Monday, September 10, 2007
Case of the rattling garbage bag
The garbage bag with the skunk in the background
Around 4:30, maybe 5:00am I heard rattling outside my window. Being wide awake I went outside to poke my head around the corner. In the darkness two raccoons ran beside me, up a fence, and disappeared into the darkness. Down the alley one of the neighbours had left a garbage bag out and had not put it into a bin. The raccoons were getting at it tearing the bag to shreds.
Most people would have placed the bag into the bin and gone back inside to sleep. Me, on the other hand, decided it would be a great opportunity to try out my ML-3. The Nikon ML-3 is a wireless remote that plugs into the D200 (camera body). One of the nifty features is that you can set it as a trip wire. The hand held remote can be placed somewhere aimed at the receiver attached to the camera. An infrared beam is continuous. When something breaks the beam the camera takes a picture.
I had originally bought the remote to use as a wireless trigger only. To be able to press the button with my finger and take a picture. It was an important thing to have when trying to sync two camera bodies while doing my stereoscopy imagery. Having a trip wire option seemed excessive. Excessive until now.
I started setting up the camera on a tripod aimed and focused on the garbage bag. While fiddling with the camera I heard something and automatically fired the shutter (using the camera's shutter button). The result being the above picture. At the time I was expecting a raccoon. When my brain realized it was a skunk there was a whole different outlook on shooting the wild animal.
Raccoons can have rabies but skunks can make you stink for days. For some reason getting a needle in your gut for the rabies seemed okay compared to showing up at an event smelling like skunk. It's amazing how one's brain works in the wee hours of the morning.
Once the skunk was scared away by the flash I decided to pack up the gear, throw the bag of trash into the bin and call it a night.