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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Eyes: Bobcat, K, and R

I've had a lot of eyes on me recently - first a bobcat from last night who visited one of my motion-activated wildlife cameras posted in our forest. More about that later in the post.
Then, K looked at me with a fierce intensity during our morning wander in the woods.
K loves making eye contact with me. Even when we're walking, as my wildlife camera photo shows, she often peers at me. Yes, that's a down jacket - winter has arrived.
After taking K for her brief stroll and playing with her, R and I headed out for a short mountain bike ride. The wildlife camera on my property captured our image. For new readers, R wears a muzzle in the woods because he has an obsession with eating wild mushrooms. The mushroom season seems to never end because the squirrels harvest them and hang the mushrooms in trees to dry with plans to eat them in the dead of winter. Then, gusts of wind blow the 'shrooms to the ground, and R finds them. So, although no live mushrooms are growing in our forest now, R still has to wear a muzzle after our banner mushroom season.
Then, during a break in our ride, R gazed into my eyes. Look how "soft" his eyes are compared to K's eyes when she looks at me. R looks me straight in the eye but he squints and blinks quickly. I've read that those mannerisms mean that he's trying to be non-threatening because, in the dog world, looking anyone straight in the eye is an assertive and almost aggressive move.
R and I climbed through cold and damp air through brilliant aspen groves.
We arrived up high to see a thicker coat of snow on the Continental Divide and active storms swirling among the peaks. No doubt, winter has conquered the alpine world.
Indeed, during my longer ride later, the storms descended from the highest peaks and moved toward me. It snowed briefly but then the storms retreated to high elevations.
I loved my bike ride today. It started right, with R by my side, although I never stop aching to have K with me. Then, my legs felt snappy and ready to pedal. I sprinted up small hills that have felt like endlessly steep mountains to me lately. I think that the Power of the Paw has helped me immensely. And, because my attitude is much stronger and more upbeat, K seems happier too! Thank you.

I've written in the past about my vision of the bobcat as an example of a feisty, defiant, and resilient animal. When I had spine surgery back in January, I wanted to use the bobcat as my guide for approaching the whole process with panache.

So, I felt a surge of energy when I saw that a bobcat had visited two of my motion-activated wildlife cameras in the woods near my house last night. First, at about 8:30 PM, he stared quizzically at a camera posted in an anonymous spot in the midst of the forest. Notice his huge eyes - that's a hallmark of a nocturnal animal.
Then, he moved closer to sniff it.
After sniffing the camera, he rubbed his face against the camera, clearly marking it with his scent. This behavior is known to be done by bobcats to announce their presence. The VERY odd thing is that this exact camera has now been marked by a bear who rubbed his back on it, a mountain lion who rubbed his body on it, and a bobcat. I think that the camera itself is becoming a scent post. I never expected that. Here's one of several photos of the bobcat rubbing his face on the camera.
Next, he went to the spot in front of the camera where several bobcat scats lie and where a mountain lion left a big paw scrape about 2 weeks ago.
After looking around, he focused in one direction and appeared to open his mouth. Perhaps he was meowing?

About nine hours later, before dawn this morning, the wildlife camera on my property caught a bobcat walking past. Was this the same bobcat who had visited my camera a mile away nine hours earlier? Perhaps he tracked me from one camera to the other. In any case, the bobcat behind my house looked very well fed - his belly hung low, full from a good meal. His paws looked dirty, like he'd walked a long way during his night of hunting.
If I were the mystical sort, I'd say that the bobcat visited my slice of the woods last night to infuse me with positive energy that I can use to help K heal. Regardless of why he visited, he did infuse me with a defiant strong attitude. Thanks, Bobcat, I needed that.

Here's to the Power of the Paw, even a bobcat's paw!


  1. We about nudged 80 today and you have 'winter' -

    What great pics of the Labraduo -

    Khyra says HELLO KHYTTY -

    We KNEW your determination and K's determination were a perfect match!

  2. I'm glad the bobcat visited when you needed his mojo! I love how the pictures of K and the bobcat are so similar!

  3. Looks like R had a great run during your ride. Sure hope K is feeling better really soon.I hope that bobcat brought along the healing power that K needs.
    Great Pictures!

  4. Ooooo. I be he is bigger than me!!


  5. LOL - we have a pup here with paws that dirty:) That bobcat is one big creature.

    You put a mile on my face with the description of your ride today.

  6. Really great blog you have here! Just found it from the blog hop and became a follower. When you have a chance, take a look at Bocci's Beefs-I'm ussing the blog to primarily promote pet adoption and rescue. We'd love to have you as a follower.
    My sister is a wildlife photographer morphing into pet photography and lives in Seattle. Check out her site here:

    I'll look forward to seeing your photos, and reading about life in Colorado-I hope to move there soon!

  7. For me, I think the look in R's eyes is pure love. We had a lab mix that when we came home from work each day would greet us with those sweet almond shaped eyes and lowered ears. K's are more questioning, ears more alert.

    We are having a little rainstorm tonight and my girl has tucked herself in her bed.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  8. Oh K you look happee on your stroll. Awesome bobcat
    Benny & Lily

  9. Wow, those pictures of the Bobcat are amazing. And since I am kind of a mystical guy, I say it was the same bobcat!

    Your pal, Pip

  10. The pictures are quite breathtaking! Since we're in the city, just looking and feeling the energy in Coloradofrom your descriptionmakesus want to move there!

    Hugs & Smoochies! XOXO

    Hugs & smoochies!!

    Hailey & Lala

  11. The Thundering Herd said K could use some good vibes so I came over to say hello and send my very best purrs!

    Huffle Mawson, Honorary Husky and Explorer Cat

  12. The bobcat pictures are amazing! I also love the close-ups of K and R .. they both just radiate love in their own way.

    The beauty that surrounds you is incredible!

  13. The Year of the Bobcat and the Power of the Paw - a terrific combination. Terrific close-ups of the bobcat.

  14. Very cool photos of the bobcat :)

    Both K and R give you adoring looks that can't help but make you smile :)

    I shivered when I saw you in the down jacket and the cold storm clouds blanketing the mountain. Made Mom wanna run make some hot chocolate :)

    Waggin at ya,

  15. the op pack sent me! what a beautiful bloggie -- also wanted to send power of the paw to ya.. heal up soon:)


  16. Hi
    I am Jazzi. Nice to meet you. Looks like a nice timeout with R. My mom grew up in Colorado. She loves the mountains~~So your pictures were so pretty!! Hope K is feeling better. Nice power from that Bobcat!!


  17. Cannot believe how your aspens are holding their leaves, KB! Love the "eye" photos - of the pups and the cat! Looks like I may have snow in my yard when I return to Breck.

  18. hihi miss KB and K and R!
    i'm the booker man, a fellow labradude from south carolina! the OP pack woofed about ya'll, and so i'm here to visit! you really have a super beautiful bloggie. me and my big sis asa and my mama love the mountains, and we have dreamed about living in colorado. we will live our dream vicariously through you, if that's okie dokie. :)
    we wanted to let you know that we are sending sweet miss K the power of the paw and sendin' mega healy vibes for her paw to heal up very soon! it looks like mr. bobcat agrees, too! heehee.

    the booker man

  19. That bobcat looks so scawy!
    We are sniffing on over from the Chronicles of Woos - they were right - your blog is awesome!


  20. Wow! I'm very new to the blog world, and was mesmerized by your post. What an amazing way to learn about the wildlife with which you share your land. The cameras are amazing. I'll definitely visit you again. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Incredible. I can't believe you have a scent post camera! You can't buy that at any store!!!


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