I tracked a mountain lion extensively early this winter before the snow was too deep to inhibit travel in much of our forest. On three occasions that he came through our slice of the forest, he passed close to a large Ponderosa Pine tree. During a snow melt, I discovered a big pile of mountain lion scat at the base of the tree. It seemed an auspicious place to post a wildlife camera.
I've waited for two months with no animals passing this camera. On Sunday afternoon, a mountain lion sauntered through the scene.
photographed this lion previously in our neck of the woods. For some reason, she looks like a female to me - but there's no scientific basis for that impression. Female lions have kittens under their care for almost their entire adult lives, except during the short months between sending a litter of kittens off into the big world and giving birth to the next litter.
So, today, I also looked around for tracks of kittens near the big tracks. I did find two sets of bounding tracks but, due to the snow melt, I have no way to know if they were mountain lion kittens or something else entirely. If this lion has kittens, I suspect that I'll see them on a wildlife camera someday.
It was interesting to realize that the Labraduo and I were nearby when this lion passed our trail system. I took the photo below within five minutes of when the lion's photo was taken. I recognize the spot, and we were about a quarter mile from the lion. Thank goodness that lions almost always live invisibly and peaceably among human and dog societies.
This morning, I pedaled and K ran to our exposed plateau just after the sun rose. I took a photo to capture how a golden sunrise reflects on her eyes and fur. Unknowingly, I also captured the tiny shadow of K on her boulder far off to the right in the photo.
I took her out for some more riding after a fast tire change with the Runner's help. I'm embarrassed to admit that a runner is faster at changing flat tires than I am!
It was warming up fast, and K sated her thirst with cold snow.
She satisfied her hunger with the sparse crop of rose hips still on the bushes. She picks them off the bushes very carefully, avoiding the sharp thorns on the stems.
And, for me, any day that I get wildlife camera photos of a mountain lion is a good one!