Monday, June 30, 2008
I grew up in the country and I've clocked a fair amount of time in the woods, but I don't think I've seen more than a half dozen bobcats in my life. They're solitary and very shy. It's always exciting to see one. Small as they are, they still have that intense predatory aura all wild cats have, an energy field that stops you cold for an instant when you encounter it--which is just what happened to me this morning.
I had just crossed a creek and was headed toward a picnic area when I saw a critter about 10 feet away, sitting with its back to me. For a second I was flummoxed--What is that? Not a raccoon, not a fox ...
He turned around and looked at me with his amber eyes.
Damn, that's a bobcat!
He took off, ran past me back across the creek and disappeared into the trees. I was shocked to see him in such a well-traveled place so late in the morning--it was after 7 am. I asked one of the park staff about it and she agreed it was unusual but said it's been dry and he was probably drawn to the creek.
Whatever the reason, I'm glad he gave me the pleasure of seeing him. He sure was pretty.
You can read some bobcat facts here. The photo is from New Hampshire Public Television's Natureworks site, which you can see here.