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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Closer than you think

For years it seemed like everyone saw Bobcats but me.  But this year I've had several encounters with them, and last week was one of the most remarkable.

These pictures were taken at the north end of Bodega Harbor.  For orientation, I was standing along Old Bay Flat Road looking towards Westshore Road with Bodega Harbor in the background.  (This is close to the parking lot used by horseback riders accessing the Bodega Dunes.)  The cat was only a few feet from Westshore Road!

The sequence went something like this.  First I saw the Bobcat walking towards me along Old Bay Flat Road.

Through the camera lens, I tracked it through the vegetation until it climbed up into the lower limbs of a cypress tree.  It sat there for a while, but then started down towards the ground again.

I thought it might just continue through the wetland area between Old Bay Flat Road and Westshore Road, but instead it turned up towards Westshore Road...and sat down!

I couldn't believe it, as the position the Bobcat chose was extremely close to Westshore Road.  It was the end of the day on Friday, so there was a lot of traffic: people leaving work to go home, and others driving out to Bodega Head for the sunset.  

As I was watching the cat through the lens, I listened for cars approaching and tried to time a few pictures with vehicles in view.  The Bobcat stayed in this position for three minutes before standing up, turning, and eventually disappearing into the shrubs.

I'm sure this happens far more often than we think, but this encounter reveals just how close by these beautiful animals can be and provides a special reminder to drive as carefully as possible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! Amazing. What a gift to have had this experience -- and a well deserved one at that! Thanks for sharing and for the reminder to drive safely and slowly -- so important to keep our wildlife surviving and thriving..