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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Magical Wildlife Clearing

Years and years ago, when I was first starting to use trail cameras, I found that my cam had been rearranged on a tree so that it was twisted 180° from how I'd left it. I leaped to the conclusion that someone was trying to steal it.

I made the snap decision to move the cam to someplace safer. I took it down from the tree and stuffed it in my backpack. I hurried toward another section of the forest with no real vision of where I planned to put it except that it needed to be well hidden from humans. So, I hastily chose an almost random spot but I figured that I'd move the cam again soon.

That spot was a pocket in the forest with a big Douglas Fir tree in the middle of it. I didn't know enough to recognize the animal sign in that small clearing - but the hints of animal activity are everywhere.

Much to my surprise, a mountain lion sauntered into that small forest opening within a week. The rest is history. I've had a cam there for close to a decade now. There are phases of little carnivore activity there but I know to patiently wait - because the bobcats, lions, coyotes, foxes and other animals will be back.

After about 6 months of little wildlife activity last summer, many species have come through this winter. As you know, I love my mountain lions. One female has come through three times. She is hilarious because she dislikes anything wet on her paws so much. Here she is in mid-paw-shake. She spends a lot of time trying to clean her paws.

Not only does she shake them, but she also licks them.

I have a short video of some of the wildlife who visited this forest opening including this female lion, bobcat, bull moose, and red fox.

P.S. For those who are wondering, R is doing well. His energy level made a big step forward yesterday.


  1. Gosh, no wonder mountain lions don't live in Scotland. They'd hate all the wet!

  2. Watching the mountain lion shake and lick her feet to remove the wetness is so funny. Yay, R! Keep getting better and better!

  3. oh that are good news, R! and we like the mountain lion... he looks a little like da nelly while cleaning his paw

  4. Hari OM
    I too cheer for R... and love your clearing - and you for finding it! YAM xx

  5. That mountain lion is too funny. We think she should move some place where it doesn't snow or rain much. BOL!

  6. You live in the most amazing place and you share all the goodness with us. Thank you for that.

    Have a fabulous day. Scritches to the pups. ♥

  7. Maybe the snow freezes into small balls in their paws (it does this to my gsds and then they sit down so I can scoop the small ball from their paw) and so she is trying to lick it to get it out.

  8. Yay R I was wondering and am pleased to hear things are progressing!! Hugs and kisses to you all
    MOL MOL Angel Madi was furever sticking her paws under water faucets and she purposely dropped toys in her water bowl. She delighted in splashing and messing with toys. I am pretty sure she would not have wanted her Diva paws to be cold though.
    Hugs Cecilia

  9. The lioness will have some busy days c cleaning her paws. Maybe the pine needles leave some gum as well as the wet sticky snow. Love the bushy tail earlier, what a super place to have your trailcam. R, great news you are doing so well.All that TLC and family love.

  10. Yay...happy to hear R is feeling better. What an amazing clearing site. Too cool.

  11. That kitty sure doesn't like wet paws! I'm glad that R is doing good, that makes us smile1

  12. You found a great cam spot--and your patience has been rewarded. Enjoyed the cat shaking paws.

  13. Poor mountain lion having to walk through the wet snow. lol reminds me of my cats.

  14. Magical is the perfect word! What a wonderful variety of wildlife!
    Glad to hear R's recovery is going well!!

  15. Such amazing footage! And happy to hear the update on R!

  16. Do you ever get long-tailed weasels, western spotted skunks, or ringtails? I find myself so curious about the small carnivores! I have gray fox at 6,600 feet elevation, in Pine Brook Hills.

    1. Hi Carron! We have spotted skunks, striped skunks, pine martens, long-tailed weasels (I see their tracks but have never gotten footage of one - although I did find a dead one years ago), gray fox, lots of red fox... I have never seen sign of ringtails.

  17. Her poor paws are cold! :) You really did find a perfect spot, and what fun to watch them; especially when they do things so similar to our domestic pets. It's fascinating!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  18. Love watching your videos. Thanks for sharing another great one with us.

  19. Poor R has been through a lot. He needs some quiet time to recover. Those trail cams are so much fun! Such a great idea to have them.

  20. Very cool video! I love the cats but the moose were amazing.

    Good to hear that R is on the way to recovery.


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