The Maverick

We may call it a moment of genius. It takes an object – a rock, a stick, a tool – and applies it to purpose never before imagined. We admire crows that use traffic to crack open nuts, elephants that swat flies with branches, and badgers that convert trailcams into toys.

Okay, maybe the last one is less brilliance than simple mischief. Be that as it may, Trailcam2 is gone. The strap has been chewed through by badger cubs and the camera dragged underground!

Lost camera

And there it will stay, at least until the badgers shove it outwards during their regular sett cleaning forays. I hope I do see it again eventually because I’m sure the footage that it has obtained during its captivity is spellbinding. Otherwise, an archaeologist in a few centuries’ time will ponder the meaning of a small rectangular camera deep inside a Surrey hill.

But even when the path has been trodden before, nature has the feeling of a pioneer. A toadlet venturing from its breeding pond into the wood cannot guess how many generations have preceded it.

Toadlet2 Jun 20

It is the first of its journeys, after all. Not like the rain, which is evaporated and precipitated over and over again.

As for the badgers, they write their stories in rocks as well as on trailcams. Scratch marks on chalk tell of their travels.

Badger scratches on chalk 14 Jun 20

Here’s a still that I got from Trailcam2 last week.

Badger 9 Jun

It was a good camera, and it will be missed – and replaced, of course.

But the badgers will still play whether they are watched or not.

17 thoughts on “The Maverick

  1. Yes, mischievous! To them it’s a toy and they love it. 🙂
    The ravens here are very smart. I have literally seen them “talk” to each other and cooperate in order to steal food from a dog. The poor dog didn’t have a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s amazing! Ravens are the most extraordinary birds. They’ve made a good recovery in the UK in recent years although haven’t reached my area yet. I have no doubt that they will be joining the magpies in teasing the foxes once they arrive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they certainly are. I don’t know how they do it – getting through the -45C winters is a feat in and of itself. Sometimes I will see them huddled in a group against the cold, but they need a lot of calories to survive and I’m not sure how they manage that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah you must be thinking about writing a book about badgers, you’re getting quite an insight to their lives. Aren’t they cheeky chappies & naughty, I hope you do recover it one day. Your blogs, words, pictures & humour make my day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Radu! I had a bear lick a trail camera when I was in Romania but not actually steal one. What mischievous badgers.

      I don’t have a GPS on these cameras although it is something that I’ve thought about. I wouldn’t be able to reach into the sett anyway though because that’s against the law here, as I’m sure the badgers know…


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