The test of an adventure is that when you are in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure. -Thornton Wilder

The nice thing about being confused is you get a chance to notice things a lot better than if you knew where you were going.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mountain Lion (Puma concolor)

   Yesterday I was jogging along a trail in my personal playground (Annadel) when I came up behind a woman hiking. Plodding along as I was, I thought she would hear me but it wasn't till I got close to her did she suddenly turn around. I apologized for startling her and she said it was okay. "As long as you weren't a mountain lion". I went on for a few steps further then stopped to ask if she knew if there were in fact some here in the park. "I see these signs at each trailhead leading into the park and always wondered." She went on to tell me that just last week she was talking to a Park Ranger.
   "He told me there is one known to be in the North Burma trail area (which was where we were at the moment). I've seen the scat myself." She went on the describe it to me after I mentioned the scat I had seen. This lady knew her scat. "No it is much larger than that. More like a really really big dog." So I figure like Sinbad's poop but on a much larger scale. "The Ranger also said a lioness with two cubs were recently spotted over on the east side of the park."
   So that is really cool to know that they are here. I doubt I will ever see one. They lay low during the day and really do not want anything to do with us humans. The park has a healthy deer population plus an over abundance of turkey, so they are not deprived of a food source. To be honest, I am more concerned about an encounter with a deer while riding my mountain bike. Already I have had a couple close calls with them darting across in front of me while zipping along at speed. You know what kind of damage a deer can do to a car. The worst encounter so far was a buck with a three point rack just a few feet from me as I rounded a turn. There was no stopping and all I could do was hope he'd stay put. He did.
   I would be thrilled with a bobcat sighting. A photo of one, I cannot imagine. Anyway, that might happen long before I ever see a mountain lion. I just want to see it before it sees me, that's all.
  

10 comments:

  1. I take it from this sign that there is something particularly dangerous about bending over. Since you can't bend over to pick up anything you're going to throw at it you must have to throw your small children or pets at it. - Not Sinbad of course -

    ReplyDelete
  2. Would you be terribly upset if I told you that I've seen these and bobcats quite often around here?! You're right, the bobcats are amazing to see.

    ReplyDelete
  3. At first I thought that was a pick of Sinbad in a bad mood.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know I wish I could see one! Have you ever thought of posting a photo of Sinbad in a bad mood? Good luck on the trails...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Some of the pictures you see of the American wilderness look great but with cougars and occasional bears wandering about, I'm going to content myself with pictures. Over the last 2000 years over on this side of the pond we've managed to kill off almost anything even remotely dangerous - I can of course not condone this but neither am I going to join those who want to bring back anything that might want to eat me as I'm wandering about the countryside.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've been privileged to run into 4 of them in the wild, all pretty amazing (two particularly horrifying) encounters. They are beautiful animals and have all my respect. I only had the camera on me one time with them, but didn't get a photo. But that's okay cause really the experience could never be caught on camera. Usually you can feel it if they're around..you know :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. great post!
    Let me invite to view my place http://tiagophotografy.blogspot.com/ , hope you like my work, and somehow my photos can inspire you!
    Hugs from Portugal! :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've never seen one, but I used to live in an area where there were numerous reports of sightings. I've often thought about what I would do if I encountered one and the best I could come up with is - run. and how does Sinbad feel about you referring to the size of his poop in this post?!? Be careful out there on those trails :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. The place where we go mtn biking is reported to have cougars. I haven't seen one, but I once went riding by myself, and I was just sure one was gonna drop down out of the trees at any moment! Deer and coyotes are the extent of our wildlife sightings. Fortunately not while bombing down a trail! I'm glad you survived your encounter! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Monday afternoon I looked up from the gate to the orchard and saw a large bobcat slowly striding up the road towards the motor home. He turned his head and gazed at me as he went by. I couldn't call to Jim as all I wanted to do was to look at him. This makes the fourth one we have seen over the years at Panoche.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.