Encounter with a Mountain Lion!

 

cougar-photo-wayne-dumbleton-ccl

Cougars are one of several predator species returning to historic ranges, even when they include highly developed areas (
Photo: Wayne Dumbleton, Creative Commons license)

 

Clouds billowed in the sky this morning. A storm was brewing! “I still have time for a walk.” I thought.  I leashed my two dogs and out the door we went. “The dogs sniffed the air and road like it was the most interesting book they had ever read!” (cool quote by my friend Valerie Pace.) For some reason they seemed to pay a little more attention to our walk today! And here’s why…

I heard it before I saw it! The sound of a squirrel, scampering up a tree, tearing off pieces of bark as it climbed. When my eyes caught sight of the critter. I thought it was a VERY fat squirrel, but NO. It stopped and looked at me on the way up the large pine tree.   As I got a little closer, I thought it was a very fat badger, with some black banding on its face. NO! What would a badger be doing up a tree? I had never seen a badger in our area. Then as I got closer I realized it was two little cat-like critters.  Ah ha!  They must be bobcats! But boy are they fat!

I spooked one of the cats, he/she backed down the tree a little, and with a clumsy THUMP fell to the ground! Ooops!  Sorry little guy!  The other cat clawed its way up the tree to a tall branch and sat peering down at me!  My dogs were barking and straining at their leashes, but I held tight.  A strange hush overcame them as I walked to the base of the tree and stared up at the little cat.  (Wonder if they realized mama cat was near by?)

I studied the little cat above me…It was bigger than a house cat, and MUCH MUCH fatter. It had a long tail, and was a tawny brown color with NO spots!  This was not a house cat, not a badger, not a bobcat!  This was a mountain lion cub! Boy do I wish I had my camera with me!

UMMM!  Maybe I’d better look around for the mom!  Peering around through the woods, it was hard to picture a full grown mountain lion here!  But, the cubs were VERY healthy!  I knew the mom had to be just a few feet away, so I backed up and the dogs and I walked “double-time” back to the house!

I warned my father-in-law to be aware of the mountain lions in the territory.  His land is just a few feet from where I spotted the lions.  I did some more research online to check to see if my conclusion was correct.  Yes, that is what I saw! WOW!

It was such a cool encounter!  I am thankful to God though that He protected me from the momma mountain lion!  I hope she lives a happy and healthy life in our area, but that I never encounter her or the grown cubs any closer than I was today! (:  I love the spice that God adds to our days! Thanks God! (:

This is the tree the mountain lion cubs were playing in!  I took this pic when I went back to see if the cub was able to get down from the tree.  It was! It had been perched on the second limb up in this picture-about 40-50 feet high!

This is the tree the mountain lion cubs were playing in!
I took this pic when I went back to see if the cub was able to get down from the tree.
It was! It had been perched on the second limb up in this picture-about 40-50 feet high!

About Kimberly Guthrie

Kimberly Guthrie loves adventures in the outdoors. National Park Ranger, Outdoor instructor, curriculum writer, teacher and guide at Mount St. Helens’ Seven Wonders Museum are some of her life adventures. Kim continues to write and teach about the outdoors. Currently, she serves as outdoor education consultant for Allaso Ranch near Hawkins, Texas. Kim holds a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from University of Central Arkansas and a masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University.
This entry was posted in Exploring Nature, Texas Adventures, Writer's Ramblings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Encounter with a Mountain Lion!

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  3. Nan Keltie says:

    Glad you got to see the kitties. Also glad you had the dogs along and the Mama cat didn’t show herself. :-/

  4. kimgjones says:

    I’m glad I got to see them too! They were awfully cute! And – I’m just as glad I didn’t encounter their mom face to face! I’m definitely alot more vigilant on my walks now! (: Thanks so much for commenting on this post!

    Kim (:

    • Tommy Guthrie says:

      Kim, I don’t think Mountain Lions confront one face-to-face. I think they sneak up on hyour backside. Glad God protected you.

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