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Wildlife

Yesterday I had estate things to do after work, so I ended up going to El Chorro Regional Park at about five o'clock. I took the hike I usually do there, except that I didn't do the extra jaunt up to Eagle Rock. I heard voices periodically and kept expecting to see someone on the trail but I think the voices came from the golf course nearby. The way sound travels up makes for odd things at times.

I saw a flock of wild turkeys, took some unsuccessful pictures, then found them again later. I got a little bit of video that time because I love the sound they make. They were having a conversation or perhaps an argument with a crow flying overhead.

Later, though, was the prize. I saw this lovely beast:




I thought it was a mountain lion but it seemed too small. Later I looked up big cats and confirmed Paul's determination that it was a lynx, otherwise known as a bobcat. I thought initially that it wasn't a bobcat because it's ears didn't look right. But there are many versions.

I have to admit I was a little nervous. I did not know the proper behavior and the cat came right toward me. I stayed still, taking pictures when I could, and eventually he or she turned and went calmly up the hill. During this time I managed to mess up the settings on my camera accidentally and lost what might have been some good shots.

Later, of course, I looked up the behavior business too, in case I am fool enough to venture out at dusk again. What a great time to see animals! I also saw a hawk or maybe it was an owl. The hills are alive, all right, but with a different kind of music.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
n6vfp
Jun. 21st, 2005 12:28 pm (UTC)
Wow...
After the incidents with big cats we have had locally over the last few years I'd exercise a bit of caution. As long as you are appearing larger than the cat you may not be perceived as prey. We had one death and a couple of people severely wounded when grown adults were attacked by mountain lions. You might want to alert the rangers at the park of your sighting as they need to be aware that a cat is around. Great picture though, just be careful.
judith
Jun. 21st, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow...
There are several warnings at the entrance to the hike: mountain lions, snakes, and ticks. No mention of bobcats, perhaps because they are less threatening and more common. I'm not sure.

Anyway, I know now what to do! As much as I love hiking alone it did give me pause to see this beautiful animal practically come up to me. I did the right thing in maintaining eye contact with it, but can do a little more the next time. Finding that balance between loving the animals and being safe, that would be the key!
againsthestream
Jun. 21st, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)
amazing!
Wow! What a beautiful animal!
judith
Jun. 21st, 2005 06:14 pm (UTC)
Re: amazing!
Oh, it was. And amazingly calm. I wasn't quite as calm.
the_fantum
Jun. 21st, 2005 03:39 pm (UTC)
great picture .. always wanted to see a "bob"cat in the wild .. not sure why I wanted the danger but you did well .. most great white hunters have guides :)
judith
Jun. 21st, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
I didn't exactly go looking for it. Mostly it was a matter of not thinking ahead, not thinking this could happen. I don't panic easily, at least not visibly. Fortunately.
jackiejj
Jun. 21st, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
What a shot!

And steady, too!

(My photograph would have been of my foot, or the sky, because I would be so shaky!)

How brave you were. And look at your reward--a lovely photograph.
judith
Jun. 21st, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
Well, it isn't as sharp as I'd like. But I think that's as much a function of the light as of the camera and me. When it gets darker it is harder to get sharp pix, at least digitally. Still, he or she posed beautifully and right there in that splash of filtered light.

Later I imagined what would have been made of the scene if I'd been found there, chewed up. Not that bobcats tend to chew people up as a matter of course. But people would know - they'd look in the camera and see the last shots and put it together. Maybe there'd even be one of the cat springing...heh...I can really see myself thinking "Got to get that shot..." just before I went down...
jackiejj
Jun. 21st, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
:)

I'm glad it didn't take you down...
prom
Jun. 21st, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC)
beautiful shot there, judith! i mean outstanding!

down here we don't mess around with bobcats. you were very, very fortunate - they do attack on occasion!

please tell me you won't start channeling steve irwin..
judith
Jun. 21st, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
You have my solemn vow. No hip boots. No khaki.
attelage
Jun. 22nd, 2005 01:36 am (UTC)
Wow...magnificent! Do you notice he has markings on his coat like my Bengal cat (see my current journal entry).
How absolutley your good fortune to see him so casually.
He is a Lynx for sure.

I am going to now make Lynx paw track pendants thanks to this inspiration!
judith
Jun. 22nd, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
Yes, I did notice some similarities. What a great idea, the paw prints. The mountain lion has distinct interesting paw prints, by the way. You might want to look those up too.
attelage
Jun. 22nd, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
Say, how did the beads go over at work?
I'm so curious!
=)
judith
Jun. 22nd, 2005 01:09 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah! Those who notice anything really liked them. Liked them a lot.

Not only that but I wore them to a concert with my friend Dorothy, and afterwards we went for coffee. She was really intrigued by them. I even took them off so she could examine them.

I think I'm doing a good job advertising your work (except that it has not occurred to anyone to ask me how they could get some)! It's so unusual that people can't help noticing.

Are you getting the same reaction from others?
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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