Spring has arrived in January here in the mountains! I pedaled up to Hug Hill first thing this morning, enjoying the warmth and well-packed trails. The cloudless sky pulled us upward to the peak, a spot that I'll never stop enjoying.
I had no idea that it was such a dramatic landing until I looked at the photo. I literally cringed, thinking of her "bad" paw when I saw this photo.
She was fine, thank goodness. Her eyes shined, carefree and happy in the morning sun just after her jump.
Well, within hours of putting a camera on that gully, I had a visitor. A bobcat stuck his head into the frame from the right.
He sauntered to the end of a a rotten tree trunk and began kicking backward with his hind paws. I've captured this behavior on video in the past so I know that he alternately kicks with each foot (left, right, left, right). This creates a "scrape" that he then marks with urine and sometimes scat.
His tail went up and he squatted. He had no idea that he had *no* privacy!
Then, he scanned the area before marching onward. I love the black and white stripes on the backs of his ears.
Finally, he stretched out his legs, taking long strides uphill. I think that he was heading to a rocky escarpment where I've seen his tracks many times. He hunts the rabbits who live under the boulders.
I think that it's intriguing that I've been photographing bobcats in my area for close to two years now, and I've never captured a photo of a mother and kitten bobcat. I wonder why. Perhaps our territory is dominated by an iron-pawed male and the females stay in the shadows, away from my cameras. Male bobcats are a big threat to kittens and will attack them. So, this explanation might make sense.
At about the same time as the bobcat walked up the shady gully, the Duo and I were playing in the sun. I may be repeating myself but we always start with training games, to put the dog pair into the right state of mind to romp with abandon but pay attention to me if I call them.
We started with a sit-stay but neither dog pretended that they were focused on me. They did stay, however.