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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Inquisitive mountain lion

Yesterday, I reached my nadir of feeling awful (at least that's what I'm telling myself - "it's always darkest before the dawn"). This series of photos buoyed my spirits skyward. Our world is a better place for having wild animals like this one roaming our forests.
Here's a closeup of the magnificent animal.
Look at the size of his paws! They're about twice the width of my Labs' paws.
He walked toward the camera, sniffing. I'm guessing that he was inquisitive about the scent around the camera.
And then he decided to move on. This photo shows his radio/GPS collar really clearly. He also has tags in each ear for an ongoing study of how mountain lions behave around human habitation.
Here's me for comparison (notice that I really do carry a big can of pepper spray on my hip belt). I'm guessing that the lion outweighs me by at least 30 lbs.
I made a flipbook video of his visit to my camera which you can view below or at Youtube.
Just so you know that I don't have nerves of steel - the photo below shows the artsy type of photo that I get when I drop the trail camera after seeing a mountain lion's visage in the viewfinder. I don't know why the pine needles look white... It is still summer here although we had our first frost last night.
Thanks to the mountain lion for strengthening my spirit.


  1. OoH dat is a BIG kitteh. Him is most beootiful too. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  2. Hi Y'all,

    Whoa! What a beautiful lion!

    So glad you were feeling up to being out and about, if only for a little while, today.

    Can't believe y'all had frost already!

    Take care, stay well and thanks for stoppin'.

    BrownDog's Human

  3. That is a very large cat!! Who puts the GPS collar on these cats to track them? I think that it just really interesting! That last picture is beautiful too! I really hope you start to feel better! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  4. Wow...frost already!

    You'll have to try getting some plaster casts of those big ol' cougar tracks!

  5. Holy crap, beautiful but scary. Our auntie is a park ranger and tracks them at a park in So. Cal
    Benny & Lily

  6. That is one big cat! He's magnificent! The eyes are really captivating. Is there a certain age at which they tag the lions, or maybe I should ask if they wait until the lions reach a certain age before they'll tag them?

  7. The darkness before the dawn makes particularly beautiful photos .

  8. He's beautiful and I can see how he'd lift your spirits. I do hate seeing them with those collars, on, though. I like the idea of there being an untamed, untouched wilderness out there.. seems to be dwindling all over the country, though.

  9. He's a big guy!
    Great captures..and I can't believe frost already.

  10. What a wonderful creature. You have to wonder at the curiosity of cats. You'd think he'd run like crazy on scenting humans, after he's been caught and all of that equipment put on him.

  11. Stunning photographs of a majestic creature. Thanks as always for sharing them.

  12. Wow, to ride in the path of a lion.......sooo cool!
    Great photos KB!

  13. Wow, that is one heck of gorgeous animal - my favourite big cat (cheetah second)!!

    Great capture.

    Ontario, Canada

  14. It's exciting to think that you're sharing your life with such beautiful animals!!

  15. What a boost for the spirit! Hope you're feeling a little better with each day :-)

  16. He's so beautiful!!

    Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

  17. So glad you are on the mend. Chronic back pain does indeed affect every other part of your body.

    Wonderful photographs.

  18. Beautiful big cat photos.. every time I see them,, I think of the one that I saw face to face and looked in the eye.
    I know that adrenalin rush!

  19. love hte picture of the mtn Lion. What type trail cam are you using?

  20. Boy, that last photo really does seem to show the essence of what's to come!

    Incredible mountain lion photos! I was surprised to see it tagged and collared, though. I admire them for returning to normal after that process, and I know it brings valuable information. But it sure sad to think we have to dangle all that extra weight and jewelry on them.

  21. Denis,

    It is a Reconyx HC500. I've tried many kinds, and it's by far my favorite. Check it out at


  22. Houndstooth,

    I am told that they wait until the mountain lions are adults to collar them so that the collars don't become too small too soon. Also, when they are young, they stay with their moms. So, their mom's collar tells researchers where the kitten is.


  23. Holly,

    Division of Wildlife officials either trap the lions (by taking a deer that the lion killed and putting it in a trap) or tree the the lions using dogs. Then, they tranquilize them to put on the collars. I know someone who did this job for years, and it can be hair-raising!


  24. Wow! Great shots of the mountain lion. It's so interesting to know they're roaming around out there!


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