The creepy-cool fun of having a backyard critter cam

I recently bought a cheap critter cam for our backyard. We have a small pond with a waterfall and we kept seeing the plastic lily pads and pond plants being violently disrupted and we lost at least one of our goldfish (to a giant egret).

So, I bought the camera, set it up pointing at the pond, and anxiously waited to see who was having their way with our water feature while we slumbered. Turns out, our (fully fenced-in) backyard gets crowded after the sun goes down.

I was amazed by how many nocturnal creatures I saw in the camera footage. So far (in just a few weeks), I've seen three neighborhood cats, a racoon, a huge (probably mamma) skunk, and two teenage(?) skunks. And a tail I couldn't identify, but probably a racoon. I'm glad to see that there aren't any coyotes, wild cats, or anything else too threatening. At least not yet.

There is something uniquely spooky about looking through the nighttime footage each week. You see the pond and you wait for the critter that triggered the motion detector to make its appearance. Sometimes, you just see the glow of eyes in the distance, or a tail flagging its way across the frame. A few times, the camera has turned on and there has been no visible source of the disturbance in the footage. There's a creepy sense of spine-tingling anticipation as I look at each captured 15-second clip.

My newfound interest in critter photography has me now looking at trail cam videos on YouTube.