorRoush? We were dining out ourselves at the time the picture was taken, so it is entirely possible that the little guy sensed the quietness of the house and took advantage of new mousing territory. Seeing a coyote is no surprise here on the Kansas prairie because I can hear them frequently on clear nights when I leave the windows open.
The little doe and the coyote haven't been causing any visible damage to the garden (unless it was the coyote who dug the holes recently), so I'm leaving them alone and allowing them to enjoy my garden. The increased frequency of the visits tells me, though, that the search for enough energy to tide them through Winter has begun. I can also tell from my camera that All Hallow's Eve is surely near. Twice, on October 10th and October 20th, the camera has been tripped between 12:00 a.m. and 12:30 a.m., but no living creatures are visible on the photos. Since the animals only seem to trip them at dusk and at dawn, I can only conclude that ghosts are coming into the garden now during the witching hour. I do wish they'd show themselves on the photos, though. Imagine what those pictures would be worth!