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Friday, September 26, 2014

Of Mice and Lions

Last night, we were out until after dark. When we got home, we turned on all the lights, and were quietly working at our computers. A mouse chose that moment to scurry out from under the baseboard heater. I screamed and ran from the room. (We caught the mouse overnight, and released it in a meadow. I'm hoping he's a loner.)

So, I have no explanation for why it did not freak me out this morning when I saw that a mountain lion had walked past exactly the spot where I was sitting on the ground checking a trail camera. A mouse scares me but a mountain lion doesn't?
The mountain lion was wearing a GPS collar as part of a never-ending study in our area. Based on size, I'm guessing that this is a female or sub-adult male. S/he walked right past the spot where other lions have stopped, transfixed by the scent on an elk bone that a dog left there months ago.
Shyla was with me, and she gave me no signal that a big predator had been nearby (unless the wink in the next photo was supposed to alert me!).
I did, however, ask Shyla to watch my back while I took closeup photos of a "cheetah" aspen leaf so no one could sneak up behind me.
Fear is a weird thing. Mice anywhere in the vicinity scare me but evidence of a mountain lion nearby does not. That oddity helps me to realize that I may never completely understand what Shyla labels as scary and what she labels as benign.

Happy Friday!


  1. A mouse in the house would freak me out too:) and being anywhere near a mountain lion would totally scare me. You never cease to amaze.

    Love that shot with the wink.

  2. haha. sometimes there is no logic to fear. :)

  3. Oh, so true. A mouse in the house, or a chipmunk or flying squirrel does not scare me. But a spider? Even one I know is not poisonous? Freaks me out every time.

  4. Just the opposite with me. Mice don't bother me (I had a little white mouse named Snowflake as a pet when I was a child), but any wild animal or reptile or spider really freaks me out.

  5. I am terrified of mice, but I think a mountain lion would scare me also. They are beautiful and I always love and appreciate your pictures of them.

    Anne and Sasha

  6. Ditto for the mice fear, and yes, understanding Shyla's fears might be easier now, Lovely spotted leaf, and three cheers for your girl keeping watch. Cheers,Jean

  7. Don't mind mice, mountain lions or even spiders but ants...they just freak me out!

  8. Mommy and me are terrified of spiders!!! Not the mice...
    But gosh,, you have some big kittys - don't you!
    Beautiful photos,, beautiful Shyla winking at you!

  9. Good point - it is interesting what things scare us as they can be quite different and even a little weird, like the mouse vs. the mountain lion.

  10. I would be more worried about mountain lions, I think. I've seldom encountered mice in the home. I'm not afraid of them, except when they suddenly run about in plain sight they startle us.

  11. Our mom can't stand mice either but she is lucky - I am the best mouser ever and I will protect my mom at all costs!

    Love ya lots♥

  12. Oh, listen, I could help you with that mouse!

  13. I'm the same way - I think the mice get in where we don't expect them so it is more startling. We expect wildlife outside, just not inside.

    Monty and Harlow

  14. That's funny. We're not scared of mice. We keep them out of the house. Unfortunately, they're RARELY loners.

    Love that cheetah leaf.

  15. Love the wink pic! Our mom would scream at either the mouse or the lion.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  16. So kind of you to trap and release the little mouse:-)

  17. Mice don't so much freak me out as gross me out. Just like dogs, they mark their territory with pee. A lot of pee. A house can very quickly get "mousey" smell if they decide to move in. We've only had one mouse decide to do that. The dogs dispatched him pretty quickly. We do find them trying to nest in our patio grill. Always have to look before lighting!

  18. They all scare me.
    Have a beautiful day.
    Sweet Shyla winking at you.
    xo Cinnamon

  19. Mouse vs lion?! I know that the lion would scare me. I recall years ago, picking wild blueberries and my "protector" lay on the trail and had a nap. So much for watching for bears.


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