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Monday, February 1, 2016

Snowstorm and a Mountain Lion

So far, our snow storm hasn't lived up to the billing. It's snowed hard at times but it looks to me like we have only 6-8" of new snow. However, our local forecaster says that it will keep snowing overnight and through tomorrow.

Shyla and I had a snow bike outing this morning, in the midst of the falling flakes.

In areas where the snow has built up without melting all winter long, the depth is impressive.

Before big snow storms, the wildlife starts moving to get to places where they'll have food to eat. In the case of the deer and elk, that usually involves moving to lower elevations where the snow will be less deep. The elk herd, in particular, usually passes by our neck of the woods on their way downhill.

As the elk move, their predators set up to try to ambush them. Thus, I wasn't terribly surprised to see that a mountain lion was near our house this weekend.
This mountain lion visited a huge old Douglas fir that has a thick layer of pine needles under it. It is a common place for carnivores to mark as they pass through.

Like many before him, this lion marked, kicking backward with each huge hind paw and then urinating in the scrape he'd made.

A couple of bones linger in this clearing. Mountain lions have killed many deer and elk near here. The lion sniffed the bones.

Then, he noticed the soft red glow coming from my trail camera. He stared at it as he licked his lips.

He made a funny face as he pulled in his tongue.

He looked to his left, giving us a nice view of his heavily muscled body.

And then he departed.
We've had very few mountain lions come through our neck of the woods recently so this series of photos made me smile!!!

The "mountain lion clearing" looks very different now, buried under our new snow!


  1. Amazing. What a strong and muscular lion. Such a gorgeous beast. Wonder if he made any noise at the camera.

  2. That is some deep snow! What a beautiful creature that mountain lion is!!!!

  3. Handsome lion!!! No snow here - rain has arrived. and maybe even a thunderstorm!!!

    6-8 inches sounds like plenty to me. Hope you all stay safe and warm.

  4. Oh it seems I've found my twin... the lion makes the same face like me when I look for food :o)

  5. Have fun playing in your beautiful snow, Shyla!

  6. What a great sighting :) as a biology major this encounter would have made me really happy too!
    I just came across your blog and I really like, not only because you live in one of my favorite places. Looking forward to your upcoming posts!

  7. First, it looks like some dog is enjoying time spent romping in the snow! And second...Wow! That Mountain Lion is gorgeous. I love seeing big cats doing their thing. I think it is great that your trail camera catches so much of your native wildlife. You are so lucky.

  8. what a gorgeous cat that is.. love the funny face look. he is a beautiful specimen. that is some tail

  9. Beautiful. In certain areas of California they're thinking of building a bridge across the freeway in order for the mountain lions to get to and from. It will prevent them from getting killed or wandering into neighborhoods. Even though we keep building in their neighborhoods
    Lily & Edward

  10. Here kitty, kitty, just kidding. Mom just saw a mountain lion this past Cabela's and it was stuffed. Seriously, I do enjoy you sharing your trail-cam photos and of R and Shyla. The first photo of Shyla made my tail stick straight up. She's so pretty.

    Aroo to you,

  11. I wouldn't want to meet him in person, but it's always great to see your pictures!

  12. He is one big boy. All we got was a little ice and more rain. It missed us by about 100 miles North.
    stella rose

  13. Shyla sure was having a big time! That big kitty sure is amazing!!!

  14. What a beautiful Cat!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  15. We think that's enough snow...too much for us. How exciting to see the Mountain Lion. Don't know who to cheer for, the lion getting a meal, or the moose for getting away.

  16. I love the snowy Shyla photos! She's too cute!

    That mountain lion is gorgeous! Wow!

  17. We are glad the photo of the Mountain Lion made you smile. It scares us to death. We would move if were were you. We are almost 2,000 miles away and we are considering moving. Stay safe

  18. Beautiful images! I wonder what effect the breeding population of moose will have on the lions in your area...

  19. He is beautiful and has such a long tail!


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