Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Thrilling and Most Unexpected Guest

I am fortunate to know small miracles and to hold them in the palm of my hand. 

I often see and expect to see many colorful wings of butterflies, birds and bees flitting about in the gardens and trees. Each seem like a small miracle to me. This north corner of my garden is a setting for a most unexpected guest. I shall never look upon it . . .  or walk within it . . .  quite the same again. For it seems to me . . .  a miraculous encounter of a very large order occurs here.

It is about midday . . . I am sitting at my computer editing, when suddenly I hear a small animal scurrying . . .  stirring dry leaves. I reach for my camera and take a look out the barn studio doors. A large brownish body of stealthy movement fills my eyes. I immediately know this is not a regular guest. 

I quietly open the screen door and it moves out into air and garden, allowing me a clear view of this magnificent creature, who stands not ten feet away from me. I stand in awe holding my Nikon SLR to my right eye . . . I am wearing a long skirt that falls to my ankles. This incredible chance sighting begins with an equal stare from me . . .  to the Bobcat and back again for sometime . . . enough time for me to take forty nine photographs. Clearly I am more of a curiosity than a threat . . . my face is not visible . . . nor any true human shape, since I am hidden behind lavender and blue folds of cloth. One knows this is a very shy animal . . . we are in rare time here.

I am overwhelmed by the beauty of this Lynx rufus. Equally amazed at him not running away. How boldly he displays his intricate markings.

I stand silent . . .  motionless, with the exception of the clicking of my camera, which seems to interest the feline. He moves in inquisitive and cautious ways, to further see the odd looking Cyclops of a thing gazing and clicking at himself.

He begins to back up. 

Scoping out the scene . . .  before he continues . . .  

stepping backwards, while his wide amber eyes hold me frozen . . . except for my index finger and left hand movement turning the lens in and out.

Then he turns around . . . seems to get lower to the ground and peeks over at me from behind a clump of  Hosta leaves.

So I think . . .  now he will bolt or at least walk away. Not so fast . . . he is not ready to give up on the stare game we are playing. His bobbed tail is expressive and if I knew how to read it, I might understand what is going on in his mind.

He has had enough and slowly turns around.

 Gorgeous Lynx! 

Gazing back . . .  through the Crabapples. I wish I understood tail language.

Now with a swift pace, he takes leave of me. 

One last look.

Then gone . . . as a Rose of Sharon stretches and senses wow! what was that? . . . Hosta seed pods shake, while Milkweed and Goldenrod sigh . . . that's a wild thing like us. How can I go on with my editing? I am too excited, but not sure I wish to go outside. This feline is much more in size than that of two domestic kitties . . . rather more like a very large dog. I call him a he because the male Bobcat is the larger of the sexes. I respect his space and leave the garden to the natives. I so hope you enjoy sharing this once in a lifetime experience with me. As I write this story, it is dark . . . the moon has not yet risen . . . Coyotes are howling and calling out in the lower garden . . . a frenzy that makes me fear for deer  perhaps eating fallen apples . . . their voices pierce the cool night in an exciting and blood curling way. Living so close to all these wild beings is inspiring, stimulating and keeps me inside more at night. Bobcat tend to dine on rabbits, field mice and many other small mammals. I have more concern for this one's cousin the Mountain Lion . . . though it has not been confirmed by biologists . . . several neighbors say they have seen these much larger human predators nearby.  If you would like to learn more about the solitary Bobcat you can visit here

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