Yes, I almost stayed home and walked my neighborhood yesterday for my Saturday walk.
But when I thought about it, I knew I needed to go to my favorite place that helps me forget the chaos of this thing we now call life. When I’m at my wetlands I’m there, body mind and soul. One with nature.
So I packed up what I needed and headed out. I’ve noticed the place is quite busy on a weekend morning this time of year. But I started my walk towards the back side of the park area with fewer visitors. I have seen and posted photos of one of the resident bobcats. But today’s encounter was special.
I saw her up ahead, no one around. So awesome! I watched and snapped photos as she headed towards me! What a treat! She continued towards me and literally walked right past me on the path as she looked for food. Soon a couple of other folks walked up to me and I believe they were following her.
Experienced in observing and photographing the bobcats there, they informed me that this beauty is Aussie Cat. She has a brother named Uno. There is a mother bobcat, but she is rarely seen. One gentleman guided me on how close we can get, giving her ample space to hunt. What a surprise as we were able to watch her pounce into the reeds, coming out with a huge rat!
By keeping our distance we watched as she walked up ahead, sat down, and ate her food. It was quite a distance and in the shade so I didn’t get great photos, but I did get a great experience. I was in awe!
I continued following her along with the friendly visitor who guided me. We were able to see Aussie Cat pounce again! There were more people around, and she ended up taking her prey into the bushes off the path. Another lady who was also familiar with the nature of the bobcats helped us watch for Aussie to come along on the other side of the bushes. After sometime she did, and we continued to follow her.
After a while I headed out to see if I could see any other creatures or birds, but my hour of following and observing Aussie Cat was magical.
Ironically, a short time later I ran into the same gentleman again, and quietly he pointed to the side. There sat Aussie Cat! She was cleaning her fur and what appeared to be licking her chops. I figured she was satisfied after her rat hunting adventures. My new friend told me that her sitting there and cleaning her fur, so relaxed meant she felt comfortable. It appeared our presence was not bothering her. I will say, she was very much accustom to people being around, that was very clear.
I was told people come from all over town to see the bobcats at the wetlands park, even from out of state! He also said they are usually seen in the winter time, which explains why I just noticed them in recent weeks.
This was truly amazing, to connect to nature in such a way. As a cat lover, I was mesmerized. I know I missed a few photo opps due to lack of skill or lens quality. However, when I look at a few of these photos, I feel like I see into the soul of that sweet creature.
Thank you Aussie Cat for sharing a part of your life with mine ❤
(you can click on the photos for a larger view)
Hunt number two…
“The life of the wood, meadow, and lake go on without us. Flowers bloom, set seed and die back; squirrels hide nuts in the fall and scold all year long; bobcats track the snowy lake in winter; deer browse the willow shoots in spring. Humans are but intruders who have presumed the right to be observers, and who, out of observation, find understanding.” ~ Ann Zwinger