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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sunrise and collared felines

The dawning of a new day... I love being outside to witness it. The world feels so wondrous and full of possibilities as the sun rises.
Frequently, just after the sun rises, its rays bathe K in warm light. This morning, she first looked dark red in the faint sun. The snowy mountains on the horizon glowed in the sun also.
Then, as the sun inched upward, its rays beamed more strongly, making K glow even more brightly. It also highlighted the orange lichens on the boulder above her front paws. A couple of years ago, I figured out how old those lichen patches were based on their size. They've been growing for somewhere between 50 and 100 years. They grow incredibly slowly so I am very careful that K and I don't damage them.
This morning, as the sun rose, K gave me a look melted my heart. It shows the sensitive and sweet K who lights up my days.
Today, on the packed trails, I saw faint bobcat tracks. It reminded me that I haven't told you about the alien abductions of bobcats that have taken place in our area. Of course, we are all used to seeing the evidence of these abductions around the necks of mountain lions in my trail camera photos.
In November, I captured the image of a bobcat wearing a radio collar - obvious evidence that he was abducted by alien humans. You can see the black box just below his chin.
Despite my love of wildlife biology, I was a little sad to see the collar on this bobcat. I feel like a "NIMBY" (not in my backyard - do the study someplace else). I'm sure that biologists will learn lots of new things about bobcat ecology from these collars. However, the thought of our magnificent and tough bobcats being "messed with" (trapped, sedated, and collared) doesn't sit right with me.

When faced with our wildlife wearing collars, I always ponder the question of whether an animal is truly "wild" if their movements can be monitored by humans. One could argue that they're really just part of a free roaming, but carefully managed, zoo population.


  1. MY MOM 100% agrees with you about sunrises, wondrous possibilities that are laid before her. She is grateful for each new opportunities a new day offers her.
    For me personally, K's eyes melt my heart. Woof.
    Blessings to you,

  2. Ah K...We can read your soul in those beautiful eyes. And you are so pure you have nothing to hide.

    The stories they tell are of pure love.

  3. I always see beauty here, thank you.

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  4. that last little bobcat looks so sturdy and confident - collars? we don't need no stinkin' collars!!

  5. I think it would feel so magical to out in Mother Nature and watch the sun come out. I would not want to make a sound!
    K is so beautiful.. yes, we see her soul too. She is enjoying the peacefulness as much as you! Look at the sunny glow on her fur!
    We wish no animals had to wear collars and be kept track of. Its their world too- in fact maybe its more their world than ours.
    nitey nite

  6. I really love that portrait of K. She is just so beautiful! Those lichen are pretty cool.

    I guess one way to look at the cat collars is that at least somebody cares enough about them to try to keep track of them and learn more.

    I've sat in the parking lot and cried over picking up ashes, too. I know for me the hardest was Treat, because she just never was an old dog. Up until the spinal tumor reared its ugly head, she was always on the go. I just felt that it was all so terribly unfair in so many different ways that it was much harder for me to make peace with her passing.

  7. Our human swears that the sun starts out the day direcly overhead and then veres off to the right. He says that someday he will see a sun rise, if he is late getting to bed.

    Mogley G. Retriever

  8. I've always had mixed feelings about the collars too. Among other things, they are pretty big and I've wondered about them getting caught on things, etc. It doesn't seem right to bother them. I hope the information they get actually helps the animals. I wish we could just leave them alone though.

  9. several mt. lions have collars here in So Cal. Mom does not like that either. Supposedly it is to track their pattern of travel. Also so they do not get to close to public areas, homes, picnic areas, etc...Mom says move the people out and keep the animals. BOL
    Benny & Lily

  10. Sunrise is the most magical and inspiring part of the day! We are so glad you and K are well enough to be a part of the miracle.

  11. The collars on wild animals are very upsetting to me. What if they give off a noise that interferes with hunting? Throw off their balance somehow? They always look so big and cumbersome I wish the biologists would wear them for a while first!

    K looks beyond beautiful!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  12. You'd think that technology could make the collars smaller and more user friendly .

  13. Great stuff ! Here in Missouri the Missouri Dept of Conservation has discouraged any Mountain Lion population by taking it off the state endangered species list. In the wildlife code they allow you to shoot one if you are in fear of your life. Recently two hunters in Rays county tree one with their coon dogs and shot it. They lied to MDC saying it attacked cattle. When the truth came out MDC failed to prosecute them saying they were in fear of their life. From a cat treed by dogs ? I wish they had a few collared here. That would mean their is an interest in protecting them, not blowing them away.

  14. Love the golden glow in those photos.

  15. I would so loves for them to sedate my neighbors and study them in wildlife...bwhahahaha...Oh dat was a bad Puddles.

    I am so glad to be back to see your wonderful fotos.


  16. I am so with you on many things and especially the collars. If they feel compelled to track these wild creatures, why not something less intrusive? Surely our technology has surpassed those lumpy collars!

    I fear that while I share your love of the sunrise, I prefer to see photographs rather than attend in person. I am a born nocturnal creature.

    I get emotional so often when I see brave K. Both of you have overcome so many obstacles and yet you keep pushing to find the best life. I admire both of you.

  17. Hi Y'all,

    My Human fears that the collars they put on wild life, while they must be tight to keep the bird or animal from getting tangled in something, sometimes they seem too tight.

    We miss the sunrise here in the mountains because it rises behind our ridge. But we enjoy watching it highlight the mountains on the other side of the creek. This time of year our morning walk is always in the dark, even when we are at the shore.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  18. Puddles cracks us up:)

    K is just such a beautiful creature, and her love for you is so obvious. She looks awesome there.

    Now I am a morning person, always up before sunrise, but the view out my window pales greatly in comparison to yours:)

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  19. Sensitive and Sweet nice...look at those eyes! Collars are certainly from the outer universe, aren't they...!

  20. I'm with you on animal collars, although Craig makes a very valid point. I hated seeing the collars on the ducks, geese, elk, deer and bighorn in Estes Park. It always made me sick to my stomach to see them collared. As a journalist, I covered several excursions to capture, sedate, collar and release various species, and although the handlers always took great care, it still just didn't feel right. Like forcing a human to wear jewelry - big bulky jewelry - the human wouldn't wear if given the choice. When a bighorn comes too and runs in circles swinging its neck, trying to break free of the collar, it seems painfully obvious to me that just isn't something that should happen.

    Hmmm. My word verification is angst. Yeah. Big time.

    Glorious photos of K, though.


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