Déjà Vu, Part I
Reminder: You can enlarge any of the photos in this blog by clicking on it. Click again for a full-screen image.
This may well be the Year of the Bobcat for me. I have never previously made so many sightings of these animals in such a concentrated period of time, beginning back in the summer. Over a period of about three months I have had at least six encounters with Bobcats and have been able to photograph them on most of these occasions. I’ve seen Bobcats at Sabino Canyon, at Sweetwater Wetlands, and in our back yard. Which all goes to show that they are pretty common in these parts even if they manage most of the time to stay out of sight of humans.
I had yet another encounter this past Sunday. I had just photographed the Coyote whose image I posted a couple of days ago. As I mentioned in that post, the wetlands was crowded with people on Sunday. I’d more or less made up my mind to just go home, but after getting so lucky with the Coyote, I decided to take a quick victory lap. I kept encountering people as I walked on the wetlands’ paths and I became more pessimistic about seeing anything. I was headed towards the parking lot and only a minute or two from my car when I rounded a bend on a path and saw this.
A mother Bobcat (left hand figure) and one of her two kittens. The other kitten was standing just out of the frame of this image. She looked at me without concern, as did the kittens. They showed no fear of me whatsoever.
After a moment or two, the trio began slowly walking away. I made a second image of one of the kittens with its mother.
In this image the mother cat has walked behind her kitten.
My friend, Sam Angevine, has compared these and some other photos that I took on Sunday with images that I made earlier this summer. He’s positive that the mother cat in these pictures is the same Bobcat that I’ve photographed previously. He pays far closer and better attention to details than I do, so I’m going to accept his analysis. It certainly explains a lot. On all of the occasions that I’ve encountered the adult Bobcat she’s been a model of calm. She has little or no fear of humans. It appears that her offspring have acquired this fearlessness as well. As the trio of cats slowly walked away from me one of the kittens detached itself turned, and actually headed back in my direction. It walked to within about 3 meters from where I was standing and then, to my astonishment, casually lay down on the ground and relaxed.
It glanced around curiously, showing not much interest in me at all. After a few minutes, it sat up and posed for a bit more while I made a portrait.
I have more images of these beautiful Bobcats that I’ll post in a day or two. I am thoroughly charmed by my now-frequent encounters with these animals.
Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture preferred setting, ISO 1000, f6.3, shutter speeds varied.