Mom — A Few More Images
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In the past week I’ve returned several times to the site where I saw the mother Bobcat and her kittens, hoping to get a family portrait. It’s been frustrating because on one occasion I came tantalizingly close.
Early one morning I caught a glimpse of the kittens hiding beneath a large Palo Verde tree. The tree’s branches hang down to the ground and the area underneath it is a virtually impenetrable thicket. The mother cat had stashed her kittens there for safekeeping. I could just barely make out two sets of eyes staring at me from under the thicket of branches. I decided see if the kittens would emerge eventually and so, I sat down on the ground some yards away and waited. I sat for about 1/2 hour, cursing under my breath at the mosquitoes that were biting me. Then, slowly, the mother came out from under the tree. To my astonishment she walked within about two yards of me and then, sat down and quietly watched me.
She sat there for several minutes, never looking directly at me but obviously, she was aware of my presence.
She didn’t appear to be agitated in the least, and she showed no outward emotion. She just sat, very quietly.
Eventually, she moved off slowly and disappeared into the brush. It’s possible that she left to go hunting. It’s equally possible that she circled around behind me in the thicket of bushes in order to rejoin her kittens. I waited a few more minutes to see what the kittens would do, but they remained hidden. Finally, I gave up and left. I’ve returned several times to the site since then and have seen no sign of the Bobcats. Female Bobcats often occupy more than one den and they move from den to den with their kittens as the kittens mature. My guess is that the mother and offspring have moved — probably to a location that is a few dozen yards away from the site where I found them. I’m still optimistic that I will see the family again, most likely after the kittens have grown a bit and started to accompany their mother on hunts. I’ll keep looking for them.
Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, ISO 400, M setting, f8 @ 1/160.