Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Birds at the squirrel feeder

This little guy, a Tufted Titmouse, visited the squirrel feeder today.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Slideshow - PR Dover-Dozen (click on it)

Time Lapse Video

Interesting - If you look carefully at a rock near the surface of the lake in the lower right of yesterday's time-lapse video you can actually see the lake level rising and covering the rock during the day -

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bird visiting the squirrel feeder

Here's a bird that visited the squirrel feeder after Mr. Squirrel was done. I will probably have to set up a bird cam and a bird feeder soon. Looks like a Black-capped Chickadee.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trip to Newfoundland - by Mike

In 2007 Jan and I drove to Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. We took the Cat ferry from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova-Scotia. From there we drove the length of NS to Sydney. From Sydney we took another ferry to Port au Basques, NF and from there drove on to Gros Morne National Park. That journey takes 24 hours - if you time the ferry's right. There's a lot to see in Newfoundland. It's a wonderful place to explore, not crowded and has good camping and hiking. And if you go there be sure to try Bakeapple Pie with ice-cream - yum.

Now, if you go to live there as a transplant you gotta be "screeched in". To become an official "Newfie" you must drink a cup of Newfoundland Screech rum and kiss a codfish. Now when I was told this I thought that sounds a little too easy. I think you should have to jump into the cold water and swim around a bit. But why should I complain. :)

Sunrise at Sebec Lake

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lake Level Update

Bob Hall reports "Lake going down slowly ~ 0.5 inch/day (presumably in readiness to remove flashboards). Not having the south gate available to be opened is a real impediment; under the present conditions of water input to the lake, having that gate 'available' would increase the lake level drop rate to ~ 2.5 inches/day. The Ampersand folks do appear to be working to get it back into availabilty. (And to generate revenues - all the water presently going over the flashboards basically represent lost revenues for them)."

Saturday, October 18, 2008 - Progress

Ok, the squirrel cam is running at I detect a squirrel not by frame differences, ie. motion detection but by analyzing the spatial frequency content of a small region of interest (ROI) of each image in the place where the squirrel would be present. Because the camera is zoomed in tight and the resulting aperture is wide open, the focus depth of field is very small resulting in the far background being out of focus. The spatial frequencies present in that defocused background are low and when the squirrel is present the spacial frequencies of the well focused rodent are high. Taking the FFT of the ROI reveals the frequency spectrum of the ROI. Taking the absolute value of the FFT tells me what the relative magnitude of the spatial frequencies are. Low frequencies means bacground and high frequecies means foreground focused object. I set a mangitude threshold for the presence of a squirrel and presto, when he is there I save the image and post it. And that's my technical rant of squirrel detection :)

Somehow I've got to get inside the mind of the squirrel.. what are his habits, what makes him tick. Squirrelentology, the science of squirrel study, will hopefully be advanced by this webcam.

Making progress on the squirrel cam. Still testing the squirrel detection software.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween Moon !

Doesn't the moon look like a Halloween Pumpkin -- eyes, mouth and glowing top? This image is just as it came off the camera!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Squirrels gone wild

Attention squirrel lovers and others. The squirrel cam is returning. Please stand by, it won't be long before those feisty squirrel antics can be viewed via the "best quality squirrel cam on the internet" ;)

I'm writing new software for that will be more reliable and also have better indication of when a squirrel is present. Last spring I was using a motion detection scheme. That involves looking at a difference metric between two consecutive frames. However that is not always very good measure of squirrel presence becuase there are other motions in the image that can trigger a detection such as wind blowing tree branches or changes in the lighting due to a cloud blocking the sun. Currently, I'm making a detection algorithm that will look at the statistics within a small region of the image (ROI) where the squirrel will be present. So, when this is completed I will put the camera online again. Shouldn't be too long now.

There is food at the feeder and a squirrel visited it but they seem to be so much more interested preparing for winter gathering nuts that they are not taking the time to sit and eat. Anyone know anything about squirrels habits?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sebec Lake Webcam

Welcome to Sebec Lake Webcam blog! Webcam status and lake discussion will be posted here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Time Lapse Video

The time lapse video is automatically generated each night and then downloaded to the web server. It’s kind of fun to see how much can be done with limited bandwidth. The is dial-up has a data rate of of 56k baud and usually connects a bit slower than that. The camera is set up to take 4 images per minute x 60 min/hr x 12 hrs = 2880 frames in a movie.

The upload file is more than 10MB and the whole process takes a about 5 hours to complete. Think about the mars rover. It operates remotely (very) and does not have broadband comm back to earth. Looking it up I see the maximum downlink data rate from a rover is 11060bps or 11.06k. Our dialup is 56k. So, if they can do with 11k I think we can do ok with 56k.

Below is an example of a Sebec Lake Webcam time-lapse video. Go to for the latest daily update.