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Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day and Bobcats!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's one of my favorite holidays. I've had chocolate labs in my life for 25 St. Patty's Days and counting! K and I warmed each other during sunrise this morning.
The sunrise, blue sky, singing birds, drumming woodpeckers, and touches of green on the ground had my spirits soaring this morning. K sparkled in the morning sun as she surveyed the meadows.

After K came down from her boulder, we rode through a meadow and almost crossed paths with the elk herd who had been hidden behind rocky outcroppings. It was a big herd who seemed indecisive about which way to go. They'd decided on southwest when I took this photo. It shows only about half of the herd.
K has had tons of experience with encountering elk herds when she's off-leash. Because I've called her to me every single time we've seen the elk, I no longer have to call. Spotting the elk is her cue to come to me and then to maintain eye contact. She hovered near my studded bike tire while the herd passed, eyes pinned on mine but her nose twitched as she sampled the elk scent. I rewarded her lavishly!
I've been asked several times about K's bell. She wears it for two reasons. First, when I'm mountain biking, I can keep track of her by the sound of her bell. She prefers to run to my right and slightly behind me, and, due to my neck fusion, I can no longer swivel my head to check that she's in position. The bell has solved that problem because I can hear her. The bell also forewarns wildlife that we're in the area. The unexpected thing is that we seem to "surprise" a lot of animals despite the jangling bell so I'm not certain how well it works. It's not an "official bear bell" but rather a bell that our local hardware store started carrying after wildlife officials suggested that bells on dogs might reduce dog-mountain lion encounters.

I especially like that the dogs wear bells when we're out at dawn or dusk because that's a time of intense wildlife activity.
Last night, the deer continued their return to our forest. This doe stared at my camera for about three minutes - and my wildlife camera snapped about a zillion photos. She stuck her tongue out for this photo, which is why I chose it.
My friend, Joanie De Bever, spotted a pair of bobcats outside her house a couple of days ago and took three photos in quick succession. Seeing multiple bobcats together is extremely rare, as many of you know. I can think of three situations where they would be together: 1) if two competing cats meet and are having a territorial spat, 2) if a mother has kitten(s) younger than a year or so old, 3) if a male and female are courting.

In the photos shown below that Joanie kindly gave me permission to use, it seems like the two bobcats were moving in parallel and working together. Neither has an 'angry posture' or facial expression. The only hint of either of them being upset is that the closer bobcat's ears are pinned back in the first photo and the other bobcat seems to be staring stonily toward his cohort in all three photos. However, Joanie says that they didn't seem antagonistic toward each other and walked away together.

Neither cat looks obviously younger than the other although it's conceivable that one is an almost-adult kitten. It seems most likely to me that they were a male and female courting.
I was so excited to see those bobcat photos! Wow.

29 comments:

  1. wow! is right! so cool....
    LOVE the first 3 pics!! so beautiful...love to see you and K together...
    hope you have an peaceful weekend!
    xoxo

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  2. I'm sure you can imagine Khyra's excitement too!

    Great K pics!

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  3. Hi Y'all,

    I've never seen a pair of bobcats together. The pictures of K in silhouette are stunning.

    What a wonderful day!

    Y'all take care,
    BrownDog's Momma

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  4. We love that first pic - the love shines through. Too bad that deer couldn't have entered Anna's tongue-tacular contest:)

    How I would love to be able to get even one photo half as good as all of yours!

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  5. Whether it is you and the pups, the pups alone, or your fantastic glimpses of the wilderness in which you live, your photos capture a love of live and a respect for our world. Just visiting this blog is uplifting.

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  6. Gorgeous pics! Love the first pic of you and K together - so precious. And K's silhouette against the sun is just awesome!

    Amazing wildlife you have passing through there! I think the FiveSibes would be very excited!

    Happy St. Patty's Day to you and your beautiful furbabies!

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  7. WOW indeed!!! Great photographs again today.

    Never heard of Hampton before, but I think I've heard of that team they will be playing tomorrow.

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  8. The shadowy photos of K are truly exquisite. Low light photos can be tricky. Nice job! Love the bobcats too. Such interesting creatures. Happy Friday, almost!

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  9. Great pictures and post, as always!! I've missed your blog and look forward to being back on a regular basis now!

    Hope you've had a good day!!

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  10. I love the first peekture of K standing on the boulder - simply breath taking.

    I just can't help but to laugh at the expression of the deer in the peekture, too cute! & I love the bobcats peektures too. If they were a courting couple, maybe soon you'll start seeing tracks and signs of baby cubs!

    Woofs,
    Pepsi

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  11. Great Bobcat pics . . .I have seen courting couples (human) looking just a little annoyed at each other, haven't you? Great Elk pics too, and you and K.

    As the beautiful Siku Marie says:

    "your photos capture a love of life and a respect for our world"

    Cheers,
    Jo and Stella

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  12. Happee St. Patricks Day
    Benny & Lily

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  13. Those photos of K are breathtaking! Wow! Twenty five years with chocolate Labs is an impressive record. I'm curious, have you ever seen a steel Lab? I came across something that mentioned them a while back, but I've never met one.

    I love the bobcat photos, too! How cool to be able to see them like that!

    You left out that the bells sound like music in the quiet of the forest. At least ours do, when the girls wear them.

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  14. We just love ,,, love,,, love the photos.
    Were just in awe for all the beauty you share
    love
    tweedles

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  15. All your pics are great, but love the first 3!

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  16. The first silhouette of K is just so beautiful! What a great shot!

    Very cool about the bobcats. Glad you are enjoying your spring rides.

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  17. Stunning pictures. Wish I could find words to write which isn't already used. Your visitors are so good with words so I just agree. Love EM

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  18. Those bobcats are so well caouflaged its amazing you were able to capture them on camera.

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  19. Joanie's bobcat pics are great. I have a hard enough time just seeing one much less getting any pics.

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  20. Those are excellent photos of the bobcats. My eyeballs went real big though on the K silhouette photo! Fabulous! Hope you frame it :D

    Waggin at ya,
    Roo

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  21. Beautiful pics, and I do think the kitties are courting...it's spring and love is in the air and all! I bet if it had sound you'd have heard some Barry White in the background! ;)

    Have a super weekend!

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  22. Barry White... LOL!! K in silloette. Beautiful, KB.

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  23. OMD...dat pikture of K is....oh I just don't even have da words...beautiful doesn't quite get it!

    Puddles

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  24. i LOVE the silhouette pictures of K! they are so gorgeous...frame them, please!!
    thanks for sharing your friend's bobcat pictures. how cool to witness such a rare event and get good pictures of it!

    the booker man and asa's mama

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  25. Since I am reading two posts at once, hope you get your internet and computer issues fixed soon (and cheaply).

    The pictures of the bobcats are stunning. How fortunate she was to capture those shots.

    And we LOVE the silhouette pictures - especially the first one.

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  26. Hells bells...we bought Sophie 2 bells last year because of coyote and bobcat sightings here. Today, it was confirmed that a bobcat downed a deer near Conrad's Beach which is the beach we frequent, so the bells are coming out again.

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  27. How interesting - and what an exciting encounter for your friend to have observed (and recorded). This is the kind of thing that would happen once in a lifetime!!
    The bell's a great idea - that way you can keep K safe ;)

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  28. The photos of the bobcats are exciting to see. And I really like the silhouettes of K. I supposed it's weird to say but they have a spiritual feel to them.

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  29. I'm catching up (or trying to). Love those images of 2 bobcats together. Amazing.

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