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Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunset - The Labraduo and the Mountain Lion Duo

One evening recently, the Labraduo and I were enjoying a quiet evening hike up on our plateau.  R waved goodbye to the sun as it dipped toward the horizon.
And I was in awe of the deep red color that the setting sun brought out in Shyla's fur.

At almost the same time, a mother mountain lion and her kitten were in the middle of a long walk nearby. I caught footage of them at five trail camera different sites (about 600 photos and a minute of real video). I think I've figured out their favorite route!

Today, I'll share just one set of photos that is kind of funny. Here, mom is walking up a gully. She has a GPS and radio collar around her neck and tags pinned to her ears for a study she's in. She looks small. My guess is that she's a young mother.
Because she was in a shaded area, my camera went into infrared mode, glowing with a soft red flash and yielding black and white photos. Mom seemed to notice the soft red glow of the camera.
She licked her lips while she waited for her kitten.
Her kitten appeared behind her. My expert friend and I are guessing the kitten is somewhere between 4 and 8 months old.
At another camera, Kitty showed us her underside, and I'm pretty she's a girl (you'll see all the footage over the coming week or so). Kitty also focused on the camera.
For an instant, they both alerted on something else - maybe a sound in the forest. The kitten doesn't have a collar for the study (yet).
The curious kitten stared at the camera.
Her eyes squinted, as she seemed to contemplate it. I actually wish it didn't attract their attention at all. I have one camera with an invisible flash (no red glow), and I might move it to this site.
Then, Mom decided to leave, and the kitten started sniffing a spot often marked by wild cats.
Very interesting, she thought...
Then, unfortunately for me, she really focused on the camera.
With determination, she moved toward it.
And then the camera captured a whole series of photos like this one - a closeup of cat fur as the kitten rubbed very hard against the camera.
After a little while the kitten backed away, but you can see that the camera view is now skewed.
Indeed, the camera then fell to the ground, face down.
And that was how I found it. You can imagine, after the recent theft, that I felt very anxious when I glimpsed the camera lying on the ground. But, I quickly figured out that it was probably a wild animal's work because the strap holding the camera case in place had been broken. The cable lock between the camera and the tree was still intact. Phew.

When I looked at the photos, I laughed out loud. The antics of a kitten!!!!

I feel so privileged to be able to see the lives of our most elusive animals up close and personal. 


  1. such a beautiful 'kitten' she is! and curiosity baked in. :)

  2. R and Shyla are gorgeous and the kitten sure is cute!

  3. Thanks again for sharing such amazing pictures of nature. I love the pups pictures too.

  4. What incredible pictures! I know you wish you hadn't of attracted their attention and caught more "natural" pictures, but I think it is fascinating to see them try to figure out the odd thing they had encountered.

  5. I also laughed out loud! Such a kitten! :) Your IR snaps are so clear and lovely - mine are vaguely goat-shaped blobs. And only one of my does, Lily, sussed the camera right away and often stares straight into it, even in daytime. The other goats almost never even glance at it, even when I'm moving it remotely! I don't know why or how Lily caught on, but she did, right from the get-go, and I have the dictinct feeling she knows I'm on the other end. Maybe I'll post a picture - won't be as amazing as your mamacat and kitten, though! ;)

  6. Gosh, have I missed your beautiful photographs! LOVE the kitten and mother lion pictures, especially the last few where the kitten is looking right at the camera. Just amazing!!!

  7. Gosh, have I missed your beautiful photographs! LOVE the kitten and mother lion pictures, especially the last few where the kitten is looking right at the camera. Just amazing!!!

  8. Well, we're glad you have the red light, we love seeing the cats front portraits.

  9. We love seeing the LabraDuo, but how fun to see the lion duo. That silly kitty - hope the camera wasn't damaged.

  10. I totally agree with Bella, Roxy, and Macdui! I love seeing their curiosity and their beautiful faces. Shyla and R are looking gorgeous as usual!

  11. What a wonderful series of photographs, beginning with the gorgeous duo. Guess curiosity is a hallmark of all kittens, large and small.

  12. The cougar footage is amazing! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it!
    I love seeing R waving to the setting sun!

  13. Wow - thank you for sharing this with us. What fun to have this vantage of the mountain lions...and the kitten...big or small, mischief awaits! Can't wait to see more.

  14. How cool to see the cats looking right at the camera!
    Mr Bailey & Hazel

  15. OMD! They are so beautifuls!!!! Oh, and the kittehs are very cool too! ☺
    I loves that they are lookin' in the camera too, butts I understand why you didn't want them noticing the light.
    They are just magnificent.
    And, now your camera has been christened by the kitteh..I thinks she knows she's a STAR!! BOL
    Ruby ♥

  16. And we feel so grateful that you share these amazing photos with us!
    That was a strong kitten!
    Shyla and R,,, so beautiful!

  17. Oh that kitty made me and MOM laugh out loud also.

  18. Hi there KB! These shots of the duo are just beautiful. I love the pics of the kitten and mom...I guess they are like little kids...curious!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. What fabulous pictures! Thank goodness your camera is okay!

  20. LOL, a great series! The lions are so good-looking! I've had similiar treatment done by bears....


  21. Holy catnip is that amazing!!
    Lily & Edward

  22. The kitten is a beauty and it won't be long until she is as big as Mom.

    Me, waving at Prince Rrrr!

    Jo and Stella

  23. Love those trail cameras and everything you capture!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  24. Those trail cams yield some amazing shots... I prefer not to know what's hiking with me!

  25. I think that kitten was trying to say, this camera is mine. It is henceforth only allowed to take photos of me! LOL

    Glad it was nothing to serious.


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