K and I had a snowy and frolicking hike in the snow today. What an expression of joy from K!
Last night, I talked with a wildlife expert about the deceased bobcat who we found in the snow near a 4wd road but also near a rocky draw where mountain lions frequently roam. I described that all of the bobcat's whiskers were cut down to 1 centimeter stubs. He immediately said that was a strong sign that a mountain lion had killed the bobcat and had begun removing whiskers and fur prior to eating him. It seems likely that something, perhaps a jeep, scared the lion away from his kill, leaving the bobcat for us to find.
I have to say that all of your comments lifted my spirits so much yesterday. It's so wonderful to have an understanding community, who can empathize with my sadness over the loss of a predator. It also made me feel better to think that the bobcat's death was part of the natural order of nature rather than human error or malfeasance. Finally, thanks to all of you for your very generous comments about the photographs. An artist once told me that the key to photography is to "love your subjects" - I think that I've mastered that part but I never thought that anyone besides me would enjoy my photos.
This morning, the images on my wildlife camera at bobcat boulder swept my mind far away from the departed bobcat. Our local bobcat had visited the scent post, just after a rabbit ventured out of the cavern beneath the boulder.
The new wildlife camera at bobcat boulder is 'covert', yet the bobcat seemed to stare at it anyway. When I've triggered it in the dark, it makes a barely discernible red glow in one small point. I'm surprised that the bobcat focused on that subtle light so intensely. Perhaps she'll habituate to it over time. I suspect that this is the female bobcat who has previously rubbed her face on the rock and then had a boisterous rendezvous with another bobcat. My hope is that she will raise kittens this spring and we may see her again.