A long time ago, I earmarked today to have K's birthday adventure, an outing for the two of us to hike up high into the alpine tundra. It's been our annual tradition but, last year, K had to have surgery on her birthday due to what we eventually learned was a bone infection in her toe. In the end, it led to the amputation of her toe. The vet said that K might not be able to mountain bike or do tough hikes after the amputation but, to my giddy delight, K still does those things without showing any pain. I've just scaled back the length and difficulty of our hikes and rides, and it's worked beautifully.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that a mountain lion had passed through the middle of our trail network at 4 PM on Sunday, a relatively busy time for human hikers on our trails. The lion visited a scentpost where numerous animals have marked over the past year, including multiple mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes. Both deer and elk visit the spot to sniff the markings. This mountain lion was drawn to the spot like iron to a magnet.
January, August, and earlier this month). Interestingly, this lion is active in daylight more often than other lions. I've never seen him mark his territory before. Generally, males mark far more often than females so I'm now guessing that this is a male.
Only one other mountain lion has ever marked this scentpost. All the others sniff it and walk by without leaving their calling cards. The lion who marks it possesses bulging muscles and has avoided being collared over the two years that I've photographed him. I suspect that he's *the* dominant cat around here. You can see his behavior here and here.
I absolutely love getting photos of these elusive creatures.