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Friday, February 14, 2014

See Beautiful: Our Wildlife

Today is "See Beautiful" Friday. As I am trying to recover from surgery, I've been sedentary compared to my usual lifestyle. Since my surgery, Shyla and I have taken an easy hike each morning. It's disconcerting to feel how incredibly fatigued my body is... but I managed to make it to one of my trail cameras yesterday.

From the trail camera, I was absolutely delighted to see that a tenacious bobcat had visited a spot that I've been monitoring for about four years. This bobcat defines "beautiful" for me.
The wildlife that inhabit our area are one of the most beautiful aspects of it. I took the next photo with a handheld camera about a year ago. I felt so lucky to see such a gloriously beautiful coyote bathed in warm sunlight. I had a very long lens so I was a good distance from him.
It seems that many mountain residents love the wildlife but there is still a faction who view our relationship with wildlife as adversarial. A photo of a coyote taken in our neck of the woods can provoke a lengthy discussion with lots of comments about how dangerous coyotes have become. My opinion is that the coyotes have not become more dangerous. Rather, more people live in the coyotes' habitat so there are more sets of human eyes to glimpse coyotes. Moreover, coyotes are more accustomed to seeing us.

I wish that people could accept that we've chosen to live where lots of predators reside - so we need to take appropriate precautions rather than trying to get rid of the wildlife.
Some of you might remember that someone shot and killed a coyote on our land a few years ago. When I called the Division of Wildlife about it, I was told that the only illegal aspect of the killing was that the shooter might have trespassed on our land. I learned that coyotes are considered "varmints" who can be shot at any time of year. Personally, when I look at the photos above, I see a beautiful animal and not a varmint.

Aside from our black bears, I love getting trail camera photos of mountain lions the most. They are so beautiful, with all the power and strength contained in their amazing bodies.
I love this photo because it's a juvenile mountain lion. Notice the faded stripe inside his front right limb and notice how big his ears appear compared to his head. I suspect that he was looking for his mom in this photo. Just today, I discovered that someone had stolen this particular photo from my blog, had blacked out my copyright watermark, and was using it as an ad. At first, I was nothing but outraged. Then, I realized that it might be a sign that peoples' attitudes toward mountain lions are shifting. Perhaps more people see a beautiful animal in the photo above rather than a scary beast who must be eliminated.

I believe that the co-existence of large predators with us is a beautiful thing. I "See Beautiful" whenever I capture photos of the predators who live in our forest.

Last, but certainly not least on Valentine's Day, the Duo is beautiful to me. In the past month, as R has been recovering from his surgery, I find the two of them snuggled up together almost all the time. Sometimes, they're sharing a sun puddle, and sometimes they're simply lying snuggled together on a dog bed.
It makes my heart sing to see such a beautiful bond between them.


  1. your sweet boy and girl...

    your mountain lion photo looks terribly familiar to me - wonder if i've seen that ad... that would terribly tick me off, though.

  2. So much beauty!

    I agree with you that we need to live peacefully alongside wildlife. I will shoot an animal that threatens my chickens or dogs, but that is because my chickens are a food supply for me and my dogs are tiny.


  3. Beauty in their eyes, faces, and that bobcat, surely meant for you right now, The healing will truly speed up with those photos, and the Duo's togetherness. Take care as you venture in the snow, hugs from Jean.

  4. Amen! My sentiments exactly. Your bobcats seem much larger than ours. They seem to have a bigger body compared to the head. Loved the photographs. And don't be hard on yourself. Takes time for the body to recover from any kind of surgical insult.

    I love the beautiful duo bonding. Used to make me a little weepy thinking of my Golden Girls but not anymore.

  5. I was quite taken with your coyote photos. What a gorgeous, healthy-looking animal!

    I'm glad you all are healing well. A little snuggle time seems to speed it up!

  6. I was quite taken with your coyote photos. What a gorgeous, healthy-looking animal!

    I'm glad you all are healing well. A little snuggle time seems to speed it up!

  7. Those are such wonderful photos. We are all critter fans here.

  8. What a handsome coyote!!! He almost looks like he was smiling at you:)

    Love seeing the duo bonded so closely - very heartwarming.

    And we hope each day brings you a bit more strength of body, you already ready have amazing strength in spirit.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family.

  9. Could not have agreed with everything you said. Amen. The last photo is heart warming and melting.

  10. Hi Y'all!

    Around east here the ones that complain about the coyotes are the farmers who loose livestock and hens to them. We love catchin' a glimpse of the wildlife.

    You clarified the problem...humans have invaded their territory.

    My Humans feel that if you choose to live next to a farm, then don't complain about the smell. If you choose to live in a wilderness habitat, then don't complain about the wild animals. Go outside with your pets, don't turn them out and then holler when they are attacked.

    My Humans are still saying their prayers for you.

    It is a wonder how we can be so strong one day, and the next, after anesthesia we just can't get things together. The stress on the body makes you tire so very quickly.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  11. Such beautiful photos that you have shared with us KB.
    And we agree with you-- that we are in the animals home land-- they were here first

  12. We have heard coyotes around our home but have never seen one. Thanks for sharing the natural beauty around you with all of us. I hope you continue to heal well.


  13. Such gorgeous animals...wild and domesticated.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  14. Otto showed mr two deer in the canyon behind our house today. So beautiful!

  15. Every single one of your photos is spectacularly beautiful, KB!

    Love ya lots
    Mitch and Molly

  16. Beautiful trial camera the mountin lion. Such a beatiful animal.
    Today is snow falling....great to sit inside and Watch the Olympics.
    Gold for Sweden ladies ski relay.....

  17. Outrageous that someone would steal your photo. I'm sorry, that's just wrong.

    Varmints? Really??? Guess that puts them in some good company - like gray wolves. Every word you have said about the large predators is absolutely right.

    Hope you feel up to longer hikes soon - but only when you are ready :)

  18. Those are beautiful photos of beautiful animals. I'm with you on the animal issue. People move into their territory and then want them to leave. Sadly, it has been happening in history forever with people. If I lived in an area like that, I would welcome every critter that wanted to come visit.

  19. Hi KB, I hope you are healing quickly and getting stronger every day! I love your animal photos-because they are indeed beautiful. They represent such strength to me; I will say I wouldn't like to come upon them on a trail though. I'm not surprised that is photo hacking going on; it is frustrating though.
    Hope you are all staying warm!
    Big hugs to you today.

  20. Wow! Extraordinary images!!

    (And I hope you got the image issue resolved to your satisfaction. That kind of theft just tightens my jaw.)

  21. The cougar is my bobcat. I think all the wild cats are the most beautiful creatures. It really is a shame that we humans, who are apparently so evolved, haven't figured out how to live with the other species on the planet.

    Hope your recovery continues to go well.

  22. Beautiful wildlife photos! We agree with you about living in harmony with nature. Where we live there are coyotes on our land - heard, not yet seen and there has been a red fox around.

  23. thank you for the incredible information and interesting to observe this


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