Patches' Pieces, Wildlife

Game Camera: Sandhill Cranes

Perhaps you’ve heard the distinctive call of the sandhill cranes recently? -Patches

We’re actually in at the very south edge of the breeding range for Sandhill Cranes. They’re not particularly picky eaters- they’ll eat snakes, frogs, insects, seeds… Often, we’ll see them in the spring, hunting frogs in shallow water.

Patches' Pieces, Wildlife

Game Camera: They are Back!

The Not So Perfect Game Camera: They’re Back!

Returning to the game camera line up for your viewing pleasure are striped kitties, otherwise know as skunks. Skunks have been absent for several months but have returned. Along with skunks featured this with week are feral cats and deer. -Patches

Community, Patches' Pieces

The Quilters’ Christmas Bazaar Moves Online

With the cancellation of most rummage sales and bazaars, the Tobacco Valley Board of History quilters have moved their annual Christmas Bazaar online. The offerings are modest compared to previous years but there is an opportunity to purchase rare quilted offerings and hand-made one of a kind items.  This year there are two hand quilted collectable quilts for sale.  The hand quilting is meticulous and the designs divine. 

There is a good selection of tied baby quilts. Plus two lap/twin sized tied flannel quilts are available.  These quilts are very competitively priced. The fabric, piecing, and labor for the quilts is all donated.

The dish towels are embroidered.  These are reminiscent of finds from grandmother’s kitchen. Hand embroidered towels are much less common today but very useful treasures. At the time of this writing there two one of a kind embroidered small table cloths and one dresser scarf.

Other items include homemade dog treats (my dogs love these), catnip mice, round and square scrubbies (I use these all the time), cloth Christmas ornaments (great stocking stuffers), phone pouches, aprons, sewer’s helper, cotton dish clothes, pan holders, pear butter, huckleberry preserves, spicy peach jam, lanyards, needle cases, pot holders, and kitchen towels.

All fund raised by the Christmas bazaar go to support and maintain the historical village.


Patches' Pieces, Wildlife

The not so Perfect Game Camera: Night Video

The trick to capturing pictures, and video, is to know where things are going to be and to put the camera up before they arrive. In the short term, this is a matter of luck, in the long term it becomes a matter of experience.

In winter, this is easier. Tracks in the snow provide some clues about what has been by, and where might be a good place to position a camera. As the snow piles deeper, the local wildlife is no more inclined to wade through it than we are, and cameras can be placed along cleared areas (such as plowed driveways) with greater success.

On the whole, getting good pictures and video requires luck, good camera placement, and wading through a great many bad photos and deer selfies.


More Game Camera Articles:

Patches' Pieces, Wildlife

The not so perfect game camera, part 2

Marketers would have you believe the more money you spend on a game camera, the better the game camera.  If only this were true.  Over the years, I have tried several brands of camera. I am still searching for the perfect camera. I have my least favorite camera or the brands I won’t purchase again.

Game cameras can be used to monitor traffic. UPS truck on the driveway.

By far, my least favorite camera is a Stealth game camera.  The Stealth game camera is programmable and the cost won’t break the bank. I use this camera to monitor the traffic on my driveway. The camera is an older model.  It is reliable.  I change the batteries every couple of months and change the SD card about once of month.  The camera is consistent. It takes good pictures of vehicles and stills of the driveway during the winter.  It has never taken a picture of a coyote, mountain lion, or bear. 

Deer walking down the driveway

My least expensive camera is a Herters game camera.  This is another driveway camera in the perfect location. The camera has a narrow depth of field where the pictures are in perfect focus. This camera is great for monitoring vehicles as well as wildlife. I have all sorts of fuzzy pictures of feral cats, skunks, etc as well as larger animals. Occasionally the pictures are in focus. But I have good idea of the animals walking down the driveway.  The Herters camera eats batteries.  When the batteries are low, the camera stops taking pictures at night. The camera is non-programmable but easy to set up and operate.

A winter still

All game cameras miss the perfect shots.  I have had a game camera take 1000 pictures of grass blowing in the wind.   I have seen many blurs at night. But the occasional photos make all the disappointments worthwhile. Game cameras are not perfect but even blurry picture can be priceless.

Deer on the driveway. Not all the deer are in focus, but the picture still provides lots information.


Patches' Pieces

Scraps and Threads Quilt Guild Meet while Social Distancing

On Thursday August 13, Scraps and Threads, enjoyed a beautiful summer day at the Tobacco Valley Historical Village in Eureka.  This was only the second meeting since the state’s shut down in March. Under the shade of the willow, guild members discussed upcoming events while eating lunch. This is a practical meeting place for the next month but probably not beyond.  The guild will need to find a new meeting place. The drawing for Scraps and Threads’ raffle quilt was postponed until next year.  Tickets for this one of a kind quilt are available from guild members. The drawing for the raffle quilt will be in August 2021. Taking a break from mask production, many guild members entered their quilts in the recent outdoor quilt show. The meeting concluded with show and tell that included quilts, table runners, place-mats, and hot pads.

For more information about the guild and their meetings, find them on Facebook.