|Amiri 4th Oct 2013|
Kiki and Amiri are still regular visitors...
|Kiki (left) and Amiri (right) 7th Oct 2013|
...as is Scruffles.
|Scruffles 5th Oct 2013|
Dexter is still occasionally sleeping in Box 1 or 3, and one of the other males (Baxter or Deckard) has also recently been seen in the box 3. None have visited the house, although one of them (probably Dexter) has recently been seen high up in a Chinese Elm, sampling the new buds which seem to be a choice food for possums at this time of year.
When last seen, Dexter had a nasty bite wound on the back, Baxter had an infection around his eye, and Deckard had just been in a fight with Dexter, so I've been hoping for at least one of them to come close enough that they could be inspected for wounds and treated if necessary - but no luck on this so far.
A carpet python (quite likely the 2 m one seen in August) came to check out the ceiling space where Baxter had been trapped. Scruffles was in the ceiling space at the time, but escaped being eaten.
|Carpet Python in ceiling space 1st Oct 2013|
I finally got around to replacing the notoriously bad Box 2 camera.
The details of this might be mildly helpful to anyone setting up their own box cameras, but are unlikely to be relevant or interesting to anyone else. So if you're reading this blog just because you're interested in possums, you can skip the rest of this post without missing out on anything.
Replacing the camera was a relatively big job because the old camera had an integral 20' cable, which meant I had to pull in new cabling along with replacing the camera. I also made a number of other improvements. I decided to change the way the cable entered the box; rather than simply having the bare cable entering under the roof of the box, I used flexible conduit to go via a junction box on the back of the box.
|Box 2 in tree showing external junction box|
The effect of this is that the cabling is completely protected from the weather, but can also be detached without having to open the box. This means that if there's a sick possum in the box, the box can be taken down from the tree and transported to a vet without having to disturb the possum or cut the cable. I've never actually had to do this, but I think it's a good feature to have just in case.
|The new Box 2 camera|
The new camera was billed as a "pinhole camera". It isn't technically a true pinhole camera, but simply has a very small lens. I chose this type of camera because box 2 is very small and possums often come very close to the camera. This means that the camera needs a very large depth of field to keep the possum in focus. Supposedly, the smaller the aperture of a camera lens, the greater the depth of field, with a true pinhole camera having theoretically an infinite depth of field. So this camera should have been ideal.
It turns out that the picture is fairly fuzzy anyway, so I might as well have used a standard camera.
|Box 2 Camera in protective junction box with IR LEDs and power supply|
I mounted the camera inside a circular junction box, rather than simply screwing it to the ceiling of the box. This was mainly to protect it from being knocked out of alignment by inquisitive or fighting possums.
|Box 2 camera and temperature sensor (bottom right) installed in box|
Another thing I did was to place a temperature sensor inside the box. I sometimes wonder when I see a possum lying on its back in a box, just how hot it is in there. My intention is to display the box temperature on the camera alongside the date and time, but it's going to take a bit of time to set this up.