Just before the fire broke out that caused us to evacuate Lab Valley, I set up two trail cameras, each facing in opposite directions, along a path next to a stream. I chose the spot because there are bear-marking trees there. The jet-black fur stuck to the tree's sap told me that bears had used it sometime within the previous few months. I always try to set up cams to see the mating rituals of bears in the fall before the spring mating season. Otherwise, I might miss the earliest bears.
Then, very soon after I set up the cams, the winds raged off of the Divide and multiple wildfires broke out in Colorado. One was very close to us. After we evacuated, slurry bombers hit the fire hard and prevented it from burning too much forest.
It's a small thing but all of the activity made a bush fall partway in front of one cam - and that's why the view is partially blocked.
This pair of cams was in the midst of that insanity. Firefighters swarmed the area, and fire retardant painted all of the trees red. Smoke was thick, and I thought that all of the animals who could flee would do so.
I was wrong. In the midst of it all, a mountain lion family passed the cams looking perfectly relaxed - far more relaxed than any of us humans. A few days later, a coyote ran past the cam carrying a deer leg. My guess is that the lion family had killed and eaten that deer, and the coyote was scavenging what remained.
Check out the video. I am thankful to the firefighters who kept the entire area from going up in flames and saved the lives of so many animals.