At first, he just peeked at me.
After I stayed still for a while, he became bolder.
Another clear sign that winter is departing is that we had another mountain lion visit. Someone asked where the mountain lions go in the winter after a recent post when I wrote that their visits are less frequent in the winter than during any other season. I don't know the answer except that I think that they probably follow their prey: deer and elk. Both of those species go to lower elevation to find food when our snowpack is too deep. My guess is that the lions follow.
A couple of nights ago, a mountain lion passed the same camera as a couple of weeks ago.
I think it may be the same lion as a few weeks ago but I'm not certain. He's about the same size but doesn't have obvious distinguishing marks.
He followed the same route, heading toward a meadow frequented by deer, elk, and moose. I don't think he made a kill there because Shyla didn't indicate that there was a fresh carcass around.
It's amazing how relaxed I've become about having these predators in our midst. After years of knowing from my trail cams that mountain lions pass very close to humans on a regular basis, I feel confident that they don't think that we are prey. They are wary of us and always seem to hide when humans come along.
I am far more afraid of moose, who kill and injure more humans than any other mammal in North America. In a neighborhood forum, I got pilloried for expressing my caution about moose. At least one mountain person thinks that they are docile and safe creatures - and called me a "wildlife hater" for urging people to be cautious around moose (that was an ironic comment if you know me at all!).
In fact, Shyla and I rode this morning in extremely thick fog with wild sheets of "snain" falling on us. A hiker saw our forms in the distance, and she said that she panicked because she thought that we were a mama moose and calf until we got closer. So, I'm not the only one who has a healthy respect for the tempers of moose.
I took just one photo of Shyla this morning before the mix of rain and snow got too cold for us. It gives you an idea of how limited our visibility was. I was only 10 feet from Shyla but my camera had trouble auto-focusing on her due to the fog.
We've been indoors ever since then but it's about time to get moving. R's list of exercises and walks grew longer yesterday. The vet was a little bit disappointed in his gait and how swollen his elbow is. We are dedicating ourselves to rehab even more after hearing that. He needs a full-time physical therapist. Any applicants out there? We pay in milk bones!