Jess Helps is not just an invaluable member of the Pest Free Banks Peninsula team, but also a great storyteller. At the end of 2021, Banks Peninsula was inundated with a deluge that affected large parts of the Wildside in particular. While this was a significant weather event for many affected parties, our team also lost a good amount of equipment to landslides and flooding in the area. However, not everything was lost. We'll leave Jess to tell the tale of Camera 66.

This is the intrepid story of Camera 66, a.k.a. Wildside 3-4 SD61. There is a lot of numbers I know, but what follows is an even longer tale:

Caption: This is a picture Camera 66 took of its motolure friend

This camera’s sole functional purpose was to watch a motorised lure for a period of 21 days. A simple task. Camera 66 is a basic, but vital device of the Pest Free Banks Peninsula project and it took the task seriously. It watched, and captured pictures, and most of them were as expected. This particular camera’s assignment however encountered… complications.

The above image was the last photo taken before its peaceful existence was interrupted by a deluge unlike anything the peninsula has seen in a very long time.

 

Caption: It’s pretty inky black here

The night was black, noisy, and sometime during the night the camera tumbled away, losing sight of its mayo excreting lure-friend. Its task was done! Mission Kaput. Surely it will never see anything again.

 

Caption: Foggy lenses make for rubbish photos

But the day dawned and through its foggy lenses the camera clicked. It may be lost, far removed from its assigned station but its quest was not over.

 

Caption: It may be foggy but Camera 66 still manages to get a butt shot of a bird

However, the view the camera had through the lens was not ideal, birds visited, which was nice, but the camera wasn’t able to do what it really needed to do. Always the same tilted view of trees, leaves and sky, and the fog collecting on its lens every morning became a drag too. One day quickly blurred into another. Partway through this ordeal it was almost discovered by a woman with a blue backpack, but she strode past quickly, wading through flood debris, the woman's mind on other more immediate and pressing concerns.

 

Caption: Even a slinky feral cat can’t escape the eagle eye of Camera 66

 

Caption: Camera 66 sees you, Blackbird

It seemed unlikely the steadfast piece of equipment would ever be discovered, a black cat slunk past, and the camera did its duty regardless. Hopes however that this footage would ever be found were all but dashed, nevertheless, it would carry on until its batteries flickered their last.

 

Caption: A joyous reunion!

This was not to be the case however when a human suddenly loomed over Camera 66. It was gently picked up and turned off. Job well done Camera 66; job well done.