2020 Trip Report - Different Continents
By Jerry Dupree
I like wildlife photography and wandering close to nature and the birds, reptiles, and mammals as well as the natural formations, plants, and flowers. I do predator calling, leave bait stations, and my next method is to fly my drone and locate undiscovered places and wildlife for photography from above.
I like my subjects to be as close as possible but I like to have the entire animal shown in the frame, however they don’t seem to pose in well lighted areas, so it’s very hit or miss. I compare it to fishing. Some days you don’t get anything, some days might result in a few ground squirrels and rabbits, but other days I get lucky enough to get a picture of a mountain lion, big horn sheep, bobcat, hawk, or an owl. I try to guess where to set up game cameras by checking foot prints and other signs of animal life. Most people look out at the desert and see a lot of bushes and nothing else. Most animal residents living in the desert are nocturnal and only come out at night. Most people would be amazed at the after hours activity.
I am usually out once a week setting up game cameras with motion detectors. I put out two cameras, one set for stills and the other set for video. They have night vision to capture anything that walks in front of them after dark. It’s my kind of fun and why I like living in the desert.
This series of photos shows the location on the Mission Creek earthquake fault west of Desert Hot Springs. It is plainly visible as the ridge above the Mission Creek river bed. The actual fault line is at the base of the small hill. In this case I set the cameras on the slope of the uplifted rock and dirt about four feet above the ground in front of it. I placed dry dog food as bait to attract hungry predators. The “visitors” arrived and were present the following morning expecting to find some tasty dog food. They happened to be right in line with the cameras, one particularly.
It didn’t occur to me at the time that the coyote and the cameras were on separate geological plates. The coyote was located on the North American continent and the cameras were placed in a shady spot on the slope which is on the Pacific Plate. The plate is floating and drifting along the North American plate and they are moving in opposite directions at the rate of about two inches per year. At that rate the quake fracture has moved about eight feet since we moved to the desert. We get periodic reminders of the movement manifested by earthquakes. We have experienced two quakes of 5.0 to 6.0 in that time period. We are prepared as well as we can be for when “The Big One” strikes. We can actually hear them before they hit which sounds like incoming artillery. One time my wife and I were sitting at the kitchen table when we both heard a large quake and we looked at each other and said, “earthquake.” The worst damage we have experienced was when a clay pot fell off a shelf and smashed our FAX machine.
I like to look at this picture and tell people that the camera and the coyote were on opposite sides of the fault.
You can find more on plate movement at these links: