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Sunday, April 3, 2011

A mountain lion's calling card

We've had some amazingly gorgeous spring signs here in the past few days. Our first Pasqueflowers, wild crocuses, have sprouted in the meadows.

The Duo and I have been making the most of the long days, enjoying the sunshine.
We saw a divine sunset last night with golden clouds radiating up from the Continental Divide with deep blue sky in the background. The clouds were a forerunner of the snowstorm that arrived today.
As we walked home in the fading light yesterday evening, I felt uncharacteristically skittish, wondering what animals might be watching us. Both dogs were on lead, and I had my pepper spray so I assured myself that I was being ridiculous. We arrived home without incident, and I laughed at myself for my silly sixth sense.

About an hour after our hike, one of my trail cameras captured a mountain lion in our territory. This morning, when I arrived at the camera and looked toward the scent post that an elk sniffed just a few days ago, I immediately knew that a mountain lion had been there and left his calling card. I saw the huge furrows, about 18" long, in the dirt, to the left of a bobcat's scat in the photo.
Here's the series of photos that I found on the camera's memory card.
As he passed the tree with the scent markings of many animals below it, his head went down as he sniffed.
He decided to leave his own territorial message and prepared to scrape the dirt with his hind paws.
He kicked back with his left hind paw.
Then, he scraped the dirt with his right hind paw.
With the scraped area ready, he lifted his tail to pee.
But, in the midst of it, he was distracted by something behind him in the forest and stared in that direction.
He decided that it was no threat and finished his business.
Tail held high, he walked away from the scent post.
The tail end of his visit...
He's the first mountain lion who I've captured photos of recently who doesn't have a big GPS collar around his neck. I wonder if he's a young male passing through in search of his own territory. In any case, I'm thrilled that I captured photos of this majestic animal.

I love my wildlife cameras!


  1. Oh my goodness! I've never been the 1st to post!!!
    These are some amazing pics of this cat. One in particular shows off his incredible musculature and power. It's no wonder your "spidey sense" was on high alert. It's uncanny how often those instinctual warnings are spot on. Happy Sunday evening :)

  2. Absolutley fasinating!!!


  3. Hubby and I had that feeling once out on the Mogollon Rim, in Arizona. Every hair on my arms stood up and he said the hairs on the back of his neck did. Beautiful photos! I found tracks of one up in our local mountains.

  4. Great pictures!


  5. Wow!!! I love your wildlife cameras too--What amazing pictures!! I also love the flowers, how beautiful they must look blooming at the end of a long winter!!

  6. What a magnificent animal. We love your wildlife cameras, too.

  7. Wow...what a muscular boy he is! Love that first crouch he does...looks SO powerful! Great sixth sense KB!!!!

  8. Wowzers! We're all lucky that you have the wildlife cameras, too! That is one impressive cat!

    The Duo looks awfully striking there against that blue sky. :)

  9. he may be a young lion, but he sure looks huge to me. Your skittishness was well-founded. Glad you got home when you did.

    That was a truly gorgeous sunset.

    We are awaiting the next stage of your snowstorm with some severe thunderstorms moving in on us. The pups would much prefer some snow:)

  10. He may be young, but he sure looks muscular. Careful does it, KB! (PS Love the pic of the duo in your bike jerseys in the former post.)

  11. The mountain lion pictures are awesome

  12. PS I forgot to mention - Pasque Flowers already??

  13. Amazing bobcat pictures, I am stunned by how big and muscular he looks in the photos.
    So powerful and beautiful.

    Your pictures from the Canyon are just beautiful, I visited there once when I was about 10, and I hope to go back one day with my kids to show them it's beauty.

  14. Opps...I meant mountain lion! I can't keep them straight:)

  15. Hi Y'all,

    What a great series of mountain lion pictures!

    The detail of the photos of the Pasqueflowers is something you don't even seen with the naked least not mine...maybe young eyes are different.

    My husband fell in love with your labmobile.

    Take care y'all!
    BrownDog's Momma

  16. Your wildlife cameras are the best thing ever!
    Look at the world you capture!

  17. Guess the post proves that you should never , ever underestimate that sixth sense.

  18. Gorgeous Mountain Lion! That trail camera sure was on duty that night! Thanks for sharing :)


  19. Amazing footage. Always rely on that six senth - it hasn't been given to you by mistake :)
    Sending lotsaluv

  20. love the crocus pictures!
    and the mnt lion is so majestic, and always listen to your intuition! :)
    you referred to the lion as he, but he urinated, i'm confused?

  21. Wow!! Georgeous wildflower closeups! And beautiful K & R, and mountain photos.
    The lion is amazing to see. Such power in the body build...and calm upon hearing the distraction.
    Thanks for sharing the mountain lion with us! Is this a main trail area for you?

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  22. Wow! Check out that big cat! I loved the photos of the flowers too.

  23. wow, check out the muscles on that cat!!!! awesome to see.

    you captured the pasque flowers beautifully!

  24. Beautiful pictures!! I love your wildlife cameras too very much!! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

  25. I love your wildlife cameras too! Amazing shots. BTW, I love crocuses. They're definitely a sign of warmer days ahead. Hang in there.

  26. I so partial to Pasqueflowers. I had some in my scree bed but because of Maritime weathers they slowly faded away. I really enjoy seeing your vegetation and the angles of POV photography.


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