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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Our Mountain Lions are Grateful for the Rainfall

Today, we and our wild cats are celebrating the rain that has fallen recently. A mountain lion repeatedly visited a small water hole to quench his thirst. He drank and drank and drank!

This was his arrival at the water hole. Look at his massive front limbs and paws!

He noisily scooped the water into his mouth with his tongue. You'll hear the sound in the video.

Something caught his attention, and he paused to look at it. I was struck by his coiled muscles and how powerful he looked.

He must have had a carcass stashed nearby because he came back to the water hole repeatedly. He drank with crazy thirst each time. He occasionally paused to look around, like in this photo. Also, look at his reflection.

He came back on yet another night, drinking from a spot close to the camera. Those shoulder muscles awe me!

A bobcat also drank during the same time period. He's much smaller but so much more colorful!

I compiled this footage into a short video that features the mountain lion drinking very close to the camera and also features the bobcat vocalizing after he finished drinking. It was the first time that I'd heard a bobcat make a sound!

After the tragedy of a mountain biker being killed by a mountain lion, several of you have kindly expressed your worries about me being out alone in mountain lion territory. I am very aware that there's some risk in living as I do. However, I take that small risk because being out in the forest and observing our wildlife brings such joy to my life. Quite simply, I'd be far less happy if I gave up my forest and wildlife time, just to keep myself a little safer. I don't believe that playing it safe would make me happy because I'd lose so much. So, I will keep on riding silently through the favorite habitat of the large beasts that inhabit our forests.

I can even go so far as to say that I love our forests even more *because* these animals roam there.

On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful that our wild cats have water to drink and that they are thriving in our forests.


  1. Hari OM
    Whilst we would never want to read you becoming one of the statistics (95 non-fatal attacks and 25 fatal in last hundred years), I think it is safe to say the odds are more against rather than for the potential for trouble. Not that one is complacent of course. This was interesting reading, not for yourself necessarily, but for any of your blogpals like myself who don't live in such country. If we are going to move into territory that is not ours, we must be aware and alert. Being so, venture forth!!! YAM xx

  2. He is amazing. I love the fact that the wild beasties share our space. Or more accurate, we share theirs. I carry bear spray when we are out and about in Wyoming. Just in case.

  3. That mountain lion really was one thirsty kitty!

  4. that is some loud slurping going on, he is absolutely magnificent. also that is a lot of water to drink at one time. I know you love your forest and that you are careful. when I think about it you are safer there than I am in this crowded traffic infested city full of people much more deadly than this cat. enjoy

  5. I loved your LabraDuo photo and OMCs my wild cousins are gorgeous
    Hugs madi your bfff

  6. Those photos and the video are amazing and they are such beautiful critters! Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

  7. Love the bobcat, they are so pretty, and the lion, what a thirst.

  8. I got stalked by a mountain lion one time. When I sensed it watching me I slowly backed up to my car raising my arms and shouting, then hopped in. He bounced off the back trunk, pouncing and coming up short. Had I run he would have had me. I have great respect for the cats growing up in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful creatures.

    1. Oh my goodness. I bet that you have huge respect for the dangers of living with cougars. That is an extremely scary experience. I'm glad that you're okay.

  9. He is a hearty drinker, isn't he? We too worry about your safety, but we know you are well versed in the ways of animals and take the precautions that are needed. Both the lion and the bobcat look so healthy and strong. We love that you share your photos and videos with us.

  10. We have had some mountain lion sightings on the outskirts of town recently!
    Hazel & Mabel

  11. When he is drinking he sounds just like my house cat Henry. Henry consumes a ton of water, like that big kitty, and slurps loudly, again just like the big kitty. Thanks for sharing!!!

  12. Those are fantastic pictures and video. He truly is a majestic cat. You be careful out thee.

  13. YAM says it well. We know you are cautious and respectful of all the wildlife with whom you overlap territory. Your attitude is the correct way to approach nature in all its power.

    BTW, recently when I've tried to "like" your videos on Youtube, I'm now asked to sign in, and since I'm not a registered user my vote no longer is counted. :-(

    Chris from Boise

  14. When you 'work' with the animals you can co-exist with respect and live is a sort of harmony many people would appreciate.

    Thank you for a lovely post.

  15. Such excellent images - thank you, KB! Gorgeous, awesome creatures. And speaking of scooping up water, until I saw a slow-mo video, I had not realized that cats are making the "scoop" with the underside of their tongues - or at least, that's how it looked to me.
    I feel the same about the trade-off of how I choose to live vs. danger (though big cats aren't on the list of local dangers). I try to be informed and aware, but that's about it. I did smile when you mentioned getting behind a tree to watch moose the other day, because one year when I was doing inventory plots in moose territory, whenever I got to a new plot I would try to identify a "safe" spot in case it would be needed suddenly. My favorite was two or three hardwood stump sprouts of substantial size and close enough together that, if I stood at the center of the group, a bull moose's antlers would be blocked. Never needed, but that's okay - the moose could have been thwarted but the adrenaline might have killed me!

  16. KB,, The forests is your world,,, just as much as it is for the wildlife that live there. You respect,,, And you live.. You are happy,, You are enjoying being alive. You dont let one day slip away with out being acknowledged, and enjoyed,, and praised. Your world KB! I admire you.
    These films are National Geographic quality! Thank you,, Keep touching the face of the stars!

  17. When Luke and I are out walking in the woods, I tend to talk to him a that any wildlife (we have bears and bobcats at least that I wouldn't want to encounter!) knows we're coming. :)


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