July 9 - 10 - 11, 1999

Went down home to stay with Mom. Dad is in "relatively" good shape after the open heart surgery. He was in very good shape for being 76 and that is a big factor.

First, I set up the I-R camera from Joe site 4 out back for the deer. They like to hold in the grass and under the ornamental trees. When it gets hot, they will lie in the gravel up by the shop under the big trees because of the cool. They are afraid of something. What something is, is a cougar that the folks saw walking across the east yard this spring. The big cats are becoming more plentiful since the ban on dog hunting and also becoming less afraid of people. Normally, there are a number of deer around, but I only saw three in the few days and they acted scared all the time. Anyway, I walked outside at the wrong time and scared the deer, so decided to move the camera.

I moved the set-up to the east yard by the bird feeders. Keep in mind, that if you want, you could walk through forest from their back yard all the way to the coast. Their place is 15 acres cut off of one side of the old farm. To the north, there is about 140 acres in Christmas trees and the nearest neighbor is about mile away. While there are plenty of houses up the creek, they aren't too thick. Babe lives clear up at the end of the road at old mill site from the logging railroad.

I slept outside on the cot both nights. Excellent eyeball astronomy. Listened to the night bird calls off and on all night. Got bit by some venomous spiders. Big, nasty welts. Bag was a bit warm, but I opened it to make the best of the night air. First night, my feet got a bit cold, but the next night, I made some modifications that worked just fine in that regard.

The pictures from the I-R cameras were great! Nice close-up views of deer, rabbits, and a variety of birds. I think I like the mountain quail the best. One of the deer pics. was a doe grazing face on to the camera when the I-R shuttered it. Those things work fine when properly set.

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