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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunset and a Mountain Lion

The Labraduo and I have been out around sunset most evenings recently. The other evening, the sunset lit up the forest with a gorgeous golden glow. However, neither dog would look at me for photos!
 Their vigilance was impressive, as they constantly scanned the forest.
After the sun dipped below the snowy Rocky Mountains, the clouds lit up vividly. First, the thin cloud cover caught on fire. The John Denver song with the line "I've seen it raining fire in the sky" was floating through my head as I watched it.
Then, the clouds higher in the sky turned orange.
As we departed the lookout point to walk home before total darkness descended, the view was magnificent.
The entire time that I watched the sky, I had two vigilant guard dogs watching my back. It turned out that they had very good reason to be wary. About a half mile away, a mountain lion was simultaneously patrolling. You can see the sun setting directly above his/her shoulders, filtered through the forest.
I am working on a video of the very frequent mountain lion photos my trail cameras have captured over the past month or so. I'm beginning to wonder if this cat might be a female with kittens stashed someplace nearby. She follows almost the same paths every time she passes one of my cameras, making me think that I am repeatedly getting photos of the same feline. Mountain lions usually cover huge home ranges, so it would be rare to get photos of one lion more often than monthly. If one lion is staying in a relatively small area for a long time, it makes me think that there's a reason, like immobile kittens.

Time will tell. I have to admit that the thought of getting photos of very young mountain lion kittens makes my spirits soar.

Last summer, I posted photos of the youngest kitten with his mom that my cameras have captured so far. After talking with the researchers who put the radio transmitters on these cats, I learned that this kitten was a male who was almost a year old. He'd been reared a fair distance away and was traveling with his mom, learning to hunt and survive. He has doubtless split from his mom by now and is finding his own way in the world.
I am so grateful to have these creatures in our forest. The vast majority of mountain lions avoid us humans like the plague and especially humans who have dogs with them. So, I try not to worry about them and simply enjoy the fact that they are here.


  1. i'm glad your duo are as vigilant as they are - to alert you of the nearby presence.

  2. The photos are so gorgeous - we envy you your skies! So good to have those cautious pups with you. One time you can't fault them for having their minds on something other than you:)

  3. How I love your cat pictures!

  4. ohhh now we hear those words of John Denver too- singing that song!
    The photos are gorgeous! The sky- oh gosh,,,
    and the mountain lions!

  5. Oops. your link took me to " Doctors without borders" MSF, USA, is it my laptop that has a problem? I am so delighted that the Duo are aware of any lion or bear, and stay close. Cheers, Jean.

  6. Whew....what wonderful sunset shots! I love the way the sun lights up the coats of your Labraduo.

    I have vowed, espoecially if we stay in Northern California, the next dog added to the pack with be a labradog, I can think of no better companion to have my back (you know, against Bigfoot :-)) while hiking.

    I am really enjoying your photos and accounts of living in the Rockies!

  7. Wow! The duo in synch and that spectacular sunset! Wow!

  8. Stunning sunset! Something I miss terribly surrounded by trees. So thank you for sharing. :)

    I love the Duo on alert. Reminds me of my dogs. Good to know they've got your back and front and side... lol!

  9. These lions epitomize pure strength-love the shot of the mom & babe. Your sunsets were breath taking KB!!! I'm so glad the duo keep watch over you-but would hate for you guys to see one up close and personal.
    Have a great week.

  10. So intriguing trying to work out the wildlife's lives....where they go, who they see, if there are young.

    Love those sky pictures.

    XXXOOO Bella & roxy

  11. Wow, that sunset!!! The cat pictures are great, i hope she has kittens, How fun.

  12. Gorgeous lions. Mom would be petrified. Can't wait to see the video
    Lily & Edward

  13. They are amazing cats and that sky is amazing too!

  14. Kia ora KB,
    Ataahua! This all reaffirms for me when I need it most. The places, the companionship, the nuances of who and what we love and what it takes to keep loving them. Kia ora e hoa..Kia kaha!

  15. Nancy J pointed out that the link in my post was going to the wrong place. It's very odd - it was going to a website that I've never visited, making me wonder how it happened.

    In any case, as of 6 PM MDT, the link is going to the right place.

    Thanks, Nancy J! And sorry to anyone else who was mis-directed.

  16. Hi KB, maybe the gremlins got into the link, went back to have another look at Mum and her kitten, super videos, and although the GPS and transmitter aerial might be worrying, I'm sure it serves a very good purpose. Cheers, Jean.

  17. Great Pictures of the mountin lions...maybe we see kittens soon.
    THe sunset is awsome. You live in a great area


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